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JIHLAVA 2023 Jihlava Industry

Ji.hlava begins to unveil its open industry programme


- The largest Czech documentary festival’s industry strand bridges the gap between European talents and US film professionals, and will explore ethical and technological boundaries in documentary

Ji.hlava begins to unveil its open industry programme
A previous edition of Ji.hlava's Matchmaking Accelerator

The 27th edition of the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival (IDFF) has published details of its open industry programme. The industry events will kick off on 25 October with the traditional Czech Joy in the Spotlight showcase, a presentation featuring the latest Czech documentaries. In a celebration of the promising future in store for European docs, the evening will showcase the Emerging Producers 2024 initiative, presenting 19 up-and-coming documentary film producers from across Europe.

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26 October offers a deep dive into the realm of European documentary projects with the Ji.hlava New Visions Forum. Here, documentary aficionados can expect insightful pitching presentations of fresh European projects. An interesting side note: a parallel programme running throughout the day is a Conference on Ethics in Documentary Filmmaking, a pertinent topic in today's evolving documentary landscape. The festival's industry strand will certainly not ignore the technological advancements in film, organising the Visegrad Accelerator on the Thursday evening. This segment not only delves into the reality and virtual worlds of the V4 countries, but also culminates in a VR awards ceremony, lauding the best in virtual reality works.

Friday 27 October shifts the focus westwards with the Ji.hlava New Visions Forum – US Docs, providing a platform for pitching presentations of projects from the United States. This strand showcases ten diverse US projects, fostering connections between documentary filmmakers from the country and European industry stakeholders, with past selections having premiered at major festivals like SXSW and Tribeca. This year’s selection of US projects includes Barbara Hammer Project by Brydie O'Connor, which delves into the life and works of the titular experimental filmmaker, traversing her career, lesbian-themed stories and battle with cancer; and Melissa Langer’s In Excess, which portrays Philadelphia's struggle against waste, examining its transformation from the country's cleanest to dirtiest city. Also among the selected projects is co-production between the USA and the Czech Republic, Revolution 3.0 by Reza Bird, which captures the potency of social media for activism, particularly in areas under censorship, while narrating Bird’s personal growth and the sociopolitical context of Iran. Jessica Bardsley’s The Cave Without a Name artistically navigates the concept of nighttime, connecting punk resistance and nature's nocturnal wonders, while Lynne Siefert’s Valley of the Night envisions a 2037-era Phoenix, illustrating the city's nocturnal shift in response to escalating temperatures. Finally Riley Hooper’s Vestibule intertwines documentary and dance to narrate a woman's pursuit of sexual agency across generations.

The industry programme will also host an initiative called Book to Film, where European writers will pitch film ideas based on their recently released books. The evening will celebrate the French focus at the 27th Ji.hlava IDFF in conjunction with the French Institute and Unifrance. The weekend kicks off with an exploration of the changes in the audiovisual industry via a panel discussion on the Saturday (28 October), followed by insights into co-producing with French filmmakers and the funding opportunities provided by Creative Europe – MEDIA.

The industry programme of the 27th Ji.hlava IDFF runs from 24-28 October.

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