Czech Docs Project
Upcoming Czech Documentary Films
As part of the catalogue publication, a presentation of 10 selected projects and their film previews, is held annually in September. The selection consists mainly of projects in post-production, doon to be completed.
The presentation is intended primarily for the Czech press, distributors, festival selectors and Tv reprezentatives.
This way IDF can support the Czech docs in their promotion and distribution.
In September 2011 a selection of 10 Czech documentary filmmakers were asked to present their work in progress.
The program of 2011 presentation:
- Presentation of Czech documentaries in post-production
- An occasion to meet with filmmakers
- Current information about Czech documentary filmmaking
- Presentation of the catalogue Czech Documentary Films 2011/2012
Presented projects 2011:
Eugéniové , Czech Republic, 2012, 80 min, HD, Animated, Anthropology, Archive , Creative, Society
Eugenics was once considered more groundbreaking than the invention of the wheel by the scientific community. It was supposed to save mankind from serious genetic loads. A whole range of illustrious scholars dedicated their professional careers to the discipline of eugenics, determining what is good and bad in nature; what is beautiful and what is ugly; implying what is to be supported and what is to be given an evolution stop sign. After World War II, the term of eugenics almost disappeared from the world's dictionaries. The science had been misused by the Nazi ideology for the selective criteria of a perfect nation of the next millennial Reich. The "bad" were liquidated or deprived of their rights for existence in their own space; the handicapped were exterminated; seventy million inhabitants of Eastern Europe were condemned to slavery; thirty percent of the German nation were to be purified. However, it was not the politicians but the scientist who determined the criteria. Some of them did so even in Prague.The documentary will make use of unique archive material produced by the ideology of better tomorrows. These graphic and filmic archives will be used by animator Zdeněk Durdil to create a fantastic vision of the future which had turned into mass murder. The literary commentary will be provided by writer Patrik Ouředník on the basis of his text from his successful Europeana publication.The film aspires to become a timeless and popular reflection on the boundaries betw...
Česká vesnice - Böhmische Dörfer , Czech Republic, Germany, 70 min, DVD, HD, Society
In Bohemian and Moravian history, German is a vivid language and the people who use it have been a substantial cultural element in these regions for centuries. After decades of wars and arguments, the fall of the iron curtain and the extension of the European Union, an open exchange takes place between Germans and Czechs again.Bohemia is Greek to Me is a film which reveals the relationship of Germans to the Czech Republic, documenting today's misunderstandings of the two cultures in a humorous and agile way. In various occupations and areas of life, the film shows that the common everyday life can be mastered in an amusing but also arduous way.
Kytlice, Zimmer Frei , Czech Republic, 80 min, HD, Anthropology, Archive , Arts and Culture, Creative, History, Politics, Youth Documentary
Kytlice, Zimmer Frei explores the absurd history of Central Europe through the little village of Kytlice in former Sudetenland, situated on the Northern border of the Czech Republic. The film introduces Luděk Farkáš, primitive painter and patient of a local asylum, and film director Rozálie Kohoutová, whose family has bought one of the cottages left after the displaced Germans in the 1950s. The disparate duo of Rozálie and Luděk try to understand the absurdity of nationalism which has left its mark in the region.
Mrtvá trať , Czech Republic, 52 min, DVD, HD, Experimental, Personal View, Social Issues
Stalin grasps a pencil in his hand as he prepares to draw a line on a map of the Soviet Union. Where the graphite touches paper, some 80,000 people – almost all of them gulag inmates – will build a railroad in the gruelling conditions of the polar taiga. It is a railway line of almost no strategic importance, built on permafrost and polar marshes, using limited technology and equipment. For four years, they will slave away, succumbing to exhaustion, illness, cruelty, and solitary confinement before, finally, the death of Stalin himself. In just a few weeks, there will be nothing left of their hectic activity except for empty camp barracks, old locomotives, bits of track, embankments, telegraph wires. All left to slowly return to the taiga…
Gottland , Czech Republic, 2011, 120 min, 35 mm, Docu drama, Experimental, History
Based on stories selected from the bestseller Gottland by Polish author Mariusz Szczygiel, a series of film essays will be made by six FAMU students, describing the Czech national history from the perspective of one who never won. Surrounded by superpowers in its geopolitical space, Czechoslovakia always had to manoeuvre within limits set by others (e.g. when fighting for the unwanted Emperor of Austria in World War I, suffering the trauma of the Munich Pact etc.). Unable to decide about their own fate, the Czechs had to develop a strategy of constant compromise-seeking behaviour and peaceful solutions, assuming the position of the "absent one", since that was the most advantageous way of defence; minimalizing the experience of loss, however, leaving behind a great moral mutilation. In comparison with other nations of the world, nothing much ever happened to Czechs. And it probably never will.
