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Jihlava IDFF Winners – 48, Coal, Ceausescu, Earthlings

The 14th Jihlava IDFF came to a close on Saturday night, as several awards were presented to best films in the competition sections: 48 (Opus Bonum); Coal in the Soul (Czech Joy), The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (Between the Seas), Sounding Lines Äre Obsolete (Fascinations), Earthlings, Who Are You Voting For? (Audience Award).

14th Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival
October 26 - 31, 2010
Jihlava / Czech Republic
Award Ceremony - Saturday, October 30, 2010

[Press Release - Jihlava IDFF]


Best International Documentary Film Award 2010

The only member of the competition, Mike Hoolboom awarded the film 48 (48, Portugal 2009) by Susana de Sousa Dias.

The silent dictator Salazar ruled Portugal and its colonies for 48 years - the director takes testimony of years of imprisonment, as told by victims of the regime, and innovatively combines it with photographs from the archives of the secret police, the PIDE.

Mike Hoolboom commented on his decision:
“But in the end there was one movie whose pictures cut me deeper than the rest. Every image in this film was made by a criminal wearing a police uniform, culled from the secret detention archives of Portugal's police. The filmmaker seeks out these survivors today, and they tell their simple complicated stories, of their torture and disfigurement and survival, in other words, they show me the cost of having a face, the cost of seeing a face like this one. this year the queen of the bottoms must be film named simply '48' by the Portugese filmmaker Susana de Sousa Dias.”

Award for the best Czech documentary film 2010

embers of the jury: John Bok / publicist and activist (CZ), Galina Kopaněva / film historian (CZ), Jan Šípek / film maker (CZ), Franitšek Dohnal / director of the NKÚ (CZ)

The jury awarded the film Coal in the Soul (Ženy SHR, Czech Republic 2010) by Martin Dušek and Ondřej Provazník.

Coal in the Soul

Producer: Plešák Pavel
Production company: Czech TV

Ženy SHR , Czech Republic, 2010, 58 min, Beta SP, Current affairs, Portrait

A documentary portrait of two women, who plays a very personal game with the fate of Horni Jiretin, a town endangered by coal-mining industry. With typical mixture of sensitive approach and irony the authors shows the whole case and uses both women, press agent of mining company and chatelaine/eco-activist, as their guides. Their personal stories mirror the current case of total liquidation of Horni Jiretin, small town that stands in the way of another coalmining.

The jury commented its verdict: “The jury awards the authors of the film Coal in the Soul for its deep insight into the viewpoints and life stories of the film protagonists, exposed on the two extremes of a socially momentous problem.”

Special mention goes to Klára Tasovská for her visually and thematically innovative film essay Midnight (Půlnoc, Czech Republic 2010).


Půlnoc , Czech Republic, 2010, 40 min, HD, Youth Documentary

This visually remarkable exploration of the social and psychological implications of light and darkness enters the world of "darkers," looks at the energy crisis, and presents the director's video journal of life in darkness.



Best Eastern European Documentary Film Award 2010

The members of the jury: Thomas Elsaesser / film theorician (Netherlands), Luciano Barisone / Visions du Réel festival director (Switzerland), Lucia Nimcová / photographer (Slovakia), Guillermo Ruiz / film maker and director of photography (Bolivia)

The jury awarded the film Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu (Autobiografia lui Nicolae Ceausescu, Romania 2010) by Andrei Ujica.

The Autobiography of Nicolae Ceausescu

Director: Ujica Andrei
Producer: Moraru Velvet
Production company: Icon Production

Autobiografia lui Nicolae Ceausescu , Romania, 2010, 180 min, 35 mm, History, Politics, Portrait

"After all, a dictator is simply an artist who is able to fully put into practice his egotism. It is a mere question of aesthetic level, whether he turns out to be Baudelaire or Bolintineanu, Louis XVI or Nicolae Ceausescu." (Andrei Ujica). During the summary trial that he and his wife were submitted to, Nicolae Ceausescu is reviewing his long reign in power: 1965-1989. It is an historical tableau that in its scope resembles American film frescos such as those dedicated to the Vietnam War.

“The Jury has decided to award its prize to an ambitious film of epic proportion. Aptly titled The Autobiography of Nicolai Ceaucescu, it is made up entirely of archive footage. Thanks to impressive editing, the director Andrei Ujica succeeds in letting the official self-presentation of the Romanian Communist Party and its leader, document the decline of its power and the hollowness of its pretensions. The film’s eloquence is particularly striking because it manages entirely without verbal commentary. Finding a fine but difficult balance between the ‘tragedy of a ridiculous man’ and the hubris of a leader progressively losing his legitimacy, the Autobiography of N.C. is a testament to the challenges of writing history through images today,” appreciated the jury of the section.


