Winners of the 20th edition of Ji.hlava IDFF

Ji.hlava IDFF presents the following awards:

  • Best World Documentary Film - Opus Bonum
  • Best Central and Eastern European Documentary Film - Between the Seas
  • Best Czech Documentary Film - Czech Joy
  • Best Experimental Documentary Film - Fascinations
  • Best Czech Experimental Documentary Film - Fascinations:
  • Best Documentary Debut Film in section Opus Bonum, Between the Seas or Czech Joy - First Lights
  • Best Short Documentary Film - Short Joy
  • Audience Award
  • Contribution to World Cinema Award
  • Respekt Award
  • Best Festival Poster



selects an outstanding documentary film of the year from a diverse collection representing tendencies in world documentary; since all of the films are significant, the festival suggest the following game; a single juror picks a single film, a “brilliant” work.

Juror: Claire Atherton

  • Best World Documentary Film 2016: Spectres are haunting Europe (Fantasmata planiountai pano apo tin Evropi, France, Greece, 2016), dir. Maria Kourkouta, Niki Giannari
  • Special Mention: Smiling on the Phone (La sonrisa telefónica, Netherlands, Spain, United States, 2016) dir. Aitziber Olaskoaga

Jury statement: "People walking, people waiting, standing or sitting, people in groups or people in lines… In this film full of respect and tenderness, images of present cross history, evoke the past and question the future. Spectres are haunting Europe creates a time and a space of interaction between us and the world we are living in."

Special mention: "It seems to be a film about a call center, Nike’s call center, in which the filmmaker is working. But Smiling on the Phone goes further. It is a film about work, about power, about the role of images, about communication, about globalization. It is a film that makes us think."



is a competition section for the countries and nations of Central and Eastern Europe, including their historical, political, and cultural interrelationships.

Jurors: Audrius Stonys, Diana Tabakov, Koyo Yamashita, Maiko Endo, Marijke de Valck

  • Best Central and Eastern European Documentary Film 2016: The Dazzling Light of Sunset (Daisis Miziduloba, Georgia, Germany, 2016), dir. Salomé Jashi
  • Special Mention: Dialogue with Joseph (Dialogas su Josefu, Lithuania, France, 2016) dir. Elžbieta Josadė   

Jury statement: “The jury of the 2016 Between the Seas competition is very pleased to award the second feature length documentary by Salomé Jashi, The Dazzling Light of Sunset. The documentary follows a small local television station in Georgia and documents various manifestations of community life – a wedding, funeral, beauty pageant, election debates – in its own rich cinematic language. The result is a beautiful glimpse into Georgian life that is multi-layered, subtle and engaging. The tone of the film shifts between registers – comical, critical as well as ethnographic – without pushing the viewer into any fixed position. Instead an imaginative space is created in which the viewer is invited to reflect on the characters and situations portrayed. The Dazzling Light of Sunset combines authenticity with universal appeal, and marries Jashi’s signature style with political sensitivity. The jury looks forward to seeing many more films by her hand.“

Special Mention: "The jury of the ‘Between the Seas Competition’ would like to give a special mention to Dialogue with Joseph for its courageous approach. The film could be seen as the filmmaker’s inner journey in which the viewer is invited to take part. The result is an intimate portrait of the filmmaker’s father in which frames, landscapes and paintings form the lines of their dialogue. Josadė’s poetic style is particularly promising, and the jury encourages her to continue with this cinematic approach."



is a prestigious selection of Czech documentaries; rather than a mere competition for the best Czech documentary, it represents a celebration of the diverse range of new topics and the adventurous spirit of cinematic expression. The composition of the jury, too, is diverse; besides various personalities of Czech cultural and social life, it also includes the last year’s winner of the Czech Joy section as well as a citizen of Jihlava.

Jurors: Jan Bušta, Kamila Zlatušková, Karel Císař, Matěj Kolář, Patrik Ouředník

  • Best Czech Documentary Film 2016: FC Roma (Czech Republic, 2016) dir. Tomáš Bojar, Rozálie Kohoutová and Normal Autistic Film (Czech Republic, 2016), dir. Miroslav Janek
  • Student Jury Award: Normal Autistic Film (Czech Republic, 2016), dir. Miroslav Janek

Jury statement: „The jury of the Czech Joy competition decided to grant the main prize to two films; each of which represents a unique trend in contemporary Czech documentary filmmaking. The first title, Normal Autistic Film by Miroslav Janek, challenges our engrained concept of a handicap as a manifestation of otherness. Janek’s perspective transforms this otherness into exceptionality. The second film, FC Roma by Rozálie Kohoutová a Tomáš Bojar, may be labelled an anti-racist film of the second generation which no longer needs to advert to positive stereotypes. “Why do they praise me for something they made me do?“ asks one of the characters of Normal Autistic Film. “Gadjos first, then Muslims, followed by cats and dogs, and finally Gypsies”, states the protagonist of FC Roma. Our acknowledgement belongs to both of them.“

Student Jury: "The Czech Joy’s student jury decided unanimously to grant the award to Normal Autistic Film directed by Miroslav Janek. We acknowledge the film as a normal winner for the rendition of the topic, the world of those portrayed, and the piano in the background."



is a large factory for experimental filmmaking; stripping reality-based films of all that weighs them down, it significantly expands the possibilities of cinematic expression. The jury of the competition part of the Fascinations section is traditionally composed of members of a single film family.

