Jarmila Outratova • Head of industry, Jihlava IDFF
by Vladan Petkovic
- Ahead of the 19th edition of the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival (27 October–1 November), Cineuropa speaks to Jarmila Outratova, the gathering's head of industry
This year's Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival will get under way tomorrow. We sat down with Jarmila Outratova, the event's head of industry, to find out what's in store for the upcoming edition.
Cineuropa: Over the years, Jihlava has become the most important hub for documentary film professionals in Central and Eastern Europe. What are the main guidelines you use to draw up its various sections?
Jarmila Outratova: The general idea behind our industry programme is that we try to tailor our activities to all relevant groups of film professionals – we organise the Inspiration Forum mainly for film directors, Festival Identity is designed for festivals' representatives and programmers, while the Emerging Producers programme is aimed at young, talented producers. We have special activities for film and journalism students, and there is much more besides.
Also, a large part of the industry programme is open to the public. There are discussions, master classes, presentations of our Emerging Producers, and we also host a training programme called BDC Discoveries, organised by the Balkan Documentary Center. The public can also attend open classes at the Inspiration Forum and participate in discussions with our special guests – such as this year's Julian Assange, and Masha Alyokhina from Pussy Riot.
The Jihlava Film Festival is lucky to have such a great audience – our guests are young, educated, interested and curious, and it would be a shame not to also open these so-called industry events up to them. Maybe they will return one day as film professionals!
The Emerging Producers workshop is still young, but it has already spawned some important names in European documentary cinema. It also includes a guest country, and so far they have all been Latin American.
We are very proud of the fact that Emerging Producers has become a prestigious title, and it is great to see that many of its holders have proven to be really talented people. They have achieved remarkable results, and I dare say that Jihlava has contributed somewhat to this. In the future, we would love to see more European co-productions being spawned by this programme.
Even though the programme is a very European one, we always try to have someone with a different, non-European perspective. The fact that this guest country has always been from Latin America is the result of the selection process, as the applicants from this region have been the most inspirational and talented. And countries like Colombia and Argentina tend to invest a lot in European co-productions.
Jihlava is unique in its approach to experimental films, is it not?
Passion for experimental films is indeed one of Jihlava's long-term interests. You may know that the slogan of the festival is “Thinking through film”. Thinking – and I would add exploring the boundaries of the documentary genre. We can do that thanks to the fact that we have a real expert on our team – the programmer of our experimental sections, Andrea Slováková. This year, we have even managed to host ten of the most important distributors of experimental film at a special event in Jihlava, called Conference Fascinations.
Ex Oriente is one of the most widely recognised and useful documentary training programmes in Europe, organised by the Institute of Documentary Film (IDF). The IDF also runs the East Silver Market. How does Jihlava fit into it?
The IDF does a great job of promoting documentary film in general. The role of the Jihlava Film Festival here is mainly to provide the space and support for the IDF's activities. Our goals are very compatible, and we believe that this synergy can indeed help to boost the documentary film environment in Central Europe. The East Silver Market has for years been the essential guide to Eastern European documentary cinema for professionals and journalists. It also includes the Silver Eye Award and other activities. A lot of amazing things are happening in our region.