Arab spring compilation wins Jihlava’s main award; Best Czech film for HBO-backed doc

Belgium-based Peter Snowdon’s The Uprising, a compilation of amateur footage from the Arab spring, was awarded the Opus Bonum - Best International Documentary Film Award at the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival in the Czech Republic last night (Oct 28).

The winner was picked by a single juror, US director-curator Craig Baldwin who described The Uprising as “a film which, in turn, saddened me, frightened me, outraged me, inspired me, and ultimately made me truly proud to be a part of the democratic project and the struggle for human dignity.”

The Uprising, which was produced by Brussels-based Rien à voir production with the UK’s Third Films of  Duane Hopkins and Samm Haillay as co-producers, had its world premiere in Jihlava.

In the Czech Joy sidebar competition, the Best Czech Documentary Film Award went to Petr Hátle’s The Great Night which was co-produced by HBO Europe with Nutprodukce, the producer of Agnieszka Holland’s mini-series Burning Bush (also with HBO).

The Great Night, which is looking for a sales agent, will also screen at CPH:DOX in Copenhagen next month.

Another production from nutprodukce, Bohdan Bláhovec’s Show! about the creation of the girl band 5Angels, received the Audience Award and will be released in Czech cinemas by the Association of Czech Film Clubs.

The award for the Best Central and Eastern European Documentary Film in the Between The Seas competition went to Gustavo Beck and Željka Suková’s allegorical docufiction about the Christian holiday, Winter/Miracle, with a Special Mention for Normalization by Robert Kirchhoff.

The festival’s Industry Programme attracted several international players from the documentary world, including festival programmers from Sheffield Doc/Fest, FID Marseille, Paris-based A l’Est du Nouevau, Vancouver Biennale, Sarajevo Film Festival and Hot Docs as well as sales agents from Autlook Film Sales, Kloos & Co., and Taskovski Films

News Roundup from Jihlava

Day and date experiment with Tanovic’s Berlinale winner

Doc Alliance’s VoD platform has teamed up with Czech distributor Artcam for a day and date release of Danis Tanovic’s Berlinale winner An Episode In The Life Of An Iron Picker.

The film was released theatrically in Czech cinemas last Thursday (Oct 24) and also streamed online for free by until Sunday evening (Oct 27). In addition, the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival screened the film in its programme as a special event on Monday evening (Oct 28). manager Diana Tabakov told ScreenDaily that Czech cinema-owners had not had any problems with the day&date release. The film is now available on the VoD platform for a small fee to stream or for HD download which is seen as a substitute for a DVD release.

She revealed that a further day&date release is being planned for a Danish project some time in spring/summer 2014, and added that Doc Alliance now has a seventh partner festival with the addition of Doc Lisboa joining DOK Leipzig, CPH:DOX, Visions du Réel, Jihlava DFF,  FID Marseille and Planete Doc FF.

  • Swiss documentary film-maker Peter Liechti, who is the subject of one of the homages at this week’s DOK.Leipzig, will be a guest of honour at the next Solothurn Film Days (Jan 23-30, 2014) in the sidebar entitled Rencontre.

    Previous editions were dedicated to such film-makers as  the late Jacqueline Veuve and Alain Tanner and actors Bruno Ganz and Marthe Keller.

  • Tunisia will be the focus country at Nyon’s Visions du Réel (Apr 25-May 3, 2014) and its DOC Outlook-Interntional Market (DOCM).

    According to festival director Luciano Barisone: “Tunisia is changing, and the social, political, and economic situation is stimulating its inhabitants to create and to express this sometimes difficult reality which is also a source of inspiration.”

    A selection of ten films from Tunisia will be presented within the official programme of the Festival, and a special day will be dedicated to the FOCUS TALK where the experiences of co-producing with Tunisia will be discussed and the potential for future collaboration explored.

    In addition, five feature-length projects - in development, production or postproduction - from Tunisia  will be selected for pitching during the FOCUS TALK, with the best project receiving an award of 10,000 CHF from a jury of the Visions Sud Est fund.

  • Munich’s Dok.fest (May 7-14, 2014) will be dedicating its retrospective to UK film-maker Kim Longinotto who has been documenting the lives of women in her films since 1976.

    In addition, Brazil will be the guest country ahead of next year’s Football World Cup.

  • Krakow Film Festival will focus on UK documentary film-making in its Industry Zone (May 26-31, 2014) with special screenings and a conference held  with guests representing different branches of documentary production to investigate the different strategies followed by this sector in the UK.

In addition, the Krakow Film Market, the biggest film market for documentary, animated and short film in Central East Europe, has revealed that CPH:DOX from Denmark is joining its group of partners which already include DOK Leipzig, East Silver and Visions du Reel.

There will also be the second edition of Animated in Poland, the presentation of upcoming, cutting edge short animated projects ‘made in Poland’.

Kids and Co-pros at Lübeck Meetings

The market situation of children’s cinema in Nordic countries and their ability to travel will be the focus of the “KIDS’ FILMS ON TOUR - Nordic-German Co-Production and Distribution Meeting” held during this week’s Nordic Film Days (Oct 30-Nov 3) in the North German town of Lübeck.

The 55th edition of the Nordic film-making community’s annual gathering with their German counterparts will open on Wednesday evening (Oct 30) with the German premiere of Iceland’s Oscar entry, Of Horses And Men by Benedikt Erlingsson.

The Film Days’ industry strand, the Lübeck Meetings, will also organise a number of industry screenings for Scandinavian films that are still looking for theatrical distribution or a sales agent, and is hosting a masterclass with Joshua Oppenheimer, director of The Act Of Killing, as part of a Documentary Day on Nov 1.

In addition, MEDIA Desk Germany is inviting producers from Germany, the Nordic countries and the Baltic states to present new projects at a co-production meeting.

The Nordic Film Days’ 55th edition will be screening 160 films, including Ragnar Bragason’s Metalhead, Soren Kragh-Jacobsen’s psychological drama The Hour Of The Lynx, Per Fly’s Waltz for Monica about the Swedish jazz singer Monica Zetterlund, Lukas Moodysson’s We Are The Best, Finnish actor Peter Franzen’s directorial debut Above Dark Waters and Christoffer Boe’s Sex, Drugs & Taxation.

More information on the programme at