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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.

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14 Projects Selected for Ex Oriente Film 2011

The 2011 Ex Oriente Film is set to start with its first session in March, featuring 14 new documentary proposals from Bulgaria, Croatia, Czech Republic, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, and the United Kingdom. Congratulations to all filmmaking teams and see you in March!


The following 14 documentary projects have been selected to attend the year-long Ex Oriente Film workshop. The first session takes place March 12 - 18, 2011 (Prague, Roztoky, Czech Republic). More details here.

March 12 - 13, the Ex Oriente Film participants will attend the Documentary Campus session organized in Prague in cooperation with the One World festival, with the support of the Institute of Documentary Film. Click here for a detailed programme.

The projects are listed alphabetically by country.


Jail Team

Production company: Izograph Ltd.

Otbora na zatvora , Bulgaria, 52 min, HD, Society

“The Jail Team” is a film about the efforts of one man to overturn the value system of people who think that human life is worthless after a bottle of rakia. The action takes place in the Kazichene prison. The characters in the film have been sentenced for attempted murder, theft and assault. Facing them is the psychologist Kalin Gaytandzhiev and two teachers. The aim: for at least one out of 100 people to rise out of the gutter.



Diana's List

Production company: Hulahop Film & Art Production

Dianina lista , Croatia, 80 min, HD, History, Human Rights

Fifteen years ago, atop a box containing worn-out children’s clothes, a diary of an extraordinary woman was discovered – a wartime testimony of a charity taking at that time probably incredible proportions. On a cold winter day, in February 1942, Diana Budisavljević decided to do something for the thousands of children who were dying in Ustaše camps every day from hunger, sickness and cold. She launched an action that saved 12,000 children by 1945 and took careful records of all the information available so that the children could safely return to their families once the war was over.


Croatia / Moldova / Netherlands

Lost in Transition

Production company: Kinematograf

Izgubljeni u tranziciji , Croatia, Moldova, The Netherlands, 50 min, Beta SP, Digi Beta, Health, Human Rights, Portrait, Social Issues

A student of the Zagreb University named VANJA goes to Moldova, the poorest European country, to do volunteer work. She joins a project whose goal is to help seniors and the disabled. In six months, she is transformed from a confused foreigner unfamiliar with the language, culture and traditions, into a leader of a humanitarian project. She becomes a fighter against the deeply corrupt Moldovan society, an advocate of Western democratic values and methods, as well as a warm and comforting figure for a plethora of lonely seniors. