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East Doc Platform 2021

Country Focus: Czech Republic

REPORT: East Doc Platform 2021


- Cineuropa profiles the winning projects of this year's East Doc Platform

REPORT: East Doc Platform 2021
Lagoons. A Battle for Paradise by Serhiy Lysenko

Last week, the East Doc Platform in Prague gave out the awards of its tenth edition, which took place online 6-17 March

We profile the winning projects, except for those covered before and which include 72 Hours by Anna Savchenko at FIFDH Geneve, Kix - A Story of a Street Kid at Sarajevo's Docu Rough Cut Boutique and The Trans Syrian Express at Baltic Sea Docs.

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East Doc Platform Award, Current Time TV Director’s Award

Lagoons. A Battle for Paradise - Serhiy Lysenko (Ukraine)
Produced by Anna Kapustina and Oleksandra Kravchenko of Kyiv-based Albatros Communicos, famous for The Earth Is Blue as an Orange [+see also:
film review
interview: Iryna Tsilyk
film profile
, the second feature-length documentary by Lysenko is an "environmental Western" set in the Tuzla Estuaries national park on the Black Sea coast. It follows two employees of the park as they fight aggressive poachers, corrupt officials and illegal developers. The film is currently in production and is expected to be ready for release this coming July.

The Boundaries of Fidelity by Diana Fabiánová

Golden Funnel Award

The Boundaries of Fidelity - Diana Fabiánová (Slovakia/Czech Republic/Bulgaria)
For this intimate and very personal film, Fabiánová, whose previous feature documentary The Moon Inside You screened at Locarno in 2009, has teamed up with producer Silvia Panáková of Arina Ltd. The director explores the issues of marriage and monogamy through her own story with her husband Tomáš, both children of families in which infidelity played a crucial role, as well as through interviews with friends and experts. Viktor Schwarcz of Cineart TV Prague is on board as co-producer, and the film is in late development, expected to be finished by November 2022.

A Year of Endless Days by Renata Lučić

Ex Oriente Fine Cut Award

A Year of Endless Days - Renata Lučić (Croatia)
Another personal project that looks at wider connotations of its subject matter, A Year of Endless Days is Lučić's first feature documentary, developed together with producer Tamara Babun of Zagreb-based Wolfgang&Dolly. In the director's home village, there are only men left as their wives found new lives abroad. Among them are her own father Tomislav and his best friend Joso, and she spends time with them, exploring why the women left, why the men never fought for a better life for themselves and what being a family really means. The film is expected to be ready by September.

Smiling Georgia by Luka Beradze

Cut Thru the Noise Award

Smiling Georgia - Luka Beradze (Georgia/Germany)
The director's first feature-length documentary, made with Tbilisi-based 1991 Productions' Nino Chuchua and Anna Khazaradze in co-production with Eva Blondiau of Germany's Color of May, looks at the bizarre consequences of the 2012 election campaign by then-president Saakashvili's party. Promising new teeth to all elderly citizens, they had gone around pulling their old teeth out, and after they lost the elections, dentists informed the toothless grannies and grandpas that the promise had been forgotten. The film follows four such protagonists ahead of the 2020 elections, and is expected to be released in September.

Swinging Fields by Sareen Hairabedian

IDFA Spotlight Award

Swinging Fields - Sareen Hairabedian (Jordan/USA /Ireland/France)
The first documentary feature by the director, who is based between Jordan and the US, follows 11-year-old boy Vrej who was born as a result of a mass wedding aimed at spiking birth rate in the Republic of Artaskh, the disputed Nagorno-Karabakh region between Armenia and Azerbaijan. Born in a militarized society, Vrej has a responsibility to protect and prosper his homeland, as he journeys back from displacement into his war-torn home. This co-production between Azza Hourani of the US company HAI Creative, Julie Paratian of France's Sister Productions and David Rane of Ireland's Soilsiú Films is expected to be ready by February 2022.

I'm Not Everything I Want to Be by Klára Tasovská

DOK Leipzig Co-Production Market Award

I'm Not Everything I Want to Be - Klára Tasovská (Czech Republic/Slovakia)
The director re-teams with producer Lukáš Kokeš with whom she co-directed Fortress [+see also:
film profile
(Best Czech documentary at Ji.hlava IDFF 2012) and Nothing Like Before (IDFA First Appearance 2017) for this story of the photographer Libuše Jarcovjáková who suddenly achieved success after 53 years of work. She has been capturing her life full of twists and turns in thousands of pictures and autoportraits, but she still cannot see her real self in them. A co-production between Prague-based Somatic Films, Slovakia's nutprodukcia and the Czech national broadcaster, it should be completed by May 2022.

Mastery by Kateřina Turečková

DOK Leipzig Preview Award

Mastery - Kateřina Turečková (Czech Republic)
The director's first feature is a documentary about manipulation based on an encounter with prominent Czech sculptor Pavel Opočenský who was sentenced to 7.5 years in prison for sexual abuse of girls under 15. Turečková builds a critical essay that navigates a network of characters to probe the principles of power and manipulation against the backdrop of Opočenský’s life and recollections. The film is produced by Klára Mamojková, Wanda Kaprálová and Vít Janeček for Prague-based D1film and should be ready for release in November 2022.

One for the Team by Katarzyna Wiśniowska

DAE Encouragement Prize

One for the Team - Katarzyna Wiśniowska (Poland)
In her first feature, the director, a former judoka, tells the story of a Belgian family in which the mother, Sanae, is a boxer, and the daughter follows in her footsteps. Their entire routine depends on the needs of Sanae, who seemingly never tasted defeat. This changes when she loses an important championship. The film is produced by Tomasz Morawski and Marcin Kupiecki for Warsaw-based HAKA Films and is expected to be finished by December 2022.

Swarm - Ula Przybylska (Poland/Hungary)
This VR project, which took part in East Doc Interactive, is directed by the Polish animator and game developer, and produced by Hungary's Viktória Szabó. It combines a group of women protesting Poland's abortion ban, with a colony of bees as they swarm over a city to confront unacceptable changes that have been forced upon them. It is expected to be released in January 2022.

Blix by Greta Stocklassa

Pitch the Doc Award

Blix - Greta Stocklassa (Czech Republic/Sweden)
After her excellent debut Kiruna - A Brand New World [+see also:
film review
film profile
, the Czech-Swedish filmmaker takes on a more directly political topic for her sophomore effort: her protagonist is the Swedish diplomat Hans Blix, UN's chief weapons inspector in 2003 in Iraq. Despite his report that didn't confirm the existence of nuclear weapons, the US and its allies launched the invasion. In the final stretch of his life, Blix is looking back. A co-production between Radovan Síbrt and Alžběta Karásková of Czech Republic's PINK and Sweden's Sisyfos Film Production, it should be ready for release in 2022.

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