The publishing of two books by prominent historians and theoreticians of documentary film represents an essential part of the publishing activities. Guy Gauthier’s Le Documentaire, un autre Cinéma outlines the history of documentary film by means of examining both individual works and authorial styles of various filmmakers. Gauthier focuses his examination on French, English, Canadian, Italian, American and Russian influences. Another cooperative effort resulted in publishing Introduction to Documentary by Bill Nichols. Defining the basic terminology on one hand, the American film theoretician also introduces original categories for the sake of easier orientation in the variety of documentary film. In the academic sphere, the book has become an essential theoretical conception of documentary film. Further on, the book of essays by Karel Vachek The Theory of Matter has become an original element of thinking about documentary film; its publishing by Hermann and Sons was supported by Ji.hlava.
Another part of the publishing activities of Ji.hlava IDFF consists in the publishing of biographical books dealing with the personalities of documentary film and their works. In the edition 20/21, edited by Helena Bendová and David Čeněk, we published the book Jean-Luc Godard - Texts and Interviews represents a voluminous anthology of essays by the remarkable filmmaker and theoretician, including profile interviews along with his texts.
Martin Švorma’s monograph Karel Vachek etc. deals with the unique filmmaking of the monumental Czech documentarist, presenting an overview of Vachek’s existing and non-existing films, examining the genesis of their motives and following their interconnections. Other book from this edition is Lenka Dolanová’s monograph Steina and Woody Vasulka, Dialogue with the (Demons in the) Tool dealing with the filmmaking of famous Czech-American video artist Woody Vasulka. The book has been introduced during Closing ceremony of 15th Ji.hlava IDFF 2011 in presence of Lenka Dolanová and Woody Vasulka.
The latest book in this edition is a monograph on French director Chris Marker. The book has been written by film historian and Ji.hlava IDFF programme selector David Čeněk. His authorial monograph is supplemented by texts by foreign authors and their analyses of films and contexts in which Marker’s films were made. The book also includes two of Marker’s screenplays of imaginary films.
At the 17th Ji.hlava IDFF, several guests presented their latest books: pedagogue, Fascinations juror, and one of the Czech Republic’s most important experimental filmmakers Martin Čihák presented his book on the cinematic avant-garde, Ponorná řeka kinematografie (The Underground River of Cinema). The Industry Programme included a lecture by pitching mentor Sibylle Kurz, who introduced the Czech translation of her popular handbook Pitch It! – a guide for filmmakers, producers, and all those who would like to successfully sell their idea. Also visiting Ji.hlava during his visit to the Czech Republic was legendary director of animated films Yuriy Norshteyn. The creator of the cult films Hedgehog in the Fog and Tale of Tales (which has been near the top of many lists of the best animated films of all time) presented the Czech translation of his epic book Snow on the Grass, whose multi-layered meditation on cinema should be exceptionally inspiring for documentarians as well. The book is being published by the Publishing House of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague.