DOKweb Content
www.DOKweb.net is a portal dedicated to East European documentary film. The news section provides up-to-date information on upcoming and just completed films, interviews with filmmakers and other documentary professionals, in-depth articles exploring the state of documentary filmmaking in various parts of the region, as well as insightful texts on current trends, funding, etc. The portal also boasts the largest published databases of completed and upcoming documentary films from Eastern Europe, an industry directory, as well as trailers and original video content. www.DOKweb.net is IDF´s key online project that provides comprehensive details on all IDF´s activities and links them with general information service.
Institute of Documentary Film’s Activities
Founded in 2001, the INSTITUTE OF DOCUMENTARY FILM (IDF) is a non-profit training and networking centre based in Prague, Czech Republic, focused on the support of East European documentary films and their wider promotion. Our activities support filmmakers through all stages of completion – development, funding, production, post-production, and distribution. We aim at individual filmmakers (tailored consultations), groups of carefully selected professionals with projects or films (Ex Oriente Film, East European Forum, East Silver, Doc Launch, etc.), broader professional community (East Doc Platform), as well as the general public (portal www.DOKweb.net). We closely work with key int. festivals, broadcasters, distributors, sales agents, markets, or training initiatives and serve as the GATEWAY TO EAST EUROPEAN DOCUMENTARY FILM.

Doc Launch

Co-production Meeting free participation with a tailored schedule of industry meetings and follow-up consultations). Based on our long-term cooperation with DOK Leipzig Festival , IDF annually selects five projects that can participate for free at the DOK Leipzig´s Co-production Meeting. Meetings with key international professionals and German-language broadcasters enable the selected participants to access a market that is otherwise difficult to predict and understand.

Last year, the following project were selected to take part in the 7th International DOK Leipzig Co-Production Meeting (October 17 and 18, 2011):

 

Blueberry Spirits

Director: Zoldnere Astra
Producer: Braķis Kaspars
Production company: Fly For Film

Melleņu gari , Latvia, 90 min, HD, Society

A Gypsy family is forced to make their living in a Latvian forest by picking berries. These people might seem happy, humorous and a bit wild. But when the night falls, the noisy crowd gets silent. The Gypsies confess that the forest is inhabited by ghosts and spirits who turn their lives into nightmares. The leader of the camp Bruno has seen a ghost as a man with no face. His granddaughter Sindija as an animal with red eyes and Bruno's aunt Irma claims that a ghost blew out her campfire. Bruno has all the responsibility. They need the money to survive. To feel safer and to pick a sufficient amount of berries, they move their camp. Haunted by vicious ghosts and spooky events, this freedom-loving family has no time to waste.

 

 

Good Night, White Pride

Director: Begun Daniel
Production company:

Russia, 80 min, HD, Current Affairs, Social Issues

Good Night, White Pride examines various facets of the antifascist movement in contemporary Russia. It provides a glimpse into the inner workings of various antifascist organizations and their members. The underlying subject matter is the shocking advent of fascism in Russia in the recent past and diehard, guerilla-like resistance to it on behalf of a zealous few. Where do the Russian antifascists gather the incredible devotion, determination and audacity necessary for them to persevere? Would a withdrawal from violence they become inherently engulfed in signify advancement for Russian activists or bring about their demise? What are future prospects for the activists themselves and their agenda?

 

Jail Team

Production company: Izograph Ltd.

Otbora na zatvora , Bulgaria, 52 min, HD, Society

A film about one man's efforts to overturn the value system of people who, after a bottle of rakia, think that human life is worthless. The story takes place in the Kazichene prison. The characters in the film have been sentenced for attempted murder, theft and assault. Facing them is the psychologist Kalin Gaytandzhiev and two teachers. The aim: for at least one out of 100 people to rise from the gutter.

 

 


 

In previous years, the following projects were selected to take part in DOK Leipzig Co-production Meeting:

2010

Dust Dream

Director: Gorski Maciej
Producer: Braid Monika
Production company: Braidmade Films Ltd, eastart pictures

Dust Dream , Germany, Poland, United Kingdom, 60 min, Digi Beta, Adventure and Sports

Charismatic coach Jagdish Singh and his boxing protégées have garnered success and awards, including the first Olympic medal for India, placing the dusty Indian city of Bhiwani firmly on the international sporting map. Yet controversial training methods remain under scrutiny by suspicious sports authorities with Coach Jagdish excluded from key champion fights. Dust Dream charts Jagdish’s fight for official recognition alongside the personal journey of three of his students – including one of the first female Indian recruits – as they dedicate their lives to the demanding regime of the Bhiwani Boxing Club and the promise of a better future. As Jagdish Singh prepares his boxers to compete at London 2012, he is simultaneously fighting for the recognition of his own name and that of his boxing club.

