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VIERKA ... BY MIROSLAV JANEK CHOSEN AS THE 9TH BEST DOCUMENTARY BY THE AUDIENCE OF IDFA 2005

Miroslav Janek's VIERKA, OR THE MYSTERY OF FAMILY B'S DISAPPEARANCE - the first Czech documentary film selected to the festival program after Filip Remunda's Obec B in 2002 - immediately attracted strong interest of the audience. After winning the competition of the 9th Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, the continuous audience voting placed “VIERKA..” on the the 9th position out of 380 documentary films, that were part of the most prestigious European documentary film festival - IDFA.
VIERKA, OR THE MYSTERY OF FAMILY B'S DISAPPEARANCE

Director: Miroslav Janek
Producer: Richard Nemec, VERBASCUM
Czech Republic, 2005
colour / black and white, video, 76 min
Screenplay: Miroslav Janek
Photography: Miroslav Janek
Editing: Tonicka Jankova
Sound: Michael Micek, Daniel Nemec
Involved TV Channel: Czech Television
World Sales: Verbascum
Screening copy: Verbascum


When the singer Ida Kellerova heard the recording with Vierka’s songs she not only decided to invite the talented young woman to work with her but also opened up her entirely family to Vierka to live with. These Slovakian Roma, still living in chillingly inadequate conditions in flats without electricity, move, and thus begins the adventure in which this consummate musician and her uncoventional guests live together. One day however Vierka and her entire family disappear…The director and cameraman Miroslav Janek filmed this documentary drama, which is about two distinct truths, experienced with equal commitment and passion, and about the hidden and often unacknowledged forces that determine and condition the various ideas about a person’s journey through life.

A table around which everyone meets and which recalls both English lessons and arguments over cigarettes. The table is a meeting place but also the site of disagreement and conflict. A detailed monitoring of the conflict is the household gives rise to a presentiment of emerging misunderstanding that in the end leads to the visitor’s departure and disappointment on both sides. Janek’s camera is not biased, but it is participant in the events, as through it were the eyes of another character that is experiencing the situation with them. From details and impressions the director composes a personal testimony about events. He manages to listen both sides, in the end representing for them a sort of psychotherapeutic outlet and at same time and opportunity to more objectively assess the situation. In addition to the account of dreams and disappointment that provides insight into the individual characters, the documentary is kontrapunkt look at two paths of fate with undoubtedly social causes. We find ourselves in the midst of the living conditions of  a Roma family, which the director presents in its material and mental form. He conceals nothing, but allows as to penetrate the way of thinking of people shaped by poverty and want. 

(annoation writen by Petr Kubica for 9th Jihlava IDFF)

 

Miroslav Janek - Filmography

Miroslav Janek was born in Czechoslovakia where he wrote, directed and produced nearly forty short films. He also worked as a film editor for the Czechoslovakian Television before immigrating to the United States in 1979. Settling down in Minneapolis, he began working as a freelance film editor and cameraman. In 1981 he began teaching filmmaking at Film in the Cities in St. Paul, MN. During his six years in Minneapolis he also produced and directed a number of independent films sponsored primarily by the local foundations. In 1986 he moved to New York City where he continued his freelance work until 1994.
The next two years he spent in Treviso, Italy, collaborating with American director Godfrey Reggio on developing a multimedia project Fabrica. Since 1993 he shot and directed many documentaries for the Czech Television. Currently he resides in Prague and since 1998 he teaches at the documentary department of FAMU (Film Academy in Prague).

KHA-CHEE-PAE (2005) Director: MIROSLAV JANEK, Screenplay: MIROSLAV JANEK, Photography: MIROSLAV JANEK, Editing: TONICKA JANKOVA, Music: JAROSLAV KORAN, Sound: TOMAS KUBEC, MICHAEL MICEK, Production: RICHARD NEMEC, Year: 2005, Colour: Colour, Format: DVCam, Lenght: 58'


PEACE TO THEIR SOULS  (2004) Cinematographer
Feature film, dir. Pavel Stingl, prod. K2 and the CZECH TV with a grant from the CZECH FUND FOR CINEMATOGRAPHY  (120min)

THE SECOND MEMORY  (2003) Cinematographer
Film portrait of an aging lady from Prague, produced and directed by Bea de Visser, Netherlands  (12min)

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST  (2003) Cinematographer
Animated sequences for a theatre performance created by the Brothers Forman Theatre, dir. Petr Forman, animations by Matej Forman, produced by THE NATIONAL THEATRE, PRAGUE  (20min)

ROMEO AND JULIETTE  (2003) Cinematographer
Audiovisual epilogue for a theatre performance, dir. Isabela Schenkova, prod. THEATRE ANPU, Prague  (10min)

