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Jihlava: Industry preview


- The Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival's industry section combines a platform for discussion and education with networking and business activities

Jihlava: Industry preview
A photo from last year's Emerging Producers event (© Jan Hromádko)

The Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival (27 October–1 November) is well known for its rich, wide-ranging industry segment. This year, for the 14th time, the city on the border between Moravia and Bohemia will host some of the most important names from the Eastern and Central European documentary and experimental film industry.

East Silver Market
The East Silver Market, organised by the Prague-based Institute of Documentary Film (IDF), is a film market solely dedicated to the documentary cinema of Central and Eastern Europe. Its main aim is to support the distribution and promotion of documentary films from this region. Each year, about 300 films from more than 29 countries are featured in the market. 

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It offers various services, activities and tools. The printed East Silver Catalogue is issued once a year and is the crucial reference point for recent documentary production in the region. It is mirrored by the online database at, which also features a streaming service for film professionals.

East Silver Caravan is a support tool for the festival distribution of Central and Eastern European documentary films. Every year, a selection of about 30 titles is submitted to more than 120 international film festivals in order to help them get screened and reach their audience.

The Silver Eye Award, which is given out across three categories (feature-, mid-length and short documentaries) to films submitted to the East Silver Market, will be voted on by three international juries. This year, the juries will comprise representatives of new, alternative distribution networks, pop-up cinemas and cinema events.

Out of 30 nominated films, three winners will receive prize money of €1,500 each and year-round festival support within the East Silver Caravan. 

Ex Oriente Film
Established in 2003, the Ex Oriente Film workshop is an international training programme supporting the development and funding of creative documentary films from Central and Eastern Europe. Each year, up to 12 projects are selected and receive assistance from a wide range of film experts, at three week-long residential workshops over the course of the year, each focusing on a different segment of development. The course culminates in the pitching sessions of projects at the East European Forum co-production meeting, in front of Europe's and North America's leading documentary film-industry figures.

From 26-31 October in Jihlava, the IDF will launch its second session workshop, and bring together 27 directors and producers from the Czech Republic,

Croatia, Russia, Hungary, Canada, Switzerland, Slovenia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Romania, France, Slovakia, and Germany. Fourteen renowned European producers, directors, consultants, distributors and broadcasters will come to share their knowledge with newcomers.

The list of projects and further details can be found here.

Emerging Producers 2016
The third edition of Emerging Producers, a promotional and educational project that brings together talented documentary film producers from EU countries, and one guest producer from a non-EU country, will take place from 28 October-1 November. The objective of the workshop is to connect talented European producers with other film professionals working in the documentary field. It should also facilitate the participants’ access to information about the audiovisual field, and give them a clearer and wider perspective of the film market.

The list of the 17 participants from the EU and the guest from Colombia can be found here.

DOC.STREAM is a project aimed at presenting the documentary production of the selected countries, and connecting film professionals from the Czech Republic and partner countries.

This year, the partners are Norway, Switzerland, France and Ukraine. DOC.STREAM also offers a wide range of industry activities, and continues the long-term effort to engage film-school students in industry activities on the national and international levels.

More detailed information can be found here.

Inspiration Forum
Aiming to bring together creative documentary filmmakers and significant personalities from outside the film community, the Inspiration Forum is a platform hosting three main guests from all fields of human knowledge. It is a unique opportunity for filmmakers to receive knowledge and experience from significant individuals who are rarely available to talk to the general public. 

This year’s guests are indeed inspiring personalities, who will have Open Class discussions with filmmakers. First up, on 29 October, is probably the most famous name connected to this year's festival: Julian Assange, who will tune in via Skype. 

On 30 October, the Open Class will be held by Masha Alyokhina of Pussy Riot, who will be joined by three Russian political activists: Polina Nemirovskaya, of the human-rights organisation Open Russia; Ksenia Zhivago from Zone of Rights, an organisation defending the rights of Russian prisoners; and Aleksandr Sofeev, a photographer and political activist.

Finally, on 31 October, the floor will be given to Osama Abdul Mohsen, a football coach and refugee from Syria who suddenly became world-famous after the video in which a Hungarian TV reporter tripped him and his little son up went viral.

Conference Fascinations
Conference Fascinations, on 28 October, will be about the distribution of experimental documentary films. The distributors specialising in this kind of movie play a key role in the infrastructure of avant-garde cinema. The conference will introduce their work and examples of best practice, and will focus on curating, archiving, economical function and communication with various presentation channels, such as festivals, galleries and online platforms.

The speakers are representatives of experimental film distribution companies from the USA, Canada, Austria, France, Holland, the UK and Finland, who will take part in three panel discussions. For the full programme and list of speakers, click here.

Festival Identity
The networking platform for representatives of film festivals with various formats and programme orientations will take place from 28-30 October.

This year’s workshop will host representatives of festivals such as the Berlinale, IndieLisboa, Busan IFF, Bergen IFF, True/False FF, Crossing Europe, Astra FF, 25FPS Festival Zagreb, Isola Cinema IFF, Tromsø IFF and Visions du Reél. The programme includes lectures, discussions, focused meetings and Festival Hub, a public presentation of festivals.

The programme also includes a competitive exhibition of festival posters.

Media and Documentary
The ninth workshop for creative writing on documentary films will take place from 28 October-1 November. It is a seminar for students of Media and Communication that gives them a chance to work under the supervision of experienced Czech and international mentors, and learn how to look at documentary films from various perspectives, subject them to analysis, and find and formulate arguments that can best support their main propositions.

The numerous other industry activities include panel discussions on the funding of Czech documentary film, on TV space for documentaries in the Nordic countries, and about HBO Europe Docs; case studies on digital file sharing; a lecture on documentary film and cross-media; a presentation of the Balkan Documentary Center's international project development programme, BDC Discoveries; and a demonstration of NARRA software. 

The guests and the public will have the opportunity to partake in master classes led by Laurent Bécue-Renard, Lordan Zafranovic, Thomas A Østbye, Artavazd Peleshyan, Fred Kelemen, Viktor Kossakovsky, Anja Salomonowitz, Claire Atherton and the international group of visual artists Flatform.

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