28th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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“Come dream with us!” invites the jubilee 25th Ji.hlava IDFF

The 25th edition of the Ji.hlava IDFF has unveiled its 2021 visual! It was created by the award-winning book graphic designer and artist, Juraj Horváth, who has been the author of the festival’s graphic style for the whole twenty years. “This year's festival poster is dreamy. The film is an opportunity for discovery and finding new answers or asking new questions. And so is the entire documentary Ji.hlava,” says Festival Director, Marek Hovorka. The poster was unveiled yesterday in an orchard planted by the festival organizers two years ago in Jihlava.

The twenty-fifth anniversary edition of the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival, which will take place from 26 to 31 October 2021, is coming back to Jihlava’s cinemas after the unparalleled pandemic year. “To me, Ji.hlava represents the annual fulfilment of a dream, the transformation of utopia into reality, and this year's visual is an invitation to dream – because if we don’t, things would be rigid and mechanical. Courage and joy only grow out of dreams,” says Marek Hovorka explaining the message of this year’s poster. “It was beautiful outside, / I was meeting my old friends, / Who were staggering around / Sitting down / And falling asleep / Facing the screen / After midnight / At the DKO / In your head,” says a poem written by Juraj Horváth that traditionally accompanies the festival poster.

Poster Poem
Juraj Horváth

I had insects do the job:
Japanese Fly
Typographic Bark Beetle,
And Irregular Raster.
I picked out
Dots and spots from their works.
Leaving the paintings in the sun for so long
That the lines began to crack at the fine joints
And shrink and peel off
Around the edges.
It was beautiful outside,
I was meeting my old friends,
Who were staggering around,
Sitting down
And falling asleep
Facing the screen
After midnight
At the DKO
In your head.

What will the 25th Ji.hlava look like?

We want to draw on the experience of the last two years. In 2019, Ji.hlava had a very festive and summer-like atmosphere, while last year we took the online opportunity to attract thousands of new viewers and bring documentary cinema to their attention. This year we would like to combine these two aspects,” explains Marek Hovorka, commenting on the hybrid concept of the festival, which will for the first time take place both live and online.

New competitions, new awards

This year’s edition will bring more novelties. “After several years of preparations, we have been revamping our competition sections, our jury structure as well as the festival’s award categories. The aim is to pay tribute to documentary cinema which has been undergoing enormous changes, at the same time being the real drive behind contemporary filmmaking,” said Festival Director Marek Hovorka introducing the new concept. As of this year, Ji.hlava will feature the main competition section comprising up to 18 feature films screened in world, international or European premiere. In addition to the new competition concept, the award ceremony will also be innovated. Aside from the main award for the best film, the jurors will also hand out prizes for the best cinematography, editing or sound design, and highlight outstanding formats, such as the best film essay. “Ji.hlava has always been keen to discover courageous filmmakers, thus helping to shape contemporary documentary cinema. That is the festival’s characteristic feature and the selected films that we want to continue to explore,” adds Marek Hovorka.

Best Documentary Book

Another novelty of this year is the Best Documentary Book Award. “Since the start, Ji.hlava has been exploring the documentary realms not only in terms of filmmaking, but also in radio production, computer games, virtual reality and theatre projects. Starting this year, we will also focus on literature, which has a distinct documentary character and contributes to the reflection of the present and thinking about the past,” explains Marek Hovorka. While this year’s pilot edition was only limited to Czech book titles, all English-written publications will be eligible as of 2022.

The 25th Ji.hlava IDFF will take place on October 26–31, 2021. A discounted Early Bird accreditation for CZK 400 (eq. of 16 EUR) can be purchased until June 30. EARLY BIRD accreditation serves as a full-fledged pass to the live part of the festival (film screenings, discussions and lectures, off-screen programme). This year, Ji.hlava also contributes to a selected important project from the sale of accreditations. For each accreditation we donate CZK 50 to support the Živá krajina association, the aim of which is to restore water retention capacity of the Czech landscape. Please note that a higher contribution can also be made – any amount paid on top of the 350 CZK will go to support the project.

Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Creative Europe Media
Česká televize
Český rozhlas