 

Family Business

Production company: Büchner Filmproduktion GbR

Family Business , Germany, 90 min, 35 mm, Social Issues

The film shows the life of two families, brought together by an emergency. In a German family, grandma becomes a nursing case. Somewhere in Eastern Europe, a mother leaves her family in order to help the German. A film about the economies of families in the Western and Eastern parts of Europe. Carefully, from both sides, the film delves into the subtle texture of everyday drama, brought on by the situation: the daughter‘s irritated look to her mother, who allows herself to be stroked by the foreign woman; the helpless anger over a bland Polish meal because the ingredients are missing; the unintentional comedy of co-existence with two different languages. It is a trade, but no easy trade. Money and feelings cannot be swapped unopposed. While the German family ‘imports‘ a missing family member and regains some balance, the Polish family loses its centre: the mother.

Hunting Bears

Production company: Nukleus Film

Croatia

The idea of the film is to follow several artists who are involved in graffiti art, all around the world (US, UK, France) to show their aims and hopes, their problems, obstacles they face when doing their art, as sometimes they might even end up in jail. Through their explanations of how the art works, we would like to form some sort of visual lexicon of the art that is very present but still very marginalized.

 

Kytlice, Zimmer Frei

Production company: Hypermarket Film, FAMU - Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, Czech TV

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.

 

2009

CERN or the Factory for the Absolute

Director: Sacher Jan V.
Production company: Axman Production, FAMU - Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague

CERN neboli Továrna na absolutno , Czech Republic, 2010, 62 min, HD, Creative, Science and Technology

This film is about the Largest Hadron Collider in the world (LHC) which is located near the French - Swiss border. By means of the accelerator, the scientists want to simulate the situation shortly after the Big Bang. As a result, they hope to acquire basic information about the structure of mass and reveal the last secrets of the universe. Our observational documentary deals with several serious questions, such as the introduction of the CERN institution, explanation of the experiments and their expected results as well as the introduction of the technological complexity of the project. Last but not least, the possible risks of the human hybris are discussed.

 

Dragan Wende – West Berlin

Production company: von.müller.film

Dragan Wende – West Berlin , Germany, Serbia, 96 min, Beta SP, Digi Beta, DVD, HD, Archive , Creative, History, Personal View, Portrait, Society

In this Balkan tragi-comedy set in West-Berlin, the young cameraman Vuk from Belgrade embarks on the trail of his uncle Dragan Wende who used to be the “working-class” king of West-Berlin’s 1970s hedonistic disco scene. Being Yugoslav, he also profited from the Berlin Wall. Today, Vuk’s uncle is an aged alcoholic and eccentric pimp who lives off social welfare and wants the Wall back. A microcosm of underdogs and their survival strategies opens up in this family tale about the Losers of Change in a still-divided city.

Into Oblivion

Director: Špidla Šimon
Producer: Berčík Pavel
Production company: Evolution Films, s.r.o.

Mrtvá trať , Czech Republic, 52 min, Beta, Creative, 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…

Bakhmaro

Director: Jashi Salome
Producer: Deckert Heino
Production company: Sakdoc Film, ma.ja.de. Filmproduktions GmbH, Mitteldeutscher Rundfunk, YLE - Finnish Broadcasting Company, Ikon, TVP Kultura, ETV

Bakhmaro , Georgia, Germany, 2011, 58 min, HD, Social Issues, Society

A journey into a lively, yet desolate building in a provincial Georgian town. It once used to be a hotel called ‘Bakhmaro’. At the center of the building there is a restaurant with its walls covered in bright green and orange plastic foam and where the tables are set waiting for customers who rarely come. A Chinese shop, slot machines and a political party office can also be found here. The building is a microcosm sodden with the constant anticipation of change. It is a model of one troubled country with its endless demonstrations and opposition rallies. At the same time the backdrop of political situation only mirrors the life people live here.

Yallah! Underground

Director: Eslam Farid
Producer: Eslam Farid
Production company: Mind Riot Media s.r.o., Mortal Coil Media, FAMU - Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague

Yallah! Underground , Czech Republic, 80 min, 35 mm, HD, Arts and Culture, Creative, Culture, Current Affairs, Music, Portrait, Reportage, Social Issues, Society, Youth Documentary

2011. Young Arabs have taken their anger and discontent to the streets of almost every major city of the Middle East and North Africa. They have brought an acute awareness of the need for change in Arab countries. But most of the world is still wondering. Who are these people? What do they want? How do they envision the future of their societies? In order to understand the dreams, conflicts and life situations of these young people, we will introduce young contemporary artists from different cities in the Middle East. These artists represent a new generation of Arabs who seamlessly integrate aspects of different cultures and philosophies into their lifestyle and their work. The cultural, social and political environments and the conflicts they have to face on a personal and professional basis heavily influence their art, creating a truly progressive and conscious underground culture; and whereas this culture may have gone unnoticed before, it too is changing and becoming increasingly visible in every major city in the region, making the Middle East one of the culturally most vibrant regions of today’s world.