Zelení aneb příběhy ze stranického života , Czech Republic, 60 min, DV, Creative, Current Affairs, Environmental, Longitudinal, Personal View, Politics, Society, Youth Documentary
This documentary sets out to uncover the inner developments of a political party as well as the director's own political activism. It also discusses a number of other issues: Why do people distrust politicians? What does it take to become a politician? What are political intrigues? What makes today's democracy so puzzling? In 2002, I joined a group of people who decided to revive the Green Party. Following my work with an environmental organization, I was able to watch the worlds of civic initiatives and political parties drift apart. I decided to use the opportunity to capture the reinvention of several individuals and the party itself and, for several years, to record all crucial developments relevant for the party. Despite often facing fickle attitudes, paranoia and red tape, I have managed to collect footage that should make for a compelling political film.
EM a ON , Czech Republic, 70 min, Digi Beta, HD, Culture, Music, Portrait
Em and He is 85 minutes-long film about two friends from Litvínov, a town in the north of the Czech Republic. Both the Ukrainian poet EM Rudenko and the musician Xavier Baumaxa are 36 years old.The first one is unemployed. Now and then he disposes dangerous waste in a chemical plant or he illegally tugs cables in mud. He just performs jobs no one wants to do. He doesn’t strike. He doesn’t complain.The other one wanders around the country with guitar. He is a qualified teacher.They are interconnected through friendship and great talent which only slowly bubbles through to public.Rudenko develops the tradition of short, over-poetic and even absurdly narrated mini stories. Perhaps unintentionally and with no direct implication he follows the tradition of Ivo Vosdseďálek, Egon Bondy and others. Baumaxa creates something completely original. It doesn’t resemble anything. It is intelligent, cruel and I believe many people may have hard time listening to it. An observant person, however, easily recognizes the author’s sensitiveness (same for Rudenko) who avoids mere puddling of words into smoochy, soulless, pathetic ding-dong or fancy rhymes. He imitates superbly, his text is based on puns and erudite knowledge of foreign languages.I spent two years filming those two guys, environed by the Czech north and the “decadence” of its towns. Everything came up organically, as if you write a poem or paint a picture. Alone with camcorder, no exterior pressure, no censorship. T...
Rok konopí , Czech Republic, 2010, 90 min, DV, DVD, Current Affairs, Health, Human Rights, Longitudinal, Nature, Politics, Portrait, Science and Technology, Social Issues, Society
Year of Marihuana follows a whole range of people dealing with cannabis, approaching its use from various perspectives. First of all it introduces professor Hanuš, a scientist who dedicated his professional career to cannabis research. There is also Dušan Dvořák, an activist and founder of the "Cannabis Is a Cure“ foundation. The film follows several patients who use cannabis as a cure for their diseases such as cancer or multiple sclerosis. It also presents an official cannabis green house in Israel where cannabis is grown in sophisticated ways and distributed among patients with an official approval for free. The film further presents the varied opinion of politicians and policemen both from the Czech Republic and abroad; explications by addictologists; conferences in the Czech parliament; shots from the Million Marihuana March and other demonstrations as well as protests against the criminalization of cannabis; or Dušan Dvořák's trial for marihuana misuse. The film tries to map the problem in an objective rather than biased way, showing the possibilities and limits of the medical use of cannabis. The questions of personal freedom and the right to health are discussed.
Digital Prints of a Revolution , Czech Republic, 90 min, Digi Beta, DVD, HD, Archive , Creative, Current Affairs, Human Rights, Personal View, Politics
Real people and their stories hidden behind the shared cell phone amateur videos shot during “Arab spring“ in 2011. Documentary road-movie in between digital space and reality.
31 konců/31 začátků , Czech Republic, 82 min, DVD, HD, Arts and Culture
After four years of avoiding text altogether, the art group Rafani returns to the written word in the form of a film treatise, a logical outcome of their long-term work with video. The formal starting point lies in the mapping of Prague’s culture, especially its alternative scene. This point of departure then opens doors to further layers of meaning, such as movement from the city periphery to the city centre or a direction towards power and consciousness. The film is not so much concerned with the narrative as with movement articulated through the numerical sequencing of heterogeneous fragments. Each fragment has a theme and a representative figure, e.g. Kaspar von Urbach – Suburban Town, Ondřej Slačálek – Periphery, Vladimir 518 – Centre, Michal Viewegh – Power, Mark Ther – Negation. The film presents twenty one personalities mainly from the fields of contemporary art, literature and political activism. As usual with Rafani’s art projects, the authorship is collective.