24th Ji.hlava IDFF kicks-off in five days – this year happening online! The programme will offer over 270 films, Q&As, Inspiration Forum discussions and a programme for children. The festival will open with A New Shift by Jindřich Andrš, features tributes to Roberto Minervini and Karel Vachek and the audience will be treated to a preview of a documentary about Milan Kundera.
“Even though we are going online, we want to bring Ji.hlava’s unique atmosphere to our audience who will be able to join discussions with filmmakers as well as during the Inspiration Forum,” says festival director Marek Hovorka. “To keep Ji.hlava rolling, we will be streaming live from our Lighthouse studio on the Jihlava’s main square. From morning till night, we will bring information about the current events: interesting films and discussions, and the filmmakers themselves will be talking about their work,” continues Marek Hovorka. The live service will include both the discussion platform Inspiration Forum and the programme Ji.hlava for Kids. “The film world found itself in an unprecedented situation. Most of the festivals were cancelled or truncated while some fully adapted to the online environment. This is also case of the 24th edition of the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival and it is clear that this will require many changes and a different approach from past editions. The current and future development will show how we all are able to join forces and keep the Czech film industry alive. And not only alive but also competitive in the upcoming years,” says Helena Bezděk Fraňková, director of the Czech Film Fund, the partner of the Lighthouse.
This year’s exceptional edition will open with a world premiere of a film by Jindřich Andrš called A New Shift. “The director follows up on his previous film The Last Shift of Thomas Hisem, screened at Ji.hlava two years ago,” says Hovorka. The time-lapse documentary A New Shift follows the main protagonist who has lost his job and retrains as a programmer. “The film was shot over the course of almost four years. We started shooting intensively in 2017, just before the closure of the Paskov coal mine. This was the initiation moment of our story: Thomas’s mine where he had worked his whole life closed down and he had to decide what to do next,” says the director about his film. “Thomas made an impression on me immediately at the programming course because he was very straightforward like a typical miner, and charismatic,” he adds. A New Shift will be released in cinemas after the festival.
What will be the source of this year’s inspiration and which issues will be discussed at Ji.hlava? The potential of Africa, feeding the humankind, influence of intelligent technology, and the position of women in religion. What will happen if we stop using the “crisis narrative”? The 10th Inspiration Forum will take place as part of the 24th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival on October 27 – November 1.
The Inspiration Forum will celebrate 10 years since its first edition. Six major topics will be presented and discussed over the course of six festival days. “The Inspiration Forum as well as the whole Ji.hlava Festival is getting ready for its upcoming edition that will happen physically on-site. Personal meetings are irreplaceable as an inspiration, and films are primarily made for the big screen. However, this can only happen if safe environment is guaranteed by the festival organizers,” says Marek Hovorka, the Director of Ji.hlava IDFF, who continues: “Digital technology will connect the audience and guests of the Inspiration Forum with speakers who cannot join the discussions directly in Czechia due the pandemic. Of course, we expect fewer visitors, but the situation can also be seen from a different angle: this year, Ji.hlava will offer enough seats to watch films and enjoy discussions which were too packed in the previous years. Consequently, visitors can look forward to a unique and concentrated experience, pure inspiration.”
The 24th Ji.hlava IDFF starts in three weeks. “We believe that despite the pandemics, the festival will take place on site in Ji.hlava. Personal meetings are irreplaceable as a source of inspiration, and films are primarily made for the big screen”, says Ji.hlava festival director Marek Hovorka. The current COVID-19 pandemic will also be reflected in this year’s festival programme not only in terms of safety measures, but also in the form of films dedicated to the issue. The Ji.hlava IDFF will show the latest film CoroNation by artist Ai Weiwei, capturing the situation of isolation in Wuhan at the start of the year.
Covid-19 started spreading into the world in December 2019 from Chinese city of Wuhan and turned the world upside-down. It affected the entire society as well as our culture. “It is more than evident that the virus will change the whole society and these dramatic changes will also affect cinemas. Therefore, it is important to organize our festival, to support filmmakers, cinema operators and filmgoers,” says Marek Hovorka. “This year we will already bring the first films focusing on this phenomenon.”
You can find more info in the press release attached.