Czech Documentary Joy

Check out our selection of the cream of Czech documentary crop vying for the title of the best documentary film in the “Czech Joy” section at one of the Doc Alliance festivals – Jihlava IDFF. You can now enjoy the fruits of the local documentary harvest directly from your home and join DAFilms.com to celebrate the upcoming twentieth anniversary of the festival. Watch films made by the rising stars and constants on the Czech documentary skies from June 20 to July 3 online for free!

A low-scale student festival that has evolved into the largest documentary showcase in Central and Eastern Europe – this is the story of Jihlava IDFF, one of the founding members of the Doc Alliance festival platform. Thanks to its position at the heart of Europe, JIDFF serves as a unique communication hub interconnecting the West and the East not only in terms of documentary production but also as a space for debate on social issues and burning problems of our day and age. Renowned for its lively atmosphere in which young visitors mingle with film professionals and engage in relentless discussions on the art of documentary cinema, the festival has brought to the Czech Republic many prominent international filmmaking names. Only in the past two years, the festival’s guest included director Peter Tscherkassky, Kidlat Tahimik and Godfrey Reggio, whose masterclasses are free to watch on DAFilms.cz.

Aside from its rich film programme, the Jihlava IDFF serves as the much needed meeting point for film professionals, For five years, JIDFF’s Emerging Producers project has systematically been scouting for new talents in the field of documentary film production, the Festival Identity platform has served as a space for exchange of experience with the festival management, and in collaboration with the Institute of Documentary Film, a unique market for documentaries of Central and Eastern European provenance has been organised under the banner of the East Silver Market.

Already in the summer– only a few months before the start of the festival’s 20th edition held from October 25 to 30– you have a unique chance to tap into the festival vibe and enjoy the selection of the best Czech docs from 2014 and 2015.

In her documentary road movie, THE DANGEROUS WORLD OF DOCTOR DOLEČEK, a FAMU student and fresh laureate of the Pavel Koutecký Award, Kristýna Bartošová, sets out to explore her Bosnian family history, affected by the tragic massacre in Srebrenica. Kristýna decides to discuss these events with a friend of the former chief of Serbian troops Ratko Mladić – a popular Czech physician, Rajko Doleček. Framed by a gradual problematic reconciliation of the young author and the main protagonist, the film was awarded a Special Mention of the jury of the filmmaking debut section at the Jihlava IDFF. Another Special Mention granted at the festival’s previous edition went to TEARS OF STEEL: VLADIMÍR STEHLÍK MEETS LUBOMÍR KRYSTLÍK offering a look behind the scenes of business developments in the freshly established Czech democracy of the 1990s.

The festival audience also has its say: in 2014, the audience award granted by festival visitors was given to a sensitive portrait of a young paedophile called DANIEL’S WORLD. Last year’s visitors chose to give the audience award to a film probe into the life of one of the most influential politicians and business owners, Andrej Babiš. The film entitled MATRIX AB has been directed by renowned Czech documentary director Vít Klusák.

Aside from films recognised at Jihlava IDFF, the programme also features winners of other Czech film prizes. You should not miss LEAN A LADDER AGAINST HEAVEN by this year’s winner of the Czech Lion Awards, Jana Ševčíková, about the confrontation of religious beliefs and the fates of social renegades, and the critically acclaimed documentary cycle GOTTLAND exploring the Czech national character through the eyes of the youngest generation of filmmakers.

Why wait till autumn? Treat yourself to Czech documentary joy already in the summer and celebrate the twentieth anniversary of Jihlava IDFF with DAFilms.cz!

Most of the films in the programme can be watched for free. Some titles are available for a small fee of 1.99 EUR as agreed by the films’ producers.

Selected films

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Doc Alliance Members

Doc Alliance is a creative partnership of 7 key European documentary film festivals. Our aim is to advance the documentary genre, support its diversity and promote quality creative documentary films.