21st Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

Link of announcement: http://www.dokument-festival.com/festival

21st Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

October 24 – 29, 2017

The Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival is a celebration of creative documentary film and the largest event of its kind in Central and Eastern Europe. We approach documentary films primarily as unique artworks dealing with significant topics.

To us, the festival represents an artifact inspiring a playful reflection of the world from various perspectives. We do not follow common festival models, nor do we have a routine, pragmatic approach to programme selection. Ji.hlava pays tribute to courage and risk.


The following guests have held discussions with Ji.hlava visitors in the course of the past years: writers Tariq Ali, Carlos A. Aguilera, Natalya Gorbanevskaya or Nobel prize laureate Gao Xingjian, directors Godfrey Reggio, Kidlat Tahimik, Peter Tscherkassky, Alberto Serra, Wang Bing, Deborah Stratman, Kirsten Johnson, Mads Brügger, Sandip Ray, Manoel de Oliveira, Basilio Martín Patino, Viktor Kossakovsky, Jørgen Leth, Sergej Loznitsa, Naomi Kawase, Frederik Wiseman, Ulrich Seidl, Woody Vasulka, Želimir Žilnik, Richard Leacock, Mike Hoolboom, Jean-Pierre Gorin, Herz Frank, Khavn De La Cruz, Fernando Solanas, Artavazd Peleshyan, Vitaly Mansky, Lordan Zafranović, Abbas Fahdel, Flatform, Emmanuel Lefrant, Helena Třeštíková or renowned animator Yuri Norstein.

Among film theorists, let us name P. Adams Sitney, Bill Nichols, Guy Gauthier, Raymond Bellour and François Jost.

Dutch film historian Thomas Elsaesser specializing in film festivals characterized Ji.hlava as “one of the most original festivals I have ever attended“ and Portuguese director Manoel de Oliveira declared it a “Mecca of documentary film”.


The core of the festival programme consists of six competition sections:

  • Opus bonum – a selection of world documentaries introducing innovative topics and means of filmic expression,
  • Between the Seas – a showcase of remarkable films from Central and Eastern European countries,
  • Czech Joy – an overview of the latest Czech documentary production,
  • First Lights – a cross-section comprised of film debuts included in the world, Central and Eastern European or Czech competition sections at Ji.hlava IDFF,
  • Fascinations – focus on radical forms of documentary filmmaking – experimental film,
  • Exprmntl.cz – survey of the latest Czech experimental films
  • Short Joy – a selection of the best European documentary shorts.

Other programme sections present the current events on the Czech and international documentary scene, Reality.tv focuses on non-traditional TV reality shows, Doc-fi explores the boundary between documentary and fiction filmmaking, numerous Master Classes provide the opportunity to discuss the principles of filmmaking work with remarkable authors, and Translucent Beings bring retrospective profiles of prominent filmmakers.

Ji.hlava Industry Programme

The Ji.hlava IDFF also provides best care to film professionals because each film included in the programme has a long way to go and faces many obstacles before hitting the festival screen. Hence, the Ji.hlava Industry Programme intended for professional filmmakers has for sixteen years played a crucial role as part of the festival events. The Emerging Producers project represents a showcase of up-and-coming generation of European producers. The Inspiration Forum is a platform that hosts distinctive figures from various walks of life, searching for new relevant topics and perspectives of our day and age. Festival Identity brings together festival organisers and programmers from all across the globe. Conference Fascinations further underscores the importance of experimental cinema as part of Ji.hlava IDFF’s festival programme, discussing its production potential and distribution possibilities across continents. Aside from that, the Ji.hlava IDFF annually brings to the Karlovy Vary IFF filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe to join the Docu Talents platform that enables them to present their upcoming works for the first time to the filmmaking world.

Last but not least, Ji.hlava IDFF organizes the competition exhibition of the Best Festival Posters and numerous Master Classes and other industry activities. The festival traditionally includes a market targeted at the Central and Eastern European region, East Silver Market, and the Ex Oriente Film workshop, both organised by the Institute of Documentary Film (www.dokweb.net) in conjunction with Ji.hlava IDFF.