Jurors: Guli Silberstein, Dana Wander-Silberstein

  • Best Experimental Documentary Film 2016: Engram of Returning (Canada, 2015), dir. Daïchi Saïto

Jury statement: “Masterful work in sound, vision and theme, producing a powerful cinematic impact, where memory processes are inherent in both the film itself and viewers experience. Clear vision, with accurate execution, making innovative use of film processing techniques, resulting in a highly successful treatment of moving image form.”



is a competition survey of the latest Czech experimental films that touch upon reality and never cease in their search for new ways of expressing reality through classical and digital film.

Jurors: Guli Silberstein, Dana Wander-Silberstein

  • Best Czech Experimental Documentary Film 2016: De Potentia Dei (Czech Republic, 2016) dir. Ondřej Vavrečka

Jury statement: “An intelligent and joyful film. Cleverly challenging the viewer to think about art, political & social issues, and the cinematic experience. Many wonderful juxtaposed scenes and Dada moments intertwined into a highly enjoyable and provocative work."



rises over the entire competition programme, focuses on the first great works of beginning documentary filmmakers. The selected films offer a different view allowing us to answer important questions related to the history of documentary film and its changing topics and styles. It also provides an overview of previously unknown filmmakers and offers the chance to compare films within new contexts. With First Lights, the Ji.hlava festival has decided to focus on the works of emerging filmmakers, convinced that they will become a strong voice in the struggle for the freedom and meaning of documentary film.

Jurors: David Dinnell, Dorota Lech, Gertjan Zuilhof, Laurence Reymond, Wood Lin

  • Best Documentary Debut Film in section Opus Bonum, Between the Seas or Czech Joy 2016: The Dazzling Light of Sunset (Daisis Miziduloba, Georgia, Germany, 2016), dir. Salomé Jashi
  • Special Mention: Sea Tomorrow (Zavtra more, Kazakhstan, Germany, 2015) dir. Yekaterina Suvorova
  • Student Jury Award: The Things (Nivtebi, Georgia, 2016) dir. Nino Gogua

Jury statement: “For her original, sincere and layered portrait we award the Best Documentary Film Debut Prize to The Dazzling Light of Sunset by Salome Jashi.In our selection process, the jury was transported to the picturesque Georgian countryside through a keen sense of absurdity and humour. We applaud Jashi’s exceptional eye for beauty and ironic storytelling. Observant, critical, and deeply sympathetic to her subjects, Jashi crafts her film with precise yet sensitive filmmaking. Congratulations!"

Special Mention: "The jury would like to give a special mention to Sea Tomorrow directed by Yekaterina Suvorova. A heartbreaking and hopeful story, Katerina Suvorova takes us to the disappeared Aral Sea in Kazakhstan. Through the film we can palpably feel the conditions of village workers and better understand both their past and their destinies. The stunning visualization of abandoned ships in arid landscapes, gives pause to the viewer. We congratulate the filmmaker’s concern and perspective."

Student Jury: "The student jury award in the First Light competition is granted to The Things by Nino Gogua for its ability to capture the contrast between tradition and modern life in today’s Georgia. We acknowledge the film for its independent perspective and representation of the community’s diversity despite the hints of its seeming uniformity."



presents a selection of the best documentary shorts - consummate works exploring the possibilities and strengths of documentary film within a limited time framework.

Jurors: Vosto5

  • Best Short Documentary Film 2016: Ten Meter Tower (Hopptornet, Sweden, 2016), dir.  Maximilien Van Aertryck, Axel Danielson

Jury statement: "The film captures engaging and authentic dilemmas of swimmers who are overcoming their fears and personal failures when jumping off a high platform. The trivial situation demonstrates that a little girl and a pensioner can display more courage than a tattooed thug, thus exposing both the ridiculousness and magnificence of the human nature. In this case it applies that the higher the platform, the deeper the film delves. The jury also appreciates the audio-visual style of the film and a good bum flying through the air (in the closing seconds of the film)."



  • Audience Award of the 20th edition of Ji.hlava IDFF: Love Me If You Can (Czech Republic, 2016), dir. Dagmar Smržová



  • Drahomíra Vihanová



  • Best Czech television, video and online report of the past year: Obchod s nadějí (Markéta Dobiášová)