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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.

Pilz Michael

Across The River
Across the River is a documentary focusing on the cultural exchange that took place when the Tonga music enseble (Simonga) and people living in the village of Siachilaba near Zimbabw's lake Kariba met a group of Austrian musicians and composers. It highlights the cultural strenght and resistance of the Tonga people.

At First Sight
It's not about new or interesting films, but about the constant awareness of seeing and hearing. About the constant opening of the heart." The foundations of A Prima Vista are based upon the unreleased film works from the personal archive of Michael Pilz. The available material was barely altered and highlighted with quotes, sound, noise and music collages. "It is a film for meditation. Moreover, it is a meditation." (Quotes by Michael Pilz).

Siberian Diary - Days at Apanas
A journey towards the work of art and a journey inside is always of a two-pole nature. The meaning of a journey is composed of oppositions, it is the incompleteness that matters the most, something still in development. A journey in a land between the two continents becomes a search of an inner, remote equilibrum, which is attacked, proof-against the longing to discover something "different".

Silence is a personal, intimate and a kind of a diary film. It's a passionate creed for life, love and cinematograqphy. A woman meets a man in different places, different times and in different moods. A film for meditation.

Windows, dogs and horses
"Windows, dogs and horses" uses found footage of miscellaneous occurrences from 1994 to 2003. The pictures are not following any linear action - curtains, a hike, two black dogs, a family on a street in Africa, a window in a winter, scenes of a river, ships - sensations one can only experience in films.

Memories Of You 7 December 2003
In his hommage film, Pilz moves with his camera among the books, quotes, writing implements, drawings, painting, photos, furniture, flowers and other elements of the home and workshop of his recently deceased good friend Helmut eisendle (1839-2003). A sketch of both the wealth and transience of a Western artist of the twentieth century.

Invocation of bliss
In May, 2006 I traveled around Iran, a small camera always close at hand, and experienced some of the most memorable „magical moments“ of my life. At Shiraz, I strolled through the garden of Hafez, the great Persian poet from the 14th century. There was this moment when I pointed my camera at the alabaster tomb at the center of the garden for about one minute. The footage shows a group of people of all ages that grew from just a few at first to about fifty. They all engaged in a meeting of a very special and personal kind and their behavior suggested something that can only be described as the spirit of Hafez. I edited this succession of images and made it last 18 minutes. Then I added five duplicates of the resulting footage and inserted an additional close-up between them, which shows Arabic calligraphy of one of Hafez''s most famous poems that is inscribed on his tomb. The soundtrack is a composition that draws on different sources such as sound bites from Hafez''s garden at Shiraz and other locations around the country. It also focuses on rain, wind, thunder, and a brook that I had my ears close to. To a large extent, Iran consists of sand and salt deserts as well as bare mountain ranges. In an environment of this kind, water means life, pure and simple, and people of all ages have built the most beautiful gardens and palaces around it. This is clearly another film about meditation. Michael Pilz, September 17, 2009

Rose and Jasmine
In ancient China before an artist began to paint anything – a tree, for instance – he would sit down in front of it for days, months, years, it didn't matter how long, until he was the tree. He did not identify himself with the tree but he was the tree. This means that there was no space between him and the tree, no space between the observer and the observed, no experiencer experiencing the beauty, the movement, the shadow, the depth of a leaf, the quality of colour. He was totally the tree, and in that state only could he paint.

Born in 1943 in Gmünd, Lower Austria. In 1954 he started to take pictures and work with 8mm film. In 1956 he moved to Vienna, later on developed a growing interest in the technical, material, and mental aspects of cinema as well as the various ways of expressing the subconscious in film as displayed in his experimental films from the 1960s. During the 1970s Pilz worked for ORF. Since 1983, Pilz has engaged in delivering occasional lectures and holding workshops on aesthetics and experimental filmmaking. During the last two decades Pilz has been concentrating mostly on producing films shot on his extensive travels. Selected filmography: Plakatkleber (1965); Jascha (1969); Wladimir Nixon (1971/72); Das Lied vom Hofer (1975); Franz Grimus (1977); Die Generalin (1977); Heaven and Earth (1979/82); Wels (1984); Noah Delta II (1984/1985); Feldberg (1987/90); State Of Grace (1991/93); Let‘s Sit Down Before We Leave (1993/95); Facts For Fiction (1996); Indian Diary – Days At Sree Sankara (2000); Siberian Diary – Days At Apanas (1994/2003); Fur Erwin Puls (2008); Rose and Jasmine (2006/2010).
Michael Pilz Film
Teschnergasse 37
A-1180 Vienna
+43 1 402 33 92

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