THE RETURN OF FORGOTTEN PATRIOTS  (2003) Cinematographer
Documentary film about the creation of an amateur theatre performance in a small village in the Czech mountains, dir. Pavel Stingl, prod. K2 and the  CZECH TV with a grant from the CZECH FUND FOR CINEMATOGRAPHY  (58min)

PAINTING IN THE DARK  (2003) Cinematographer
Documentary film about a blind girl drawing and painting pictures, dir. Pavel Stingl, prod. K2 and the CZECH TV with a grant from the CZECH FUND FOR CINEMATOGRAPHY  (58min)

NAQOYQATSI  (2002) Editor
Life as war. The final film in the QATSI TRILOGY, dir. Godfrey Reggio, music Philip Glass, produced by Larry Taub, IRE and Steven Soderbergh, MIRAMAX  (90min)

CRIMSON SAILS  (2001) Director, cinematographer
Documentary film inspired by a performance in progress of the Brothers Forman Theatre and by the literary texts of Alexandr Grin, prod. Renata Vlckova, Richard Nemec and the CZECH TV with a grant from the CZECH FUND FOR CINEMATOGRAPHY  (80min)

BATTLE FOR LIFE  (2000)  Co-director, cinematographer
Documentary chronicles of life in a small Czech village at the turn of millenium, co-directed by Vit Janecek and Roman Vavra, prod. VERBASCUM and the CZECH TV with a grant from the CZECH FUND FOR CINEMATOGRAPHY  (88min)

HASSAN STOPPED IN BADOLATO  (1999) Cinematographer
Documentary film about Kurdish refugees in a small Calabrian village, dir. Jan Ralske, prod. ZDF /ARTE  (80min)

MAN AND HIS MASTER  (1999)  Director, cinematographer
Documentary film about men and their dogs, prod. the CZECH TV  (58min)

ON GRANDMA  (1999)  Cinematographer
Documentary portrait of 20th Century seen through the life of an old lady. Film combines the documentary and animation techniques, dir. Michaela Pavlatova, prod. Katerina Cerna and the CZECH TV  (30min)

PREVIANTI  (1998)  Director, cinematographer
Documentary episodes from the life of amateur musicians living in the Czech countryside, prod. FILM AND SOCIOLOGY and the CZECH TV with a grant from the CZECH FUND FOR CINEMATOGRAPHY  (58min)

HAMSA  (1998)  Director, cinematographer
Documentary film about students of the Music School for the Blind in Prague, prod. the CZECH TV  (58min)

WHO IS JIRI KRALIK  (1997)  Director, cinematographer
Documentary portrait of a cinephile and a film festival director, prod. the CZECH TV  (24min)

THE LAST SLAV  (1997)  Director, cinematographer
Documentary portrait of an aging cameraman, prod. the CZECH TV  (24min)

OPERA BAROQUE  (1997)  Director
Screen adaptation of a puppet theatre performance of the Brothers Forman Theatre, prod. the CZECH TV  (38min)

COSMIC VOYAGE  (1996)  editor
IMAX film, dir. Bailey Silleck, prod. NATIONAL AIR AND SPACE MUSEUM, Washington D.C.  (40min)

THE UNSEEN  (1996)  Director, cinematographer
Documentary film about blind children taking photographs, prod. the CZECH TV  (53min)

PARADISE ON EARTH  (1996)  Director, cinematographer
Non-verbal documentary film about the life in an industrial zone of Northern Moravia as seen through the eyes of three photographers traveling with their portable studio, prod. the CZECH TV  (20min)

EVIDENCE  (1995)  Editor
Documentary film about children watching television, dir. Godfrey Reggio, music Philip Glass, prod. FABRICA, Italy  (10min)

ON KRALIK AND THE GUESTS  (1995)  Director, cinematographer
Documentary film about the Midsummer Film Festival in Moravia, prod. the CZECH TV  (30min)

MEXICO HOY  (1994)  Editor
IMAX film, dir. Lorena Parlee, prod. CHILDREN MUSEUM, Mexico City  (40min)

SEVEN TEN NECTINY  (1993)  Director, cinematographer
Documentary film about international acting workshops in a small czech village, prod. the CZECH TV  (60min)

WILLIAM KENNEDY¦ ALBANY  (1993)  Editor
Documentary film about the writer and his city, dir. Dick Rogers, prod. PBS with a grant from the NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR HUMANITIES  (60min)

HOCKNEY AND OPERA  (1992)  Editor
Five sketches for a feature-length documentary about David Hockney working on the stage design for various operas, dir. Seth Schneidman, prod. SEVEN HILLS PROD.  (35min)

THE ART OF COLLABORATION  (1992)  Editor
Documentary portrait of a master printer Ken Tyler collaborating with a numer of prominent American artists, dir. Seth Schneidman, prod. SEVEN HILLS PROD.  (80min)

CONCIERTO POR LA TIERRA  (1991)  Editor
A SHOWSCAN film for the WORLD¦ FAIR in Seville, dir. and prod. Bailey Silleck  (15min)

