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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.

Press Release: First East Doc Platform Is Over

IDF introduced the brand new event for East European documentary film support - the East Doc Platform - with great expectations. How did it end up? Read all about it in the final press release.



Final Press Release

*(pdf version attached at the end of this article)



Organizer: Institute of Documentary Film

Main Partner: One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival





The East Doc Platform is the largest and most important meeting of documentary professionals in Central and Eastern Europe. The first edition that took place March 5 – 11, 2012 in Prague was attended by over 160 East European filmmakers and producers and more than 70 key international commissioning editors, buyers, distributors, and representatives of festivals, sales companies, film funds and other institutions. More than 88 documentary projects and over 60 completed films were presented at the event. The East Silver Video Library offered over 300 completed documentaries. Over the 12 years of its existence, IDF has assisted in completing more than 150 films, and facilitated international distribution for 800 documentaries.

The East Doc Platform extends and follows up on activities organized by the Institute of Documentary Film at the Jihlava IDFF until last year. The first edition took place in the centre of Prague at the Archa Palace and Archa Theatre.


IDF's Programme Coordinator Hana Rezková points out the production demands of the event: “It was an enormous challenge for the Institute of Documentary Film to relocate most of its key activities to Prague in such a short time. I'm very happy that we managed to find so many remarkable documentary projects to present in Prague. I believe that our task was a little easier thanks to the fact that we keep track of documentary filmmaking in Eastern Europe over the long term and we're in contact with the filmmakers throughout the year. I'm grateful for the positive feedback from guests and visitors of the East Doc Platform that suggests we've been successful in maintaining the distinct flavour of the event, which is still very filmmaker-friendly and tinged with humour. Moreover, hosting the Platform in Prague and on the March dates that don't collide with other similar events, we were for the first time able to invite a number of important professionals, such as Simon Kilmurry, Executive Producer of POV, and Tabitha Jackson of Channel 4.”


IDF also greatly appreciates that the first East Doc Platform was organized in association with a large and prestigious international event – One World International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival.

“To bring the meeting of film professionals to Prague was definitely a good decision on the part of the Institute of Documentary Film. We're hoping that next year we'll be able to blend our programme activities to an even greater degree in order to create a unique event designed for both the general audiences and industry professionals,” says One World director Hana Kulhánková.


Each year, IDF has carefully planned a strong design concept for the event to reflects internal or current documentary topics. After last year's On the Road theme that charted our move to Prague, IDF in cooperation with the graphic designers of Mütanta decided to devote the East Doc Platform to creative documentary films that are often developed in makeshift conditions. The slogan Just Do It! that accompanied the East Doc Platform at every step was our call to action to encourage filmmakers to make films whatever the circumstances.




Award Winners and Successful Projects of the East Doc Platform

Frequently mentioned among the most promising documentary projects in development and production was Zvalka by Hanna Polak. The East European Forum workshop tutors presented the project with the Golden Funnel Award that comes with extended and tailored support from IDF. Nathalie Verdier of ARTE G.E.I.E. agrees that the film set at a Russian landfill made a deep impression: “The East Doc Platform featured a range of promising documentaries, with some still at very early stages. But Zvalka is certainly a project we'd really like to follow more closely.” Polak's unique material collected over eleven years was also praised by other guests, including Simon Kilmurry (American Documentary / POV) and Katharina Dufner (ZDF). “Another project that's very interesting for us is the French-Polish portrait of Michael Meschke,” Ms. Verdier said about Exercise of Life by Wiktoria Szymańska. Adriek Van Nieuwenhuyzen of IDFA awarded the project with a special IDFA prize that includes participation at the key industry forum in Amsterdam.


The East Doc Platform Award for best documentary film in post-production went to the Italian-British film The Train to Moscow by Federico Ferrone and Michele Manzolini. Decided by a jury made up of Simon Kilmurry (American Documentary / POV, USA), Héléna Fantl (La fémis, France) and Veton Nurkollari (Director, DokuFest, Kosovo), the award was presented during the closing ceremony of the East Doc Platform. Mr Nurkollari explained: “The Train to Moscow is exceptional for its use of archive footage that bears a strong personal and historical trace of utopian ideals of communism and the Soviet Union. I hope that the Doc Launch Presentation will help the project in getting completed and distributed as soon as possible.“ In finding the final shape of their film, the authors will also be able to use the expertise of a selected renowned editor provided by IDF.


“We're glad that some of the projects broke down the barriers that often determine further development of projects. We saw that projects with a compelling and clear narrative style can be interesting for commissioning editors even if they don't fit their particular slot. To put it simply, a quality author-driven project with clear vision is bound to succeed in the international market,” concluded East European Forum Programme Co-ordinator Ivana Pauerová Miloševič after the successful public presentations.


