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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.


This year 16 documentary films will compete in the KVIFF documentary film competition. The selection includes films by directors who in the past attended the East European Forum or who presented their documentary project in development at Docu Talents from the East, a panel of upcoming East European documentaries.

Karlovy Vary International Film Festival

Dates: June 29 - July 7, 2007
Karlovy Vary, Czech Republic




4 Elements | 4 Elements | Čtyři živly
Jiska Rickels
Screenplay: Jiska Rickels
Photography: Martijn van Broekhuizen
Music: Horst Rickels
Editor: Kristian Claas
Producer: San Fu Maltha
Production: Fu Works
Sales: Fu Works
Netherlands, 2006, 89 min

This documentary film by Jiska Rickels comprises four chapters which illustrate human efforts to conquer the four elements – Earth, Fire, Air and Water. The effectiveness of the film, with its visually refined camera in the role of an impartial observer, is enhanced in places by well chosen atmospheric sound. 




Artel | Artěl | Artěl
Director: Sergey Loznitsa
Screenplay: Sergej Loznica / Sergey Loznitsa
Photography: Sergej Michalčuk / Sergey Mikhalchuk
Editor: Sergej Loznica / Sergey Loznitsa
Producer: Vjačeslav Tělnov / Vyacheslav Telnov
Production: St. Petersburg Documentary Film Studio
Sales: Deckert Distribution
Russia, 2006, 30 min
In 2006, Sergey Loznitsa attended Docu Talents from the East

A classic of Russian documentary film, Sergei Loznitsa uses 35 mm black-and-white film to follow the exertions of four young men. Under harsh natural conditions, with the aid of fishing nets and a chain saw, they try to rip from the frozen depths of nature something which will provide them with a livelihood.





Butterfly | Bolboreta, mariposa, papallona | Tři podoby motýla
Pablo Garcia
Screenplay: Pablo Garcia
Photography: Elisabeth Rourich
Designer: Ainhoa Arana
Editor: Pablo Garcia
Producer: Yolanda Olmos, Luis Minaro
Production: Doble Banda, Eddie Saeta S.A.
Sales: Doble Banda, Eddie Saeta S.A.
Spain, 2006, 87 min

The remarkable Spanish film Butterfly will be shown at the festival in its world premiere, a fascinating work which hovers on the border between stylised documentary and fiction and seeks the true essence of filmmaking and the way in which one can faithfully capture the beauty of reality.





The First Stop | Birinchi bekat | První zastávka
Shukhrat Makhmudov
Screenplay: Roza Mergenbaeva
Photography: Chamidulla Chasanov / Khamidulla Khasanov
Production: Youth Creation Union Studio-5
Sales: National Cinema Agency Uzbekkino
Uzbekistan, 2006, 26 min

Renowned director Shukhrat Makhmudov allows us a glimpse of the lives of street children in his native Tashkent. With unsettling directness he records the moving testimonies of homeless children and their time spent in a special centre, a kind of halfway house between the street and the orphanage.  





Garbage Warrior | Garbage Warrior | Architekt odpadu
Director: Oliver Hodge
Photography: Oliver Hodge
Music: Patrick Wilson
Editor: Phil Reynolds
Producer: Rachel Wexler
Production: Open Eye Media
Sales: The Works Ltd.
United Kingdom, 2007, 86 min

A portrait of American Michael Reynolds, the world’s most distinguished “architect of garbage”, who uses old tyres, beer cans and glass bottles to construct cheap houses, nevertheless, his highly efficient housing alternative continually comes up against all sorts of US bureaucracy.





I Go Where I Want | Půjdu, kam chci
Olga Špátová
Screenplay: Olga Špátová
Photography: Olga Špátová
Editor: Jakub Voves
Producer: Richard Němec, Miloš Gruber
Production: Verbascum, s.r.o.
Sales: Verbascum, s.r.o.
Czech Republic, 2007, 28 min

This intimate portrait of Radůza allows us a glimpse of the professional and private life of one of the most distinctive artists on the Czech music scene. The film is interwoven with a series of clips taken from Radůza’s concerts throughout her career, along with frank interviews explaining her life philosophy which, with her typical light touch, she imprints on her songs.





