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Institute of Documentary Film’s Activities

Founded in 2001, INSTITUTE OF DOCUMENTARY FILM (IDF) is a non-profit training and networking centre based in Prague, Czech Republic, focused on the support of Central and East European creative documentary film and its wider promotion.

We work closely with Central and East European film directors and producers and provide in-depth development support for their projects as well as international promotion.

We also work with key international festivals, broadcasters, distributors, sales agents, markets, film institutions, film schools, MEDIA Desks, training programmes, national film centres and various film portals, and serve as the GATEWAY TO EAST EUROPEAN DOCUMENTARY FILM – an indispensable source of documentary projects and films from Central and Eastern Europe.


At the 12th Thessaloniki Documentary Festival - Images of the 21st Century (March 12 - 21, 2010), German producer Stefan Kloos will host Producing and Packaging Documentaries, a master class based on the project Breathless - Dominance of the Moment. The festival will also screen three retrospectives dedicated to Polish documentaries (Krzyzstof Kieslowski, Andrzej Fidyk, Polish Docs Spotlight), Osadné by Marko Škop and Welcome to North Korea! by Linda Jablonská.

Thessaloniki Documentary Festival - Images of the 21st Century
March 12 - 21, 2010
Doc Market
Electra Palace Hotel, Byzantium Hall
March 15 - 20, 2010 (daily 10:00-20:00)
Thessaloniki / Greece


Section: Docs on North Korea

Czech Republic 2009, 76 min
D: Linda Jablonská

In its catalogue, a Czech travel agency offers a “journey into the unknown”, a tour of North Korea. This trip is 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 personality cult, maintains concentration camps for its citizens and doesn’t hide its development of nuclear weapons.

Docu Talents From the East 2008 / East European Forum 2008 / East Silver 2009


Section: Habitat

Slovakia 2009, 65 min
D: Marko Škop

The mayor of Osadné, Mr. Ladislav Mikuláško, is a political record-holder. He has held the position of village boss for a staggering thirty-six years. His spiritual counterpart, the Orthodox priest, Peter Soroka, has buried fifty people and christened two children over the past five years. The mayor and priest have decided to fight for the survival of the village, together with their wives who are their important shadow advisors...

Docu Talents From the East 2008 / East Silver 2009


The festival will present three special programmes dedicated to Polish documentary filmmakers:

Krzysztof Kieslowski
- A tribute programme with a selection of 18 documentary films by Kieslowski

Andrzej Fidyk - Four documentary films (Battu’s Bioscope / Belarusian Waltz / The President / Yodok Stories)

Polish Docs Spotlight
- A selection of Poland's recent documentary hits:

Poland 2009, 54 min
D: Maciej Cuske, Marcin Sauter, Piotr Stasik, Thierry Paladino

This documentary portrait of the most famous founder of Polish cinema was made by four students of the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing. Their observations, captured on the filming location of Katyń in late of 2006 and early 2007, combined with the fragments of the director’s monologue make an original picture, different from the familiar and popular image of Andrzej Wajda promoted by the media.



Poland 2009, 58 min
D: Pawel Lozinski

Patients in an oncology clinic receive chemotherapy. Their faces can be seen in a close-up. They lie in pairs and hold fascinating conversations. Life seen from a different perspective, a distance offered by a hospital, reveals its value, sense and charm. Why so late?

East European Forum 2007 / East Silver 2009



Poland 2009, 30 min
D: Malgorzata Bienkowska-Buehlmann

The documentary shows previously unseen images of East-West German history, shot in Poland in October 10-20, 1989, just before the fall of the Berlin Wall. It was shortly after the GDR authorities had closed the Austrian and Hungarian border to its citizens.



Poland 2009, 18 min
D: Marcin Janos Krawczyk

Due to different life situations there are mothers who do not want or those who cannot bring up their children. They have the right to give the child away just after delivery. During the first six weeks of the newborn's life the mother has to make the decision about the definit resignation of her parental rights. She is free in making her decision however the decision she makes cannot be changed afterwards. A biological mother loses any contact with her child. She can only write a final letter to the child. The film shows in a poetical way the first six weeks of the small human being who was given away.

East Silver 2009 / Silver Eye Award 2009


Poland 2009, 18 min
D: Matej Bobrik

A small village in the middle of nowhere where ordinary people live their lives day in day out. Time seems to stay still and life is suspended somewhere between nature, love, and eventually death.



STEFAN KLOOS - Producer, Kloos & Co., Germany

At AKMI, Thursday, March 18, 2010, 15:00

How can short documentaries be produced and packaged in a compelling way? What are the challenges and advantages when working with international co-productions of short documentaries? Will the digital future bring a bigger need for short formats?

These are some of the issues explored in this master class focusing on the German-Czech co-production Breathless. This project consists of five short creative documentaries on the theme Breathless - Dominance of the Moment. During the masterclass, producer Stefan Kloos will share his experience and knowledge on developing, producing and distributing a package of short documentaries. He will give a detailed inside view of the process of financing the films, working with such different funders as cultural funds and broadcasters, as well as how it can be an advantage to work with a package of films. During the masterclass short clips from the five films will be screened.

About Breathless
Breathless was created in 2008 by the cultural foundation Zipp - German-Czech Cultural Projects together with the Prague-based Institute of Documentary Film (IDF) and the International Leipzig Festival for Documentary and Animated Film - DOK Leipzig. Out of more than 130 submissions from both countries, five films were selected for production. The films were made with the help of TV broadcasters and regional funding from Germany and the Czech Republic. The Breathless films were made over a period of eighteen months, including two development workshops. This masterclass is presented as part of the program of Docs in Thessaloniki, an international documentary pitching session organised by EDN - European Documentary Network ( in collaboration with the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival - Images of the 21st Century.