Expressions of crime in fiction and documentary film:
From gangsters to Iraq and Occupied

» 8 – 10 Septmeber 2017, FAMU, Prague «



The Boundaries of Film – The Anatomy of Crime explores not just the flood of emotions evoked by crime or the impact of criminal acts, but also looks at the artistic possibilities offered by stories of crime and presents diverse legal and historical explications of the relationship between film and crime. From the anatomy of crime to the anatomy of art and back.

Author G. K. Chesterton drew a direct line between crime and art when he wrote, “The criminal is the creative artist; the detective only the critic.” Crime, which breaks down established conventions and models of thought and imagination, can thus be an analogy for the basic principles of cinema.

How does film influence crime and crime influence film? What role does crime play in documentary film and what role in works of fiction? Does cinema need a manual for how to present crime in relation to real events, or are criminals inspired by cinema? Can watching or making a film be a crime? Is experimental film a crime against the classical language of cinema? Are there any ethical boundaries for cinematic crime? Can brutality and rawness be cinematic tools? This year’s “Boundaries of Film” will look for answers to these questions and more.



  • Dates:
    8 – 10 September 2017
  • Location:
    Prague, FAMU cinema, Smetanovo nábřeží 2
  • Participant fee​:
    • Full price​: CZK 1,200
    • Reduced price: CZK 600
      valid for students, teachers, members of CDF and AČFK, and accredited visitors to last year’s Ji.hlava IDFF
    • Free: Ji.hlava IDFF DOC.MAN (except for Night Doc.Man)
    • EXPLORE FILM IN PAIRS (applies to reduced priced as well):​
      1 + 1 admission free when registering by noon on 5 September – invite your friends and give them free admission, or share the cost of admission with them (please indicate the name of your friend in the note in the registration form)
    All participants in The Boundaries of Film also receive:
    • 30-day access to
    • CDF membership for one year
    • a Boundaries of Film certificate


For more information or if you have any questions, please contact us at



* Films will be screened with Czech subtitles and discussions with foreign guests interpreted into Czech.

FRIDAY, 8 Sept. 2017 | 6 – 11pm

An evening of commented screenings with the participation of the films’ directors.

6:00 – 7:00pm | The Shadow (Skyggen, Line Hatland, Norway, 2013)
Norway’s first female private detective tackles her final case.
» Discussion: Line Hatland, director

7:15 – 9:00pm | Nokas (Erik Skjoldbjærg, Norway, 2010)
A reconstruction of the largest bank robbery in Norwegian history.
» Discussion: Erik Skjoldbjærg, director

9:10 – 11:00pm | Helena’s Law (Zákon Helena, Petra Nesvačilová, Czech Republic, 2016)
The people involved in the “Berdych Gang,” interviewed many years later. What, if anything, has changed?
» Discussion: Petra Nesvačilová, director


SATURDAY, 9 Sept. 2017 | 9am – 9:30pm

9:00 – 9:30am | Registration of participants and opening of 4th annual Boundaries of Film​

9:30 – 11:00am | Crime and law in film | Ivan David​
Various points of view on the legal interpretation of the relationship between film and crime. Can shooting a film ever be considered a crime? Can watching a film be a crime? What are the different legal perspectives in documentary film and in works of fiction?

11.00 – 11.15am | Coffee break

11:15am – 12:45pm | A historical tour of crime in film | Kamil Fila​
What cinematic genres explore crime? How do they differ and how have they evolved over time? Can crime be a cinematic fetish? What unusual approaches to this subject can we find in the history of cinema?

12.45 – 1.45pm | Lunch break (not part of the programme)

1:45 – 2:45pm | Crime in documentary film as a magnifying glass of the mind | Line Hatland
What are the various ways in which crime and thought are connected? What can a documentary film capture? Can a documentary film bring a crime to life merely through talking heads? Is crime an opportunity for documentary film?

2.45 – 3.00pm | Coffe break

3:00 – 4:00pm | How to film gangsters? | Petra Nesvačilová
How to create a personal documentary about gangsters? How to approach former prisoners and reveal the structure and functioning of an entire criminal gang? What can a documentary film achieve if it is not a detective story but instead looks at the perpetrators many years after the fact?

4:15 – 5:30pm | Crime in cinematic language / The crime of cinematic language | Andrea Slováková​
How does the language of cinema work with the subject of crime? How does it use the deconstruction of the film material or the digital image and the conventions of the genre to show unexpected ways of incorporating crime into the world of film? Is experimental film a crime against the “classical” language of cinema? Why is the main protagonist of Peter Tscherkassky’s Outer Space attacked by the actual, physical film itself?

5.30 – 6.30pm | Dinner break (not part of the programme)

6:30 – 8:00pm | Documentary film as an eyewitness of crime | Zaradasht Ahmed
What does it mean for filmmakers and audiences to shoot a documentary that is an eyewitness to ongoing crime and lawlessness? What are the ethical pitfalls, and what methods can a documentary filmmaker use? Where in the editing room is the story created? The director of Nowhere to Hide shares the difficulties he had to face while shooting his award-winning film.

8:00 – 9:30pm | Nowhere to Hide | Zaradasht Ahmed
Commented screening, analysis, and discussion with the director.
Nowhere to Hide (Zaradasht Ahmed, Norway, Sweden, Iraq, 2016)


SUNDAY 10 Sept. 2017 | 9:30am – 6:15pm

9:30 – 11:00am | Gardening in the blue shadow | Viktor Tauš
What was it like to direct the series Blue Shadows (Modré stíny?) Stylistically speaking, how far can a director shift a series’ script? Can brutality and rawness be functional building blocks for a film? What environment is created by political circumstances (the crimes of an era) in the trilogy Garden Store? Do directing and producing experiences overlap?

11.00 – 11.15am | Coffee break

11:15am – 12:45pm | Writing a script, planning a crime | Erik Skjoldbjærg​
How to write the script for a crime? What central elements must be brought into play? Where does the characters’ psychology come from – should it grow out of the story? How does writing a thriller differ from writing a detective story, crime drama, gangster movie, or political drama?

12.45 – 1.45pm | Lunch break (not part of the programme)

1:45 – 3:15pm | Under occupation | Erik Skjoldbjærg
A commented screening of selected episodes from the first season of Occupied (Okkupert, Norway, France, Sweden, 2015-2017)

3.15 – 3.30pm | Coffee break

3:30 – 5:00pm | Making Occupied; or: Crime to the second degree | Erik Skjoldbjærg
How was the controversial Norwegian series made? What was the involvement of author Jo Nesbø? Did the filmmakers run into any resistance on the part of the Russian or Norwegian authorities? From what traditions and genres did the series find inspiration?

5.00 – 5.15 | Wine break

5:15 – 6:15pm | Discussion with seminar participants; evaluation and presentation of certificates​





Supported by grant from Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.


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