Best Experimental Documentary Film Award 2010

The members of the jury were the following: Mikoláš Ježek / school-boy (CZ), Hedvika Hansalová / editor (CZ), Martin Ježek / filmmaker (CZ)

The jury awarded the film Sounding Lines Are Obsolete (d. John Price, Canada 2009)

Sci-fi documentary using hand-developed films, mostly family movies, showing a dream of a pilgrimage on the moon and exploring an endless landscape, with unusual framing and asking how many forms the moon can take.
- annotation taken over from the IDFF Jihlava 2010 catalogue

The jury comment their decision: “The jury unanimously approved the film The Sounding Lines Are Obsolete by Canadian filmmaker John Price as the best film. By means of the overall composition of the work and his loving attitude the reality before the camera and the hand-processed material, the filmmaker moved the jury to tears. The sober form of the work was in sharp contrast with the prevailing formal mannerism of the other works, proving the rule that less is often more, or, as in this case, the most.”


The Audience Award was presented by chief programming director Alena Müllerová on behalf of the Czech Television, going to the film Earthlings, Who Are You Voting For? (Pozemšťané, koho budete volit?, Czech Republic 2010) by Linda Jablonská and Inventura.

Terrestrials, who will You vote for?

Production company: Czech TV, Inventura o.s.

Pozemšťané, koho budete volit? , Czech Republic, 40 min, Digi Beta, Current affairs

"Conquering Public Space - Documentalities" is a documentary project made by people who find it hard to get oriented in the world and who probably never were A students. To put it politically correct, they are mentally handicapped. That, however, does not prevent them from having an original perspective, sensitivity, curiosity and courage - all one needs to become a documentarist. During a six month documentary workshop of the civic association Inventura, a film was made under the supervision of documentarist Linda Jablonská, trying to prove that mentally handicapped people, too, can get oriented in the public space and have a political opinion of their own. We were following a phenomenon concerning all of us - the Czech parliamentary election.


The award is based on a poll of the Jihlava IDFF online special featured on the Czech TV website. From the end of September to the beginning of the festival, the website visitors watched and evaluated ten films which have received the Audience Award in the past ten years. The award goes to the film Auto*Mat (Czech Republic 2009) by Martin Mareček.



Director: Mareček Martin
Production company: Bionaut Films

Auto*Mat , Czech Republic, 2009, 90 min, Digi Beta, DVD, Art and Culture, Society

"A playful film essay about our automobile-automatic society. A film crossing the border of its media, turning into a social act.Martin Mareček: “I lived in downtown Prague, in the ""heart of Europe"". In Prague, ""the mother of cities"", as well as ""the city of cars""... According to statistics, it is one of the most car-crippled cities in Europe. Six years ago, I met my neighbour in the hallway. He was moving: ""Well, we're off, we can't take this anymore."" I replied: ""Yeah, I understand, it's the cars, isn't it? The noise, the smell…"" The neighbour smiled, puzzled: ""Not really, it's cause we have nowhere to park."" Is the story absurd? Is my neighbour autistic? Not quite. I believe that most of us city folks are this automatic… We all suffer from it… Automatically we swear, automatically we drive.


The Contribution to World Cinema Award went to the special festival guest Czech legend of the documentary cinema Karel Vachek. The award was presented by the director of Jihlava IDFF Marek Hovorka.

The Doc Alliance Award is presented by the initiative of five European documentary film festivals (Jihlava IDFF, Visions du Réel Nyon, CPH:DOX Copenhagen, DOK Leipzig, Planete Doc Review Warsaw) to one of five films selected by each festival. The award is presented annually at one of the participating festivals. The Doc Alliance initiative subsidizes the award by the amount of 5000 Euro. The 2010 Doc Alliance Award has just been presented in Jihlava to the film The Arrivals (Les arrivants, France 2010) by Claudine Bories and Patrice Chagnard.


For the fourth time already, the Respekt weekly in cooperation with Jihlava IDFF awarded the best television and video reportage of the past year. Presented at the festival closing ceremony, the Respekt Award went to David Vondráček, author of the film Zabíjení po česku from the production of the Czech Television.


Contact: Jan Hlubek, Head of Media Communication | | +420 774 101 652