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Jihlava 2021 – Industry

Country Focus: Czech Republic

Ji.hlava IDFF adds the New Visions Forum and Market to its industry strand


- The new financing, co-production and networking event aims to support European documentary production, and foster connections between European film professionals and US filmmakers

Ji.hlava IDFF adds the New Visions Forum and Market to its industry strand
Mara by Sasha Kulak

The Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival has launched a new initiative within its industry sidebar, a financing, co-production and networking event dubbed the Ji.hlava New Visions Forum. “The pandemic has provided us with the space to re-think our world and the usual approaches. It made us search for new opportunities and synergies, and explore the dynamics brought about by the digital world,” state festival director Marek Hovorka and the head of the industry office, Jarmila Outratová. They add that the aim of New Visions is to “create a viable form of cooperation across Europe, giving fair representation to all of its regions, and balancing mutual influences and inspirations”.

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The inaugural edition includes a selection of European projects in development as well as projects in production and post-production by the young generation of filmmakers. Among them are One of Us, a Romanian participatory documentary by Rachel Close about a protagonist seeking out her birth family 30 years after being adopted; an epic French-Italian-Mexican documentary called With a Gun in Hand, I Crossed the Dessert, about a man who lived several lives, helmed by Laurence Garret; and a Danish film called Intruders, about five people battling different invasive species in their local environments.

The projects in production and post-production include Karen Alexander’s documentary Necropolis, following the construction of massive underground burial tunnels excavated under the biggest Jewish cemetery in Jerusalem; the Czech project Who Is Missing Today? by Květa Přibylová, examining the links between man, birds and the landscape; and Sasha Kulak’s hybrid documentary essay Mara, about “the fear that took over Belarus”.

The new initiative also has a platform dedicated to US documentary projects at the development and production stages, Ji.hlava New Visions Forum: US Docs, where American filmmakers can seek potential partnerships and deals with European co-producers, distributors, sales representatives and film festivals. The Ji.hlava New Visions Forum will be accompanied by an online market, the Ji.hlava New Visions Market.

Furthermore, the industry programme will include the traditional presentation of new Czech documentary films selected for the main festival competition, Czech Joy in the Spotlight; an introduction to the participants in the tenth edition of the Emerging Producers initiative; a panel discussion on the current trends in the V4 countries, Visegrad Panel Discussion; a panel discussion with female producers called “My Vision vs My Life”; and the Matchmaking Accelerator. The festival’s industry menu also boasts the seventh edition of the Conference Fascinations, which will be focusing on the distribution and presentation of experimental films. This year, it is devoted to the creation of manuals for effective communication between filmmakers and institutions that present experimental films and moving images.

The 2021 Ji.hlava industry programme unspools from 27-30 October, and more details are available here.

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