 

2008

NAZI SCIENCE IN PRAGUE

 

Director: Pavel Štingl
Producer: Pavel Berčík

Leading German scholars’ activities in developing the Nazi race theories seems like more of a subject for an essay about the mental idiosyncrasy of a group of scholars, ideologists, politicians and propagandists than an idea for a historical documentary film. Were it not for the partial fulfillment of racial plans in the euthanasia program, i.e., the Holocaust, we could consider those pseudo-scientific theories as the science fiction of the era. The mass murders, however, were only the very first step. The Nazis’ scientific plans, shaped by idiosyncratic language and published for experts and laymen alike, displayed perfectly polished graphics of the day. And these are the materials that should become the key to our film—a simply designed, comprehensive, animated essay ensuing from handpicked and, in many cases, rediscovered source materials from the era.

 

Shadows of the Past

Production company: L'Automat

Stíny minulosti , Czech Republic, 2010, 85 min, HD, Creative, Docu drama, History, Politics

"Forgive your enemies but never forget their names." (J. F. Kennedy). For the first time people from the opposing sides of the Soviet invasion of Czechoslovakia, Czechs and Russians face each other on screen. Shadows of the past tells the story of a Russian dissident who protested the invasion, the daughter of one of the hundreds of people killed by the invading soldiers, a Soviet soldier who played an active role in the invasion and a Czech driver who witnessed the shootings. The stories of these everyday people, playing out in the background of a decision by powerful politicians, are a confrontation of motivations, attitudes, judgements and also of the repercussions they faced for their decisions. All this from todays perspective – forty years later. Who is guilty and who is a victim in a regime that gave people the choice of staying faithful or betraying themselves?

 

Tomorrow You Will Leave

Director: Nguyen Martin
Producer: T. Riahi Arash
Production company: Golden Girls Filmproduktion & Filmservices GmbH

Austria, 2011, 78 min, HD, Creative, Personal View, Portrait, Social Issues

The story of my Vietnamese father who was able to build up a new life in a small Austrian village, but there is still an open chapter in the past: the search for the man who once helped him.

 

 

The Town of Badante Women

Production company: Argofilm

Gradat na jenite badante , Bulgaria, 2009, 70 min, HD, Society

A town without women. The men look after the children, cook, do the washing and… wait for money from their wives who work abroad. The Bulgarian town of Varshets is the site of a staggering social experiment. Many of its women work as “badante” in Italy, taking care of the old and the sick. The social structure of Varshets is changing and the transformations – some dramatic, others humorous– are everywhere: in the pubs, in the families, in the local brass band… And at the bus station, where once a year the women arrive for holidays.

Village Without Women

Director: Sarenac Srdjan
Production company: Les films du balibari, Mainframe Film Production

Selo bez žena , Croatia, France, 2010, 83 min, Digi Beta, HD, Creative, Social Issues, Society

In Southwest Serbia, atop a mountain and four kilometres from the nearest road, the Jankovic brothers hold down the fort in the womanless village of Zabrdje. Dragan, Zoran, and Rodoljub, along with their neighbour, Velimir, represent the entire population of what was once a vibrant rural community. They live in tough conditions. No running water, no roads, not even a hint of a woman’s touch. Not to mention, the three brothers still share the same bedroom. Zoran, the eldest brother, dreams of marrying a woman capable of handling life in Zabrdje. Can he fulfil his dream and renew hope in his village?

 

Welcome to North Korea!

Producer: Kuchynka Milan
Production company: Negativ

Vítejte v KLDR , Czech Republic, 2009, 55 min, Digi Beta, DVD, Personal View, Politics

In its catalogue, a Czech travel agency offers a "journey into the unknown", a tour of North Korea. This trip was the second time since 1990 that a group of Czech tourists set foot in North Korea. The film follows twenty-seven Czechs who have decided to spend approximately 2,600 Euros on a sightseeing tour of a country which cultivates a cult of personality, maintains concentration camps for its citizens and doesn't hide its development of nuclear weapons. Foreign visitors are only allowed a view of a carefully prepared illusion, thoroughly supervised by "guides". What is more, the North Korean system is starkly reminiscent of the Czechs' own past. Which emotions do our travellers experience: sympathy, nostalgia or, in contrast, happiness that "we already have this behind us"? How does someone, after being accustomed to freedom and democracy, come to terms with the directives and restrictions of a totalitarian system?

