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JIHLAVA 2019

The 23rd edition of Ji.hlava IDFF celebrates Women in Change and CEE documentary filmmakers

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- The largest CEE documentary film festival, unspooling from 24-29 October, will screen 277 creative documentaries

The 23rd edition of Ji.hlava IDFF celebrates Women in Change and CEE documentary filmmakers
The Calling by Erik Praus

The Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival is bracing for its 23rd edition (24-29 October). The festival’s programmers have created this year’s line-up, consisting of 277 films, from a total number of 3,700 submitted movies. “Unlike last year, when we presented a broad retrospective of direct cinema and cinéma vérité, combining the filmmaking production of the USA, Canada and France, this year, we have decided to pay substantial attention to Eastern European filmmakers,” festival director Marek Hovorka explains.

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The gathering will introduce comprehensive retrospectives of Kazakh director Sergei Dvorstevoy and Ukrainian filmmaker Feliks Sobolev, accompanied by a unique showcase of Ukrainian experimental films from the 1960s and 1990s. The retrospective section will be complemented by a showcase of movies by avant-garde artist Man Ray as well as Slovak documentary films from the 1960s. The competition section for Central and Eastern European directors, Between the Seas, will screen Slovakian documentarian Jaro Vojtek’s latest film, Paradise on Earth, as well as Erik PrausThe Calling [+see also:
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, Goran Radovanovic’s The Makavejev Case or Trial in a Movie Theater [+see also:
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, Margit Lillak’s The Circle [+see also:
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and Bogdan Stoica’s Canadian-produced The Irreversible Consequences of Slipping on a Banana Peel.

The crucial theme of the 23rd edition will be “Women in Change”, focusing on films by and about women. The festival director believes that works created by women “draw our attention by evocatively opening up painful issues, being formally innovative and lending an empathic ear to the stories of others”. The titles selected to tie in with this theme include Pia Hellenthal’s Searching Eva [+see also:
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interview: Pia Hellenthal, Eva Collé
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, Alexe Poukine’s That Which Does Not Kill [+see also:
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and Ursula Macfarlane’s Untouchable [+see also:
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. Nine films will compete for the Best World Documentary Film accolade in the Opus Bonum section, including Greta Stocklassa’s Kiruna – A Brand New World [+see also:
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, Arnaud de Mezamat’s Wishing You the Same, Roz Mortimer’s The Deathless Woman [+see also:
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, and Michele Manzolini and Federico Ferrone’s Once More unto the Breach [+see also:
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interview: Federico Ferrone, Michele M…
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The latest crop of domestic documentary films will be on display in the Czech Joy section, including Dagmar Smržová’s latest foray investigating the sexuality of disabled people, I Want You if You Dare; Robert Sedláček’s reflection on 30 years of democracy through court hearings in The Judge over the Czech Way; Jiří Zykmund’s Lost Coast; and Filip Remunda’s #sandrainuganda, following a 26-year-old influencer of Bosnian origins as she encounters poverty and technological backwardness in Uganda.

As usual, the Ji.hlava IDFF will offer a plethora of off-screen events and highlights, such as master classes by Romanian New Wave director Cristi Puiu, Macedonian producer Atanas Georgiev, Sergei Dvortsevoy and Barbora Chalupová (who teamed up with Vít Klusák as one of the authors of Caught in the Net, which homes in on the issue of online child abuse – see the news), an array of virtual-reality works and videogames, and the Inspiration Forum, set to welcome over 100 personalities from outside the film realm.

The 23rd edition of the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival runs from 24-29 October, and the full programme is available here.

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