15th Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival 2011
October 25-30, 2011
15! Jihlava IDFF
“Release Jafar Panahi!“; such was the call of the greatest festival of creative documentary film in Central and Eastern Europe in 2011. In this way, we joined the protests against the arrest of significant Iranian director Jafar Panahi who had been sentenced to six years in prison. The current social unrest was also evoked by the festival’s graphic design created for the 11th time by renowned graphic designer, illustrator and publisher Juraj Horváth. The atmosphere was further supported by the festival trailer with the motive of the burning bush by Lukeš Kokeš and Klára Tasovská.
The anniversary Jihlava IDFF screened 229 films of all lengths from a total of more than 2500 submissions. Documentary and experimental films came to Jihlava from 41 countries of the world; 56 films were screened in world premiere, 13 films in international premiere and 7 films in European premiere.
Spanish cinema director Basilio Martín Patino (81) came to Jihlava IDFF for the first time to present his most important films about the regime of Francisco Franco as well as some of his other films to the festival visitors.
Woody Vasulka, a famous video artist, introduced his early works and was present at the launch of Dialogue with the (Demons in the) Tool, a book about Woody and Steina Vasulka written by Lenka Dolanská and published by AMU Press in cooperation with the festival.
Peter Kubelka, a legendary figure of avant-garde film of the second half of the 20th century, who represents the Viennese School of Formal Films, organized a workshop to talk about his most famous films.
Jihlava IDFF opened with the world premiere of the documentary film 24, with most of its 24 directors present, including Jiří Krejčík, Drahomíra Vihanová, Helena Třeštíková, and Olga Sommerová.
Jiří Krejčík returned to Jihlava one more time in the course of the festival to attend the screenings of his early films presented in the living room of a Jihlava household within the third edition of Your Home Festival.
Winners of the Competition Sections
Opus Bonum - Best World Documentary
James T. Hong, the single juror of the section, awarded the film Lost Land by Belgian director Pierre-Yves Vandeweerd.
“Lost Land’s simple cinematic gestures express a fleeting beauty infused with a knowing sadness -- that questions our own ignorance of the Sahrawi situation. Its political resistance isn’t overtly propagandized, but rather modestly presented as a lost series ofprofoundly beautiful images and scenes, which lead the viewer closer and closer to an almost imaginary but all-too-physical wall. To me, Lost Land is an urgent, aestheticized work of mourning -- a lost memory of a lost people in a lost landscape filmed in a lost format.”
Between the Seas – Best Central and East European Documentary
The jury, composed of Paolo Benzi, Pavel Jech, Necati Sönmez and Aida Vallejo, awarded the film Bakhmaro by Georgian director Salome Jashi.
“With an attentive and personal approach the filmmaker transforms an ordinary microcosm into a unique narrative and playful visual experience.
Through an effective and assured cinematic language this film reveals the mood and the spirit of a society struggling with its internal hopes and contradictions.
For its respect, artistry and quest for surprise the award for the Best film of “The Between the Seas” Competition goes to Bakhmaro by Salome Jashi.”
The jury further awarded the Film New Europe Visegrad Prix 2011 to Karel Vachek for his film Obscurantist and His Lineage or The Pyramids’ Tearful Valley.
“By engaging enduring philosophical themes and by constantly tinkering with the crafts of cinema the filmmaker courageously demonstrates how cinema can contribute and enrich the modes of human perception and thinking.
The film reveals an uncompromising faith in humanity – especially when recognizing its innumerable failings – and an enthusiastic personal belief in cinema as an inexhaustible form of expression and experience.
For its rhapsodic effort to expand the responsibilities of filmmaking the award for Best Central & Eastern Co-production goes to Obscurantist and His Lineage or the Pyramids’ Tearful Valleys by Karel Vachek.”
Fascinations – Best Experimental Documentary
Traditionally composed of members of a single family – Alice Růžičková, Jan Růžička, Vítek Růžička and two-year-old Kajetán Růžička, the jury awarded the film Endeavour by Austrian director Johann Lurf.
“We were most fascinated by the film Endeavour which regularly combines the scenes from six cameras placed in a space shuttle. The resulting film is similar to the functioning of the human brain which also interconnects the functioning of the left and right hemisphere into a single whole. Although the film was made by a machine and shows primarily the machine, it is most telling of mankind as such. At the beginning, the spectator watches the camera images, however, the regular rhythm of image and sound provides space for reflection.”
Czech Joy – Best Czech Documentary
Before announcing the name of the winner, the jury, composed of Terezie Pokorná, Jiří David, Josef Pazderka, Ondřej Provazník and Martin Dušek, mentioned that they were deeply impressed by the films Obscurantist and His Lineage or the Pyramids‘ Tearful Valleys and A Catapult of Fate. Special Mention for “a different approach to film” went to the Rafani art collective and their film 31 Endings / 31 Beginnings.
“After a long and contradictory decision making process, the jury decided to award the Best Czech Documentary award to the surprising and cinematographically impressive depiction of Czech development help in Zambia, the film Solar Eclipse by Martin Mareček.”
- For more detail on juries and presented awards, please, go to the Juries and Awards section.