Documentary Tips of 2014

The year 2014 will soon be over so now is the right time to evaluate the most interesting film events and documentaries we have brought you this year. Each member of the team has a documentary tip for you! Will they inspire you?

In the past year, we would bring you the latest and carefully selected documentaries each week, composing them into 42 film events, including 7 world retrospectives of renowned filmmakers such as Peter Mettler, Peter Liechti and Helena Třeštíková. Moreover, we have broken the magical limit of 1 000 documentary films in our catalogue and we are not going to idle in the next year either.

We are preparing a big novelty for you that you can look forward to since January 2015. We will offer you the possibility of a yearly subscription to the whole online catalogue thanks to which you will be able to stream films without any limitations! If you decide to spend the whole year with us, you will gain several bonuses as well. In your profile, you will find lists of documentaries to watch next or your own viewing history.

However, we are still in 2014 and after the whole year’s documentary marathon, we have asked the following question in the team:

Which of the documentary films or film events presented at the portal in 2014 was the most interesting one to us?

Here are the answers of all members of the team you might meet for the first time thanks to this unique opportunity.

Bára (Project Coordinator)

To me, the most important film was Graduates revealing how young educated Slovaks cope with the tough labour market. I watched the film at the very end of my university studies and right before my job interview at My personal graduate story thus had a happy ending and thanks to that I now have access to an infinite number of interesting documentary films.

Andrea (Public Relations)

In the past year, I enjoyed watching the music documentary event accompanied by a great interview with the curator of this programme section of Copenhagen’s CPH:DOX festival Adam Thorsmark. I was enthused by the connection of the two highly expressive means of expression of music and film as well as by the diverse forms of music introduced in the films; music as an escape from reality, music as a livelihood, music as an opportunity to meet others. However, it was always music as passion and a necessity of creative expression. That is what charmed me about those documentaries.

Jana (Production Manager)

By means of her long-term observational method, Helena Třeštíková not only gives a witness account of a single story but also makes a valuable record of the times when it took place. While experiencing the turning points in the lives of the protagonists, we can also relive a big part of our own life story. Her retrospective thus was the most substantial thing to me at in 2014. I was most emotionally touched by the film Life with Jester. I was moved by the gradual loss of the fighting spirit, enthusiasm, strength and belief in change as well as by the fatal differences in the sacrifices partners are willing to make for each other, be it in a state of health or illness.

Diana (Acquisitions Manager)

What I found important was the film The Castle by the directing duo Massimo D’Anolfi and Martina Parenti whose films premiered for instance in Locarno and whose latest documentary Dark Matter was screened at Jihlava IDFF in 2013. The Castle is an observational film set at the Malpensa Airport in Milan, Italy where the directors spent a year observing this institution. The film documents the characters as well as the environment of the sterile airport supervising the orderliness of the passengers by means of various tools. The documented reality of the Kafkaesque castle gives rise to violence that latently survives within the seemingly boring bureaucratic processes. However, what is beautiful about the film is the incredible humanity and warmth of the two directors in personal contact contrasting with the terrifyingly estranged world they have rendered.

Nina (Project Manager)

This year, we have managed to realize several of our long-time wishes. One of them was the launch of the retrospective of filmmaker Sergei Loznitsa, a man who got to filmmaking through his studies of mathematics and cybernetics. Despite that, his films are remarkable not only for their specific rhythm and elaborate structure but also their strongly poetic style and unmistakable artistic expression. One of his latest films Letter is a perfect materialization of a dream, the space between memory and imagination. I was similarly happy about the presentation of the films by extraordinary – and unjustly neglected – Czech director Jana Ševčíková whose films are pure works of cinema. Similarly to Sergei Loznitsa, she too can stop the time – for instance in her film The Old Believers – and turn it into an image that will remain accessible to viewers anywhere and anytime.


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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.