ANIMA MUNDI  (1991)  Editor
Documentary film about the biological diversity on Earth, dir. Godfrey Reggio, music Philip Glass, prod. STUDIO EQUATORE, Italy and BVLGARI  (30min)

MEDICINE FIDDLE  (1990)  Cinematographer, editor
Documentary film on Native-American fiddlers of the North, dir. Michael Loukinen, prod. NORTHERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY with a grant from the NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS  (82min)

OLD EXPLORERS  (1989)  Editor
Feature film starring James Whitmore and Jose Ferrer, dir. Bill Pohlad, prod. TAURUS FILMS  (90min)

MILOS FORMAN STORIES  (1989)  Editing consultant
Documentary portrait of the director filmed during the shooting of Valmont, dir. Vojtech Jasny, prod. PBS and BBC-CHANNEL FOUR   (60min)

NOW I LAY ME   (1988)  Writer, director
Feature film produced with a grant from the JEROME FOUNDATION, St. Paul, MN  (72min)

K.O. KIPPERS  (1988)  Director, editor
Comedy special starring the Kipper Kids, prod. HBO/CINEMAX  (30min)

SERRA PELLADA  (1988)  Editor
Philip Glass music video, prod. ELECTRA - NONESUCH  (7min)

JOHN HUSTON AND THE DUBLINERS  (1987)  Editor
Documentary portrait of the director filmed during the shooting of his last film The Dead, dir. Lilyan Sievernich, prod. LIFFEY FILMS  (60min)

POWAQQATSI  (1987)  Co-editor
Documentary film from the southern hemisphere, dir. Godfrey Reggio, music Philip Glass, prod. CANNON GROUPE  (96min)

GOOD MAN IN THE WOODS  (1986)  Cinematographer, editor
Documentary film about fishermen, lumberjacks and trappers of Upper Penninsula Michigan, dir. Michael Loukinen, prod. NORTHERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY with a grant from the NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR HUMANITIES  (86min)

INVISIBLE  (1986)  Co-writer
Feature script developed with a grant from the NORTHWEST BANK FOUNDATION, St. Paul, MN

DAYTIME MOON  (1985)  Editor
Butoh dance film featuring Min Tanaka, dir. Sandy Smolan, prod. MINNESOTA OPERA COMPANY, St. Paul, MN  (9min)

VALO  (1985)  Producer, cinematographer
Narrative film, dir. Tonicka Janek, produced with a grant from the JEROME FOUNDATION, St. Paul, MN  (30min)

FOUR ON THE FLOOR  (1985)  Editor

Libby Larsen music video, dir. Sandy Smolan, prod. MINNESOTA OPERA COMPANY, St. Paul, MN  (10min)

U FILM SOCIETY  (1985)  Director, cinematographer, editor
Special festival trailer commissioned by the UNIVERSITY FILM SOCIETY, Minneapolis, MN  (3min)

THE FANTASTIC ADVENTURES OF THE COUNT OF ST. GERMAIN  (1984)  Director, cinematographer, editor
Special trailer commissioned by the THEATRE DE LA JEUNE LUNE, Minneapolis, MN  (3min)

LITTLE CITY IN SPACE  (1984)  Director, cinematographer, editor
Documentary film about  Fresh Air radio, a Minneapolis community radio station, produced with a grant from the JEROME FOUNDATION, AMERICAN FILM INSTITUTE and the NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR THE ARTS  (60min)

ST. CLOUD SLEEP  (1984)  Cinematographer, editor
Modern fairy tale, dir. Jim Gambone, prod. Jim Gambone with the support of the community of St. Cloud, MN  (30min)

THE CAPRICES OF MARIANNE  (1983)  Director, cinematographer, editor
Special trailer commissioned by the THEATRE DE LA JEUNE LUNE, Minneapolis, MN  (2min)

TRADITION BEARERS  (1983)  Editor
Documentary film about Finnish-American community in Upper Penninsula Michigan, dir. Michael Loukinen, prod. NORTHERN MICHIGAN UNIVERSITY with a grant from the NATIONAL ENDOWMENT FOR HUMANITIES  (60MIN)

HEROES  (1983)  Director, editor
Documentary film about making a modern Commedia del´Arte stage play by the Thetre de la Jeune Lune, Minneapolis, produced with a grant from the MINNESOTA ARTS COUNCIL  (60min)

VISITOR  (1983)  Director, editor
Independent narrative film, prod. Roger Schmitz  (23min)

FINDERS KEEPERS  (1982)  Editor
Independent narrative film, prod. FILM IN THE CITIES with a grant from the NORTHWEST AREA FOUNDATION, St. Paul, MN  (30min)

FORECLOSURE  (1982)  Cinematographer, editor
Independent narrative film, dir. and prod. Jim Gambone  (22min)