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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.

Visions du Réel: Special Events and European Docs

In addition to a number of documentaries by East European filmmakers (e.g., Alda, Metrobranding, The Dog Hill, etc.), Visions du réel (April 15 - 21, 2010, Nyon, SUI) will present several special events, including a case study on Themerson & Themerson by Polish director Wiktoria Szymanska; a presentation of the Breathless omnibus film, or screenings of 5 documentaries selected by Doc Alliance.

April 15 - 21, 2010
Nyon / Switzerland


April 16 / 14:00 / Salle de la Colombière
EURODOC: Une Production Prototype (Case Study: Themerson & Themerson)
EURODOC, an indispensable training programme for European producers, is coming back to Nyon for the third year running. A study of the artistic career of Themerson & Themerson by Wiktoria Szymanska: the unique union of a couple of Polish artists at the pinnacle of expression for nearly 60 years! From one avant-garde to the next? In the presence of the filmmaker, the producer, the partner, Jacques Bidou and Jean Perret.


Poland, United Kingdom, 2009, 80 min
D: Wiktoria Szymanska

The film is retracing the love story of an unusual and unique creative union. It is a well-hidden treasure in the culture and art of the 20th century. Franciszka and Stefan Themerson lived and worked together for almost sixty years, first in Poland, then in France and eventually they settled in England. The only time when they were separated was the outbreak of WW2 but even then they remained connected.

East European Forum 2008 / East Silver 2010


April 18 / 18:30 / Salle de la Colombière
Breathless: Dominance of the Moment
Resulting from exemplary cooperation between Germany and the Czech Republic, this bold project of five breathtaking films explores the perception of time in a world that moves at a breakneck pace. To be discovered this afternoon: Milltown, Montana by Rainer Komers and Es wird einmal gewesen sein by Anca Miruna Lazarescu, followed by a debate in the presence of the filmmakers.


Czech Republic 2009, 27 min
D: Jan Gogola

The diary of a grandmother from the Prague neighbourhood of Zbraslav as a diary of eternity. Using informal language, for five years grandmother Alena Němcová from Zbraslav has been writing down weather forecasts, dreams, morning exercise, cooking, regular house bustle, global events as well as notes concerning relationships, religion and the general spirit of the age – matters of a private, family, social, real and also surreal nature.


Czech Republic 2009, 59 min
D: Karel Žalud

In the so-called global age, man is caught in the trap of time he has set for himself and then got stuck in it along with his freedom. Film about time, which consists of several fragmentary documentary sequences. Each of them shows how subjective the protagonists’ perception of time is: an undertaker transporting coffins every day, a group of aging actors celebrating a birthday on a train, or soldiers rehearsing a manoeuvre. The stories are connected in free association and told circularly to make palpable that all these times exist simultaneously.


Germany 2009, 33 min
D: Rainer Komers

Time inscribes itself into Rainer Komers' meticulously composed images and impressive sound collages of Milltown, Montana. Each picture tells a story of a place that once belonged to the largest mining area in the United States that was contaminated by toxic substances and heavy metals. Milltown, Montana is visibly scarred by man and trapped in a post-industrial phase of standstill. By alluding to its former wealth but showing the area's actual lack of prospects, the film dramatically undermines the image of the American Dream.

Germany 2009, 27 min
D: Anca Miruna Lazarescu

In a small church in Halberstadt, in the former East Germany, a pipe organ plays avant-garde composer John Cage's „Organ2/ASLSP" (Organ squared/As SLow aS Possible) a single note at a time - and will do so without interruption until the year 2640, resulting in a 639-year long concert. In a humorous but also thoughtful way the film shows different sides of this mind-boggling project.

Germany, 2009, 15 min
D: Jan Peters, Marie-Catherine Theiler

Being confronted with the finiteness of life in a car accident while having their unborn baby inside, the filmmakers Marie-Catherine Theiler and Jan Peters suddenly realize that their lives have become way too hectic. They spend too much precious time rushing from one appointment to another, hunting deadline after deadline. They decide to change their lives and slow down, but how..?



April 21 / 13:00 / Salle de la Colombière
Doc Alliance
A selection of five films made by five benchmark festivals - Visions du réel, Planete Doc Review Warsaw, Jihlava IDFF, DOK Leipzig and CPH:DOX Copenhagen. A European tour that is beginning in Nyon for the third year running. Not to be missed today, Les Arrivants by Claudine Bories & Patrice Chagnard. Immersion into a reception centre for asylum seekers in Paris. Between tragedy and comedy, two worlds confront each other beyond reassuring clichés.

Romania 2010, 92 min
D: Adrian Voicu, Ana Vlad

In the communist Romania we had but a single brand of each basic product: the Relaxa mattress, the Dragasani sneakers, the Pegas bicycle, the Mobra motorcycle, the Fieni bulbs and the Ileana sewing machine were the stars of the Romanian golden era. These six brands had spectacular destinies. They appeared approximately at the same time, along with the socialist industrialization. As overnight towns were built around the factories producing them, they have become the objects of desire for the Romanian daily life and dreams.

Docu Talents From the East 2009 / East Silver 2009

Other documentaries screened as part of the programme: Aisheen (Still Alive in Gaza), dir. Nicolas Wadimoff / Into Eternity, dir. Michael Madsen / Steam of Life, dir. Joonas Berghäll & Mika Hotakainen / Les Arrivants, dir. Claudine Bories & Patrice Chagnard.



France 2009, 96 min
D: Nino Kirtadze

The Russian invasion of Southern Ossetia: separatism or independence? An exceptionally lucid and sensitive “film de guerre” endowed with unique images.



Serbia, Hungary 2009, 80 min
D: Jovan B. Todorovic

A stolen Porsche embarks on a frantic car chase with the Belgrade police. This 1979 episode is told through interviews and re-enactments.

East Silver 2009


Czech Republic, 2009, 52 min
D: Viera Čákanyová

The screenplay for this film is based on writings of a person suffering from Alzheimer’s type of dementia. The story of Mrs. O. is told throught a combination of documentary film footage and her own videos from a handy digital camera, where she records mini instructions for different daily activities, memories, thouhgts and commentaries on various events, trying to prevent forggeting them later in the future.


Poland 2009, 39 min
D: Grzegorz Zariczny

Four shepherds spend the summer on the high planes of Poland with their sheep, exchanging stories about women. An amusing study of rough, yet tender-hearted guys.


Germany, Poland 2009, 98 min
D: Kerstin Neckig

A stirring and intimate film that follows four Chechen refugee families in their search for normalcy and a new home in Europe.


Romania 2009, 61 min
D: Alexander Nanau

A documentary on the coincidences that transformed the life of Romanian artist Ion Barladeanu, illustrated by his fantastically absurd photo-collages.



Slovakia 2009, 23 min
D: Miro Remo

The film is a story of a mother and her son Lubos who lives in a world turned upside-down, or, arsy-versy. Lubos broke free from the world as generally conceived by others to arrive at the supreme human-nature symbiosis; he flew away to a planet purely inhabited by butterflies - intelligent beings. The sole focus of his life energy, enriched by a great deal of empathy, is being channelled into his amateur photography and film making, the climax of his fascination with natural phenomenon being his unique study of bats. 

East Silver 2009

Visions du réel
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