According to Ryan Harrington, Director of Documentary Programming at the Tribeca Film Institute, the East Doc Platform is special for its focus and structure: “Compared to other events of similar kind, the East Doc Platform is smaller and more concentrated, which gives industry professionals far more opportunities to meet. I was also impressed by the intensive negotiations between the filmmakers and commissioning editors at round table sessions that followed right after the presentations. It really helped me to get familiar with all of them. I really liked The End of Light and Leninland and I think we'll support at least one of them.

Also commenting on the concept of presentations and closed round table meetings adopted by IDF a few years ago, Axel Arnö of Sweden's SVT said: “The debates on projects with filmmakers were very specific and inspiring. I saw a number of projects in Prague that we'd like to support, for example, Zvalka and My Father's Name. But we'll have to wait for them to get developed a little more.”




Completed East European Documentaries in the East Silver Video Library

Sunday was also the last day for the East Silver Video Library, available to East Doc Platform professionals at Archa Palace throughout the event. Documentary films from the East Silver Market can still be watched by One World guests until the festival ends on March 15, 2012, at the Festival Centre, Langhans Gallery. The East Silver Video Library offered a total of 309 completed documentary films from Central and Eastern Europe – 61 films completed from September 2011 to February 2012, and another 248 films from the 8th East Silver Market presented in October 2011 in Jihlava. In addition, the Video Library included 106 documentary films from One World's programme lineup.

Selected film professionals can also make use of East Silver Streaming - an online video library where films can be streamed throughout the year. For a full list of films that are part of the East Silver Market, please refer to our online film catalogue.


The most viewed films in the East Silver Video Library at the East Doc Platform 2012 (final results will be posted March 15 on our website):

I Love You (Aleksandr Rastorguev, Pavel Kostomarov, Russia, 2011, 81 min)

Here... I Mean There (Laura Capatana Juller, Alexandru Solomon, Romania, 2012, 76 min)

Leonid's Story (Rainer Ludwigs, Germany, Ukraine, 2011, 19 min)

Chronicle of Oldřich S. (Rudolf Šmíd, Czech Republic, 2011, 18 min)

The Cloud (Miroslav Sikavica, Croatia, 2011, 78 min)

12 Meters (Tomasz Karpowicz, Magda Karpowicz, Poland, 2012, 49 min)

Gromov (Andrey Stadnikov, Russia, 2011, 39 min)

31 Endings/31 Beginnings (Art group RAFANI, Czech Republic, 2011, 84 min)

Solar Eclipse (Martin Mareček, Czech Republic, 2011, 81 min)

Hitting the Right Keys (Ignacy Szczepański, Poland, 2011, 55 min)


The top rated films (rated Very Interesting):

Leonid's Story (Rainer Ludwigs, Germany, Ukraine, 2011, 19 min)

Chronicle of Oldřich S. (Rudolf Šmíd, Czech Republic, 2011, 18 min)

Cinema Komunisto (Mila Turajlić, Serbia, 2010, 100 min)

Bakhmaro (Salome Jashi, Georgia, Germany, 2011, 58 min)

On Decency (Radovan Síbrt, Czech Republic, 2012, 52 min)




Documentary Films and Projects in Public Spotlight

The East Doc Platform also had its Open Programme for the general public that let visitors peek behind the curtain of documentary filmmaking, funding and new trends in several lectures, screenings, master classes, panel discussions and project presentations. Open also to visitors with a One World pass, these events were attended by many students of FAMU and other film schools, as well as members of the general public.


The East Doc Platform had mentions in the following media: Servis ČTK, Respekt, Hospodářské noviny, MF Dnes, Právo, Literární noviny,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,, ČT 24, Film 2012 (aired on Czech TV), Český rozhlas 1 – Radiožurnál, Rádio Česko, Český rozhlas – Regina, Radio 1, etc.

Promotion of the East Doc Platform included an ad on Radio 1 and a press conference two weeks prior to the event.




IDF Is Active All Year Long

The Institute of Documentary Film would like to thank all who supported us before and during the East Doc Platform and who will continue working with us to make our efforts even more successful in the years to come. Although the East Doc Platform is our biggest event this year, it is part of a long chain of our ongoing activities.


Starting in April, IDF will be selecting East European documentary proposals for the yearlong Ex Oriente Film workshop. The first session will take place in June and the authors of 14 projects from Central and Eastern Europe will focus on narrative structure and production development. The second session will be organized in October during the Jihlava IDFF where we will host the 9th East Silver Market. The Doc Launch Programme takes care of the past participants of public presentations by offering storytelling and editing consultations, and support at international festivals and markets. brings daily news and updates on East European documentary film. Czech Docs Project focuses on Czech documentary filmmakers throughout the year. In July, IDF strikes a new partnership with Academia Film Olomouc, one of the most important international festivals of science documentary films.





Contact:, Institute of Documentary Film,