 

 

2007

Dental Mekka

Director: Papp Bojána
Production company: Parádé Bt.

Das Zahnmekka , Hungary, Creative, Current Affairs, Entertainment, Health, Society

Right after Los Angeles, the city of Mosonmagyaróvár has the second highest dentistry rate per inhabitant in the world. Dentists pull 2 354 234 teeth a year in the city. The patients - while waiting for the treatment - can spend their time with horseriding, or visiting a thermal bath: there ís also a flourishing tourist industry in the region. The place is often referred to as Zahnmekka – the Mecca of Teeth.

 

Hero of Red China

Production company: Armada Films

Hrdina rudé Číny, Czech Republic, Creative, Politics, Social Issues

A story of an ordinary peasant Fu Xiancai living in a communist regime who is brave enough to talk freely. But now he suffers. Three Gorges - the biggest hydroelectric power plant in the world was the reason why Fu lost his house and his field. He has been protesting against it. Now he lies in a Beijing's hospital after his vertebrae was crushed in an assault.A story of peasant Fu Xiancai living in a communist regime who is brave enough to talk freely. But now he suffers. Three Gorges - the biggest hydroelectric power plant in the world was the reason why Fu lost his house. He has been protesting against it. Now he lies in a Beijing's hospital after his vertebrae was crushed in an assault. Fu symbolically represents almost two million of peasants, who were moved due to the construction of the water plant. Their land was flooded and their houses were pulled down. The government promised compensation for flooded land and houses, but villagers finally got not even tenth of the original sum. The money was mostly stolen away by local officials. Fu started to organise protests of affected villagers. Despite of threats from police and anonymous phone calls he gave an interview to the German TV channel Das Erste. Later on he was threatened, that if he talks to western journalists, something inconvenient will happen to him. On his way home unknown offenders ambushed him and he was terribly beaten. His spine was broken, but the hospital refused to perform a surgery. When few days later...

 

Noosfera

Production company: Art Doc

Noosfera, Romania, 58 min, Digi Beta, Creative, History, Personal View, Portrait, Society

“Noosfera” is the story of the Romanian professor Nicolae Dumitru, who dreamed all his life about the ideal society and the perfect love. But, unfortunately, he couldn’t reach these ideals, neither in the public nor in his personal life.He married three times and divorced two times and each time he divorced, he divided his apartment in two: one half for his former wife and the other one for himself. In between the apartment-halves he used to build separation-walls and to name them: the “Chinese Wall”, protecting him of first wife, and the “Berlin Wall” keeping away the second one. His second wife, Melania, who lives behind the “Berlin Wall” listens every day to his loud conflicts with his third wife. During his youth in Timisoara Mr. Dumitru was idealizing the Romanian king and criticizing both the fascists and the communists. But, later on, he became a communist himself. Then he studied in Moscow where he fell in love and married for the first time. After he came back to Romania, he got disappointed by Ceausescu’s dictatorial regime and started to joke about it during the lectures he gave at the university. As a consequence, he was forbidden to teach. In his private life he couldn‘t reach his ideal of perfect communication and understanding and divorced from his first wife. One of his students, Melania, became his second wife. During the eighties they had a happy marriage: their life was peaceful, they enjoyed moments of solidarity with lots of friends,...

 

Planet Kirsan

Director: Pieta Magdalena
Production company: Eureka Media, Polish Television. - Poltel Ent.

Planeta Kirsan, Poland, 2010, 52 min, Digi Beta, Arts and Culture, Creative, Society

Over the hills and far away, in the middle of the Russian steppe, you will find Chess City. It was built by Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the first and only President of the Republic of Kalmykia, one of the smallest and poorest republics in the Russian Federation.In Kalmykia, there also lives a boy called Alekhan, who dreams of becoming the World Chess Champion. And his younger brother Amir, who shares the same dream.The road to make their dreams come true passes through the Chess Competition in Chess City.

 

Theatre Svoboda

Director: Hejna Jakub
Production company: Czech TV, endorfilm

Divadlo Svoboda, Czech Republic, 95 min, HD, Arts and Culture, Creative, Portrait

„Darkness is my raw material. Just as the sculptor needs his clay, the carver needs his wood; I carve my theatre out of darkness." (Josef Svoboda). „I grew up in the house of a man who was a brilliant stage designer, but who also was my grandfather to whom I did not talk much. I was twenty-five when he died and I knew very little about him. I decided to explore the darkness and the emptiness and to search for some of the things that outlive us." (Jakub Hejna). The only Czech documentary dealing with Josef Svoboda's life and work in a comprehensive and profound manner as well as the only film to show archive materials related to Svoboda’s work and private life that have not yet been published.