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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.

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.

Film of the Week: The 16th Republic (The Last Russian Limousine)

A new order from the government after twenty years triggers a chain of events at ZIL, a major Russian truck manufacturer. ZIL's legendary, hand-built limos were supposed to take the spotlight again at the Victory Day Parade. But things don't go as planned and the factory soon finds itself spiraling into bankruptcy.


In The 16th Republic (The Last Russian Limousine), filmmaker Daria Khlestkina follows ZIL's struggles as well as the resilience and ingenuity of its employees.

The film will premiere in Autumn 2012; two years ago it took part in the East European Forum, in March 2012 it was presented at Doc Launch presentation that was part of the East Doc Platform.

Read also Suspended in Time, an interview with Daria Khlestkina.


The 16th Republic (The Last Russian Limousine)

Production company: Marina Razbezhkina Studios, NRK, TVP S.A.

16-ya Respublika (Posledniy russkiy limusin) , Russia, 90 min, DVD, HD, Creative, Personal View, Social Issues

The ZIL truck factory, a giant in the heart of Moscow whose produce also included the showcase limousines for Soviet leaders, is now largely defunct. Suddenly, it gets a new order... Moscow giant truck plant ZIL was central for the lives of thousands of workers for more than 80 years, proudly calling itself a “talent foundry”, a “city within a city” and “the 16th republic” (the former Soviet Union consisting of 15 republics). Among other vehicles, it also produced the showcase limousines for Soviet leaders and the Red Square Parades. The plant is now unprofitable and largely defunct. Its continued existence depends above all on political factors, the protection of Moscow authorities, and the efforts of a handful of specialists and engineers who have dedicated most of their lives to the plant, which continues to be a great source of pride for them. For the first time since the collapse of the Soviet Union, the plant receives an order from the Ministry of Defense - three new ZIL limousines are supposed to open May’s Victory Day Parade on the Red Square. Only few specialist workers from the elite, previously top-secret department of Original and Special Automobiles, are left – rare professionals, all of them old enough to retire. But the deadline must be met. Set against this backdrop, the film is a multi-layered collective portrait of the ZIL community as they struggle to survive.

East European Forum 2010 /  Doc Launch 2012