– The pinnacle honcho of Ji.hlava talks to Cineuropa about persevering with with the hybrid pageant, line-up highlights, and ethics in documentary programming and filmmaking
(© Radek Lavicka)
Marek Hovorka, the director of the biggest Czech documentary gathering, the Ji.hlava Worldwide Documentary Movie Pageant (25-30 October), talked to Cineuropa concerning the upcoming version (see the information). He touched on why his group has determined to proceed with a hybrid pageant, why new technical awards have been added to the competitors, and the exceptionally wealthy home competitors this yr.
Cineuropa: The Ji.hlava IDFF is considered one of the festivals which have determined to stay hybrid. Why did you determine to make it the “new normal”?
Marek Hovorka: We’ll see the way it works this yr, however final yr, we had round 35,000 streams for 2 weeks after the pageant. Final yr, we managed to get roughly half of the pageant guests to proceed streaming the movies, and I need to say that from a curator’s viewpoint, it is an excellent pleasure. These viewers really change into stronger companions and extra demanding audiences, so we welcome the chance to proceed the pageant on-line.
We wish to work extra this yr with the truth that this can be a methodology to encourage new viewers usually – not solely the pageant viewers, however all people who find themselves on the earth round them. Along with movies on demand, we can be streaming a big a part of the business programme and two discussions from the Inspiration Discussion board through the pageant, and a big chunk of the Inspiration Discussion board can be obtainable on demand throughout Ji.hlava on-line.
What are the modifications for the upcoming version?
We’re persevering with with the idea that we began final yr, which signifies that Opus Bonum consists of all the earlier competitions, together with debut movies and Jap European movies. And we determined to streamline the competitors with a view to deal with attaining a better high quality, on one hand. On the opposite, we don’t wish to restrict ourselves to at least one major prize, however so as to add technical awards, because the different professions past director and producer are virtually invisible.
The identical is true of Czech Pleasure – that’s, the nationwide competitors – because it additionally awards prizes for different professionals along with the principle prize. And now, so far as the programme is worried, I’ve to say that we’re enthusiastic about how sturdy the competitors is that this yr and about what number of of those movies show the liberty with which filmmakers can work.
What are the titles you might be significantly enthusiastic about?
We’re blissful to introduce the movie by this yr’s Nobel Prize in Literature laureate Annie Ernaux, which she made together with her son David Ernaux-Briot, The Tremendous 8 Years [+see also:
interview: Annie Ernaux and David Erna…
film profile], which they made out of household archives. In the principle competitors, we’ve got The Finish Is Not What I Thought It Would Be by Andrea Kleine, one of many few movies we’ve got masking the subject of COVID-19. Alternatively, we’ve got Cisco Child by Emily Kaye Allen, a couple of protagonist who decides to stay as an outsider. We even have A Silent Gaze by Hsin-Yao Huang, a three-hour saga mapping the modifications within the Taiwanese countryside, and Yoyogi by Estonian director Max Golomidov, which makes use of surreal realism. One particularly highly effective movie is The Investigator by Slovak director Viktor Portel, however all the movies are price testing. This yr actually reveals the facility of documentary filmmaking.
The part with Czech documentaries is very various this yr.
After a few years, we’ve got actually loaded the nationwide part with new movies: there are greater than 20 titles within the nationwide competitors. The final time we had such a powerful line-up of home movies was perhaps ten years in the past. I consider it additionally demonstrates a generational transformation, better confidence and deeper expertise. The variety is absolutely attention-grabbing. Our ambition is to not unify the house of documentary filmmaking; quite the opposite, we wish to present its richness and selection, each thematic and formal.
The pageant is replicateing the richness of kinds by introducing the VR award for the primary time, and you’ve got additionally included a gaming documentary within the programme.
We’ve at all times been taken with totally different elements of documentary, incorporating pictures and theatre into the pageant programme. Along with cinematic documentary experiments, we’re specializing in off-screen works. Meaning classical VRs, installations and, as you talked about, the gaming business. We discover it fascinating to find the place varied elements of documentary can seem. That’s the reason we needed to help Ondřej Moravec’s venture The Darkening [see the news], which is included within the VR competitors but in addition within the nationwide competitors, as a result of we consider that there can be extra documentary codecs sooner or later.
What concerning the business programme?
This yr’s Ji.hlava has a powerful moral thread, which we’re reflecting within the business programme and, extra immediately, within the part for pageant programmers, referred to as Pageant Id. We wish to deal with Ukrainian filmmakers’ plea to movie festivals to not characteristic Russian movies or films by Russian filmmakers. I consider it’s vital to debate this matter and share totally different views on it. The subject has a extra basic angle because it pertains to how festivals are purported to strategy totally different movie industries which can be in some form of political dispute with one another – for instance, Armenia and Azerbaijan proper now, or Israel and Palestine again within the day – to ensure that these gatherings to not change into instruments for propaganda.
The subject has been revitalised by the latest controversy round Ulrich Seidl’s Sparta [+see also:
film profile] and the Der Spiegel article that sparked a dialogue. This isn’t the only case. It occurs that protagonists of documentary movies are usually not happy with the capturing course of itself or how they’re portrayed in these movies, and the query of abuse of energy comes into focus. And I believe it’s essential to have an open dialogue about these points, together with the Seidl case. We may also have a bunch of programmers sharing their expertise. In parallel with these discussions, we can have the primary moral convention at Ji.hlava, which can be centered on energy dynamics on set or inside a movie crew. As a part of the business programme, we may also be addressing the subject of help for Ukrainian filmmakers. We can be tackling questions with an moral dimension as effectively – extra exactly, capturing the conflict in your personal nation.