In the first week of March, while international audiences have a chance to virtually watch the Silver Eye Nominees selection, Prague will host the third edition of meetings of film professionals called East Doc Platform. DAFilms.com has discussed the platform as well as other new projects focused on the support and development of European documentary with IDF representative Filip Šebek.
The Silver Eye Award, presented to documentary films made in Central and Eastern Europe; the nominees for which from 2012 and 2013 are available at DAFilms.com from March 3 to 9, 2014 for free; is only the tip of the iceberg of the activities of the Institute of Documentary Film and its East Silver documentary platform. In the first week of March, while international audiences have a chance to virtually watch the Silver Eye Nominees selection, Prague will host the third edition of meetings of film professionals called East Doc Platform. DAFilms.com has discussed the platform as well as other new projects focused on the support and development of European documentary with IDF representative Filip Šebek.
Although the Institute of Documentary Film is an established and leading international institution, its name may be new to some international, non-European audiences. How would you briefly introduce the main mission and activities of the Institute?
Since 2001, IDF has supported East European documentary film and its promotion on the European level. It helps directors and independent producers with the development, production, promotion and distribution of their new works. Our website www.DOKweb.net introduces their further progress, and frequently their success at film festivals, to the local and international documentary community as well as to the interested public.
Which of the Institute’s projects receives the greatest attention this year? How will you address film professionals and the public?
The key event will be the third edition of East Doc Platform; an event focusing on the creative, financial and distribution support of documentary films in all stages of development. The event will be held from March 3 to 9 in the Cervantes Institute and Divadlo Komedie in association with One World Human Rights Documentary Film Festival in Prague. East Doc Platform will provide networking opportunities for more than 120 Central and East European directors and producers and almost 70 key European and North American festival programmers, commissioning editors, buyers, distributors and sales and fund representatives. Like in the past year, we have also prepared a rich programme including lectures, seminars, panel discussions and master classes, a part of which will be open to the public again.
Yes, the lectures will also be attended by DAFilms.com representatives! This year’s programme of East Doc Platform introduces a brand new section called Doc Tank. What should one expect from it?
Doc Tank is a new programme of IDF held from March 5 to 7. It is aimed at cross-media projects with an activist approach and a potential for social campaigns and for projects transcending the limits of the film medium towards performance, visual arts and music. It will include a two-day workshop, one-on-one meetings with representatives of funds, televisions, non-profit organizations and distribution companies, and a final public presentation.
What is the goal of Doc Tank; and, with regard to the diversity of the individual media (e.g. film, visual arts, design, video games), what will it offer to its participants?
The goal of Doc Tank is to become a development lab for projects with cross-media elements or for projects related to a larger social campaign realized across several platforms and genres. For each of the projects, there will be a tailor-made programme and selected experts focusing on new media, web design, art projects, crowdfunding and distribution, who will help with the project’s further development and plan a suitable strategy for it.
Seen from a bird’s eye view, the activities of IDF seem extremely extensive. However, are they successful as well?
We have already supported more than 150 documentary films in various stages of development and we are happy that a number of them have received prestigious awards at international festivals. Several documentaries awarded at a number of festivals have gone through the East European Forum and East Silver programmes, including Village Without Women (Croatia, France, 2010), Pit No. 8 (Estonia, Russia, 2010) and Sofia’s Last Ambulance (Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, 2012); the latter was awarded at Cannes and Karlovy Vary IFF. The same programmes plus the Ex Oriente Film workshop also helped Latvia’s Oscar nominee Ramin (Georgia, Latvia, 2011), the documentary essay Trains of Thoughts (Austria, 2012) and At the Edge of Russia (Poland, 2010); the latter has won the Silver Eye Award for the best feature-length documentary at the East Silver Market in 2010 and was awarded at Hot Docs and Visions du Réel. For instance, Helena Třeštíková’s successful documentary Private Universe (Czech Republic, 2012) has gone through our East Silver Caravan programme. We have also secured the distribution of another 850 finished films. In total, we have co-operated on more than 1000 documentary films.
Thank you for the interview and we wish the new Doc Tank programme many satisfied participants!
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.