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- 22.6.2015 9:34 -

Eternal or Factual 19th Jihlava IDFF?


The Doc Alliance festival season is in full swing! While the film world is preparing for the baking hot Marseille, the fall stop on the film festival map, Jihlava IDFF, is also getting ready; quite intensely in fact. The 19th edition is inspired by the theme of eternity and the festival visitors will be inspired by a truly exceptional guest – Julian Assange.

Do you say that time flies more and more often? Then do not hesitate to note down the dates of Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival in bold letters in your diaries. From October 27 to November 1, the festival will turn one of Czech Republic’s quaint towns into a centre of the European documentary scene for the nineteenth time. The unusual story of the festival, originally a local student activity that grew to become an internationally acclaimed film competition, inspires its filmmakers to look for new original themes each year. After the fuming smokestacks of factories and a rich harvest of the past years, this year’s visual theme of the festival is that of “eternity”. The theme will interconnect all of the festival activities, ranging from the original poster made by the festival’s traditional graphic designer Juraj Horváth to the programme sections of the rich film offer.

“The keen eye of the viewer can see how easily the “Eternity” on Jihlava’s poster can become “Factuality”, and vice versa. This Czech play on words is expressing a powerful metaphor; we are interested in documentaries that are capable of using factuality to change the palpable into metaphysical eternity,” says director Marek Hovorka, explaining the theme of the festival’s upcoming edition and the design of this year’s poster.

A theme that is both eternal and factual will be presented by one of the main international guests of the festival, journalist and founder of WikiLeaks Julian Assange. He will introduce himself to the viewers during a public debate and he will also cooperate with selected filmmakers as a tutor of the Inspiration Forum. In the course of five days, the forum will hold meetings of documentary filmmakers and other leading personalities of the present society. Last year, the forum hosted Russian artist Petr Pavlensky; in the previous years, the invited guests included the female activist group FEMEN and Nobel Prize-winning Chinese writer Gao Xingjian. The director of Jihlava IDFF is well aware of the exclusivity of the presence of Julian Assange: “We have been trying to get Mr. Assange involved in the festival’s programme for over three years and we highly value his promise to participate, albeit through the mediation of the Ecuador Embassy. It is known that he rarely makes public appearances. Visitors of Jihlava IDFF will have a unique chance to ask him various questions. As part of the Inspiration Forum, Julian Assange will also collaborate with selected documentarists on their work.”

Besides a great portion of inspiration, film professionals can also look forward to the intensive Emerging Producers workshop, offering five days of networking and consulting to young talented producers from the European Union. Film festival directors, too, have their place in the festival’s industry programme. In the course of two days, they meet at the Festival Identity platform, discussing various common themes (last year, for instance, they discussed communication with media representatives) and presenting their festival to a wide audience during a special evening event.

However, despite all the professional activities, the core of Jihlava IDFF still belongs to the growing base of documentary viewers. They constitute an integral part of the unique festival atmosphere of crowded screening halls and long debates after the films. Since the festival breaks the box office records each year, it will open a new, already seventh screening hall seating up to 400 viewers on the occasion of the 19th festival edition. During the six festival days, over a hundred films will be screened at Jihlava’s screening halls. The high quality of the films is proved for instance by the fact that I Am the People by French director Anna Roussillon, screened in world premiere at Jihlava IDFF and also nominated for Doc Alliance Selection Award 2015, was selected for the prestigious programme of Cannes IFF. The strong programme selection of Jihlava IDFF has been recently confirmed by the fact that it has been included in a group of festivals nominating films for the European Film Award.

Those who find the fall date of the festival too distant have a unique chance to meet the festival representatives during Karlovy Vary International Film Festival that will host the Docu Talents from the East programme on July 7.

Waiting for the 19th edition of Jihlava IDFF will definitely not be eternal!

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