Lost Holiday | Ztracená dovolená
Director: Lucie Králová
Screenplay: Lucie Králová
Photography: Tomáš Stanek, Braňo Pažitka
Music: Petra Gavlasová
Editor: Jakub Hejna
Producer: Martin Řezníček
Production: DOCUfilm Praha
Sales: DOCUfilm Praha  
Czech Republic, 2007, 84 min
Lucie Králová attended the East European ForumEx Oriente Film and last year she presented her project Lost Holiday at Docu Talents from the East.

A gripping documentary detective story by Lucie Králová which records the story of an adventurous search for seven unidentified Asians and thus tries to find out whether someone can be traced in today’s interconnected world merely through his lost photographs.





The Mosquito Problem and Other Stories | Problemat s komarite i drugi istorii | Problém s komáry a jiné příběhy
Andrey Paounov
Screenplay: Lilia Topouzova, Andrey Paounov
Photography: Boris Missirkov, Georgi Bogdanov
Editor: Andrey Paounov, Orlin Rouevski
Producer: Martichka Bozhilova
Production: Agitprop Ltd.
Sales: TV2 World
Contact: Agitprop Ltd.
Bulgaria, 2007, 100 min
Martichka Boyhilova and Andrey Paounov have attended the Ex Oriente Film workshops and the East European Forum a number of times; last year they presented The Mosquito Problem and Other Stories at Docu Talents from the East

A comic portrait of the unusual inhabitants of the Bulgarian town of Belene, who are tormented by a cloud of giant mosquitoes with painful bites, and also by the fact that the completion date for a nuclear power station which promises work for thousands of people is still light years away.





The Music Lesson | Lekcja muzyki | Hodina hudby
Director: Andrzej Mańkowski
Screenplay: Andrzej Mankowski
Photography: Henryk Nagrodzki, Andrzej Mankowski, Jacek Dworakowski, Jacek Blawut
Editor: Andrzej Mankowski
Producer: Barbara Paciorkowska
Production: TVP SA
Sales: TVP SA
Poland, 2006, 26 min

The focus of the film debut by Andrzej Mańkowski is Polish pianist and teacher Tomasz Stroynowski, a man totally immersed in the world of classical music, whose melodies represent the most fundamental and most universal form of communication.





My Dear Republic | Meine liebe Republik | Moje drahá republika
Director: Elisabeth Scharang
Screenplay: Elisabeth Scharang
Photography: Elisabeth Scharang, William Franck
Music: Markus Moser
Editor: Alarich Lenz
Producer: Veit Heiduschka
Production: WEGA-Filmproduktions GmbH
Sales: Austrian Film Commission
Austria, 2007, 80 min

This turbulent story of Friedrich Zawrel who, in a prominent forensic psychiatrist, recognises Austrian Nazi physician Heinrich Gross, co-responsible for the deaths of hundreds of children, demonstrates how onerously and reluctantly Austria tries to come to terms with its gloomy past.






My Kid Could Paint That | My Kid Could Paint That | To by svedlo každé dítě
Director: Amir Bar-Lev
Photography: Matt Boyd, Nelson Hume, Bill Turnley
Music: Eric Offin
Editor: John Walter, Michael Levine
Producer: John Battsek
Production: Passion Pictures
Sales: Sony Pictures Releasing International
USA, 2006, 83 min

A documentary about 4-year-old Maria Olmstead, whose paintings are considered the height of abstract expressionism and are compared with the works of Kandinsky and Pollock. The film finds a fascinating slant on society’s obsession with “infant prodigies” and takes example from the little artist to address issues relating to the true essence of art.





Neo-Lounge | Neo-Lounge | Neo-Lounge
Director: Joanna Vasquez Arong
Screenplay: Joanna Vasquez Arong
Photography: Joanna Vasquez Arong, Jakob Mader
Music: Drew Hanratty
Editor: Joanna Vasquez Arong
Producer: Joanna Vasquez Arong
Production: Strategy 613
Sales: Joanna Vasquez Arong
China, 2007, 86 min

Photographer Joanna Vasquez Arong, in her briskly edited feature debut shot over a lengthy period, follows the lives of certain members of the local foreign community who have become regulars at the popular Beijing club Neo-Lounge.





Requiem for Billy the Kid | Requiem for Billy the Kid | Rekviem za Billyho Kida
Director: Anne Feinsilber
Screenplay: Jean-Christophe Cavallin, Anne Feinsilber
Photography: Patrick Ghiringhelli
Music: Claire Diterzi
Producer: Jean-Jacques Beineix
Production: Cargo Films
Sales: MK2
France, 2006, 86 min

In this French documentary, the story of Billy the Kid begins when sheriff of the small town of Lincoln, Tom Sullivan, decides to have the remains of the local legend exhumed and, with the aid of a DNA test, hopes to discover whether it really is the body of the “American Rimbaud with his colts strapped darned low across his hips” lying here in the local cemetery.





Stone Time Touch | Stone Time Touch | Dotek doby kamenné
Director: Gariné Torossian
Screenplay: Gariné Torossian, Arsinée Khanjian
Photography: Gariné Torossian, Fred Kelemen, Ruben Khatchatryan
Music: Zulal
Editor: Gariné Torossian
Producer: Gariné Torossian
Contact: Gariné Torossian
Canada, Armenia, 2007, 72 min

This experimental documentary essay brings an unconventional picture of Armenia, its turbulent history and colourful present. Using a dynamic editing style, the director also confronts us with black-and-white archive footage, fragments from family albums, coloured filters, out-of-focus shots and also captivating compositions of the Armenian landscape.




Theodore | Teodors | Theodor
Director: Laila Pakalnina
Photography: Uldis Cekulis
Editor: Gatis Belogrudovs
Producer: Uldis Cekulis
Production: Vides Filmu Studija
Sales: Vides Filmu Studija
Latvia, 2006, 29 min

Every day, with clockwork regularity, 80-year-old Theodore sets off on his bicycle on a seven-kilometre journey to a place where it’s all happening. This place, where he tries at least in some measure to rid himself of his loneliness, is a bus stop in a God-forsaken Latvian village.






Uku Ukai | Uku Ukai | Uku Ukai
Director: Audrius Stonys
Screenplay: Audrius Stonys
Photography: Audrius Kemezys
Music: Johann Johannsson, Giedrius Puskunigis, Vidmantas Bartulis
Editor: Danielius Kokanauskis
Producer: Arunas Stoskus
Production: Studija 2
Sales: Studija 2
Lithuania, 2006, 30 min

Renowned Lithuanian documentarist Audrius Stonys pieces together fragments of a sophisticated, aesthetic mosaic to create a study of human corporeality which, in an ideal union with spiritual equilibrium, can sustain us with the pledge that old age doesn’t have to be a painful wait for the last breath.




Documentary Films - Out of Competition:

Ghetto No.1 | Ghetto No.1 | Ghetto No.1
Director: Ivan Pokorný
Czech Republic, Germany, 2007, 91 min

The Violin Knight | Houslový rytíř
Director: Pavel Marek
Czech Republic, 2006, 52 min

Martin Slivka - "The Man Who Planted Trees" | Martin Slivka - „muž, ktorý sadil stromy" | Martin Slivka - „muž, který sázel stromy“
Director: Martin Šulík
Slovakia, 2007, 90 min

A Town Called Hermitage | Poustevna, das ist Paradies (work in progress)
Director: Martin Dušek, Ondřej Provazník
Czech Republic, 2007, 74 min

Reminiscences | Rozpomínání
Director: Ivan Vojnár
Czech Republic, 2006, 62 min

Vorga - A Path of Two Banks | Vorga - Cesta mezi břehy
Director: Zdeněk N. Bričkovský
Czech Republic, 2006, 69 min

For more information about the festival programme, visit: