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JIHLAVA 2023 Jihlava Industry

The Ji.hlava New Visions Forum spotlights emerging European documentaries


- The industry strand will feature a diverse range of European projects that address topics ranging from sociopolitical challenges and personal introspection to art and mental health

The Ji.hlava New Visions Forum spotlights emerging European documentaries
Still Nia by Paula Onet

The 27th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival (IDFF, 24-29 October) is set to showcase a slew of European documentaries at its third Ji.hlava New Visions Forum on 26 October. In addition to the already-announced US documentary projects (see the news), this year's selection encompasses 14 works, mirroring the continent's diverse storytelling spirit, and tackling topics from sociopolitical struggles to introspective explorations.

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At the heart of many of these documentaries is the theme of resilience in the face of adversity. Kristina Leidenfrostova's 600 Raids homes in on the harsh realities for the Slovak Roma, delving into the lasting trauma from police raids. Similarly, Women Walk Home by Stephanie Andreou revisits the history of Cyprus post-1974 invasion, focusing on the women who dared to challenge an occupying army. Notably, the Czech project You Never Just Walk Away by Rozálie Kohoutová straddles fiction and reality, capturing the paradoxical strength of women survivors in a domestic-violence shelter.

While some projects turn to history for inspiration, others dive deep into the intricacies of the human psyche. Mindscapes by Lina Zacher takes an avant-garde approach to mental health, marrying sonic and visual elements to encapsulate the emotional landscapes of individuals with mental illness. Similarly, Paula Onet's Still Nia fuses documentary with hybrid elements, charting a woman's dance-driven journey to reconnecting with her body after a prolonged period of hospitalisation.

Politics and its repercussions form another compelling motif. Artifacts of War by Jorge Caballero provides a chilling exposé on the world's armament fairs and the sinister undertones of non-lethal weapons. This contrasts starkly with One Inch Eastward, which traces the political journey from Bush-Yeltsin to the rise of Putin, juxtaposed with Europe's return to war.

Delving into the world of art and personal introspection, Georg Tiller's Godsterminal offers a surrealistic journey through the memories of an ageing Sudanese man, peppered with nods to Ingmar Bergman's cinematic legacy. Lost Paradise, on the other hand, paints a mosaic of Beirut’s resilient inhabitants navigating the aftermath of tragedies.

Several selections offer a cross-cultural lens, such as Society by Thomas Østbye, which poses profound questions about societal values across Norwegian and Indonesian backdrops. If Pigeons Turned to Gold is a mosaic-style family narrative taking in universities and unhoused individuals in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Personal struggles find a voice in projects like The Ferryman, which chronicles the challenges of a young Ukrainian with the titular profession, and Riding with Ghosts, a reflection on a war photojournalist's battle with PTSD.

In addition to these projects, which range from being in development to the post-production stage, the Ji.hlava New Visions Co-production Market will feature even more European documentary projects.

Here are all 14 European projects set to be presented in the third Ji.hlava New Visions Forum:

600 Raids - Kristina Leidenfrostova (Austria/Slovakia)
Producers: Jürgen Karasek, Alice Karasek, Matej Sotník (Soleil Film, guča films)

Artifacts of War - Jorge Caballero (Colombia/Uruguay/Spain)
Producer: Anna Giralt Gris (Gusano Films, Artefacto Films)

Godsterminal - Georg Tiller (Austria/Sweden)
Producer: Maéva Ranaïvojaona (Subobscura Films)

If Pigeons Turned to Gold - Pepa Lubojacki (Czech Republic/Slovakia)
Producers: Wanda Kaprálová, Klára Mamojková (CLAW)

Lost Paradise - Nicola von Leffern, Jakob Carl Sauer (Austria)
Producers: Arash T Riahi, Sabine Gruber, Peter Drössler (Golden Girls Film)

Marathon - Peter Kerekes (Slovakia/Czech Republic/Hungary)
Producers: Peter Kerekes, Tereza Tokárová (kerekesfilm)

Mindscapes - Lina Zacher (Germany)
Producer: Delphine Bishop (Pylon Studio UG)

One Inch Eastward - Brendan Culleton, Irina Maldea (Romania/Bulgaria/Ireland)
Producer: Brendan Culleton (akajavafilms)

Riding with Ghosts - Piotr Malecki, Maciej Nabrdalik (Poland)
Producers: Joanna Tatko, Piotr Malecki (Short Docs Media)

Society - Thomas Østbye (Norway/Indonesia)
Producer: Ellen Ugelstad (Twentyone Pictures)

Still Nia - Paula Onet (Romania/France)
Producers: Ada Solomon, Diana Caravia (microFILM)

The Ferryman - Pavlo Dorohoi (Ukraine)
Producer: Olha Symonenko ( LLC)

Women Walk Home - Stephanie Andreou (Cyprus)
Producer: Adrián Gutiérrez (Caretta Films [CPN] Ltd)

You Never Just Walk Away - Rozálie Kohoutová (Czech Republic)
Producer: Martina Knoblochová (Punk Film)

In other news, the festival spot for the 27th edition of the Ji.hlava IDFF has been shot by Albert Serra. Check it out below:

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