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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.

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The documentary jury at this year's Karlovy Vary IFF handed out the Award for Best Documentary Film under 30 minutes to Lost World by Gyula Nemes; the Award for Best Documentary Film over 30 minutes went to Man on Wire by James Marsh. Bigger, Stronger, Faster by Christopher Bell received Special Mention. In Lost World, Hungarian director Gyula Nemes - a graduate from FAMU's Dept. of Documentary Film - revisits the disappearing world of Budapest’s Kopaszi dam. The film follows on from his previous documentary The Dike of Transcience that attended the 2005 Ex Oriente Film. Congratulations!


MFF Karlovy Vary - Documentary Films in Competition: 

Award for Best Documentary Film (under 30 minutes)

Lost World - Hungary 2008, director: Gyula Nemes

Award for Best Documentary Film (over 30 minutes)
Man on Wire - UK 2007, director: James Marsh

Special Mention
Bigger, Stronger, Faster - USA 2007, director: Christopher Bell




LOST WORLD | Letűnt világ
Hungary, Finland, 2008, 20 min

Director: Gyula Nemes
Dir. of Photography: Balázs Dobóczi
Music: Ludwig van Beethoven, Dunakeszi Railway Band
Editor: Martin Blažíček
Producer: Gyula Nemes, Sari Volanen (YLE)
Production: Absolut Film Studio
Sales: Magyar Filmunió, Open

In his latest film, director Gyula Nemes follows on from his previous visual study The Dike of Transience with a film of related theme and form. Again in raw black-and-white images, we encounter the distinctive figures inhabiting the houseboats close to Budapest’s Kopaszi dam. The fading melancholic ambience and the specific poetic quality of the location are intensified by the soundtrack performed by members of Dunakeszi Railway Band. Made during the years 1998 to 2007, the film eloquently illustrates the way in which this genius loci is irrevocably seeping away with the fated reconstruction of this part of Budapest.


About the Director
Gyula Nemes (b. 1974, Vác, Hungary) studied Czech and Hungarian literature together with film theory at ELTE in Budapest. In 2007 he finished studies of documentary filmmaking at Prague’s FAMU under the supervision of Věra Chytilová and Karel Vachek. He debuted with the short feature Parrot (2001), based on the work of Bohumil Hrabal. His film The Dike of Transience was screened in the short documentary competition at Karlovy Vary in 2004. His feature Moje jediné (My One and Onlies, 2006) took part in Critics' Week in Venice.




Best Documentary Film over 30 minutes


MAN ON WIRE | Man on Wire
United Kingdom, 2007, 94 min

Director: James Marsh
Dir. of Photography: Igor Martinovic
Music: Michael Nyman
Editor: Jinx Godfrey
Producer: Simon Chinn
Production: Wall to Wall Productions
Sales: The Works International 

On 7 August 1974 Philippe Petit – a French visionary, street artist, pickpocket, tightrope walker and, above all, an idealist prepared to die to fulfil his dream – managed to pull off the “artistic crime of the century”. “It would be wonderful to die whilst realising one’s passion,” says the French adventurer today, a man who illegally stepped out onto a steel wire suspended between New York’s twin towers, at the time the highest buildings in the world. Petit and his team of accomplices spent eight months planning the event. In a stunning re-enactment, director James Marsh pieces together the memories of everyone involved which reveal that, even though the feat was plotted down to the last detail, it would only have taken a slight hitch and there would’ve been no picture on the international front pages of Petit dancing on a wire between the twin towers, almost 500 metres above the ground. The superbly constructed film incorporating a thrilling dramatisation of this unique accomplishment, makes use of the many authentic shots and photographs which Petit and his colleagues took, and, at the appropriate moment, surrenders to the compelling music of Michael Nyman.

About the Director
James Marsh (b. 1963, Great Britain) graduated from Oxford University and then worked for the BBC. His first documentary Troubleman (1994) chronicled the last years of soul singer Marvin Gaye, who was murdered by his father, a fundamentalist preacher and occasional transvestite. His next film was a documentary about the bizarre eating habits of Elvis Presley, The Burger and the King (1996). Marsh also made a documentary profile of John Cale from the band The Velvet Underground. In 2005 Marsh’s feature debut The King was screened at Cannes, starring Gael García Bernal. In 2003 he filmed the documentary The Team about a group of homeless men in New York who try to organise a soccer team. His film Wisconsin Death Trip (1999) was screened at Karlovy Vary in 2000 in the section Forum of Independents.



Click here for complete results of this year's Karlovy Vary IFF.