My Street Films Reveals the Stories of Your Street, City and Surroundings
Before you put yourselves and your cameras to winter sleep, have a look at this year’s harvest of My Street Films. The project that invites the general public to make their own short films from their surroundings expanded from its British home to the Czech Republic in 2014 and further to Slovakia, Poland and Hungary in 2015. From November 30 to December 6, you can watch the best films from Central Europe’s streets from the comfort of your home completely for free.
This week you have a unique chance to compare the topics that reverberate through the streets of Central Europe and see how the winners of the Czech, Slovak and Hungarian competition approached their short documentaries. The Czech Republic is represented by the film Follow the Arrows by Petra Krejčová. The director sets out on an exciting journey following the arrows that mark the streets of Pilsen. Besides merely pointing in a certain direction, the arrows can also allude to the time of their origin. Would you take a guess what these simple symbols mean?
In her film The News Collector, the winner of the Slovak competition Monika Vaškorová sets out to the village of Modrý Kameň, following its stories and problems from the perspective of the film’s protagonist – a postwoman who learns more than the names and addresses of her neighbours when delivering the mail. Capturing their short talks, the film will give you an idea of the country life in Slovakia without forcing a socially critical perspective of the local community on you. The winner of the category of submitted film ideas which the filmmakers could consult with professional documentarists is Vtáčnik or a letter to the developer by Eva Križková. The film deals with a dilemma that any growing city may face one day: what to do with the remains of nature on the periphery which is an ideal place for lucrative building plots at the same time? On a relatively small area, the interests of gardeners, old residents and nature lovers who do not want to give up the last piece of urban wilderness clash with those of developers and urban “incomers“ who want to build a neat residential district in a quiet part of the city yet within view of its centre.
The Hungarian competition is represented by the film Szép Új Világ inspired by Aldous Huxley’s novel Brave New World. Dynamic shots make up a mosaic of contemporary Budapest where you will find things that other European capitals have as well: historical monuments, polished new buildings and remains of urban vegetation. People, too, are part of the city, whether they are random passers-by, tourists, the homeless or participants in mass demonstrations that flood the city with their mass hysteria. Is modern and fast-moving city life really a presage of the end of civilization as envisioned by Aldous Huxley?
If you feel like making more discoveries after your trip through Central Europe, you can choose among many other destinations. The poetic character of Prague’s Vítkov Park has been captured by Burmese student Khin Khin Hsu in her film The Place. Tomáš Luňák and his film Probe look at the Tomáš Baťa Monument in Zlín through the prism of architecture. Jaroslav Kratochvíl and the participants in his workshop made a portrait of Elektra Cinema, Czechoslovakia’s former largest cinema, and its last projectionist Jiří Korda. You can reflect on the theme of borders and national identity with Marie Lukáčová, or on the theme of addictions and the meaningfulness of city planning with Lena Kušnieriková. Last but not least, you can watch the short film made for My Street Films by Czech documentarist Filip Remunda; through police records, he follows a water mains burst, the story of a stolen wallet as well as of a man masturbating on the top of a tree at Letná district. Get a hot drink, wrap yourselves in a blanket and see what the spring and the summer have brought in Central Europe’s streets.
Films for the event
The Place (Orig.) / 2015 / Czech Republic / 6 min
Everyone has their favourite place where they can hide away from a problem or they can soothe their mind. This short film takes place at Vitkov park in Prague 3. It is presenting how the filmmaker see the difference between Czech and Burmese culture.
Hraničná ulica (Orig.) / 2015 / Slovakia / 5 min
For almost 20 years, there has been a rehabilitation centre for clients with drug, alcohol and gambling addictions at Hraničná Street. Two years ago, a gambling club was built on the very same street. I grew up there and I came to like the clients as a child. That is one of the reasons why I was taken aback by the new gambling club in close proximity of the centre.
Zberatel'ka správ (Orig.) / 2015 / Slovakia / 9 min
The picture of a time period which the citizens from Modrý Kameň live nowadays in. The stories of people told through their dialogues with a postwoman who is a part of their everyday life. At first sight, the postwoman is a bearer of messages to people, but she is actually a collector of their life stories.
Úřední záznam z Jungmannova náměstí (Orig.) / 2015 / Czech Republic / 3 min
A testimony on a pipeline damage incident, theft and two official records from one police station in the Prague city centre, disturbing the peaceful Christmas spirit during which blood is drained.
Sonda (Orig.) / 2015 / Czech Republic / 3 min
The Tomáš Baťa Monument, designed by architect František Lydie Gahura well-known for his designs in the city of Zlín commissioned by Tomáš Baťa, is one of the masterpieces of Zlín’s functionalism. It is currently closed. What will happen to it in five years?
ČHOS (Československé Hraničářské a Obranné Společenství) (Orig.) / 2015 / Czech Republic / 9 min
Interview with members of a fictitious Czech Border Defence Society (CBDS) which represents a form of docu-fiction. In the first half, the viewer is confronted with historical information, personal life's tragedies and scenery shots of the ruins after the infamous Czechoslovak financial contribution (Bunkers of the pre-war fortification)...
Stopovaná (Orig.) / 2015 / Czech Republic / 4 min
As it follows the arrows painted on old building facades in Pilsen, this short documentary asks passers-by if the know their origin and purpose. Some people have no idea that the arrows were ever anything more than way-markers, while others remember the time when they were drawn.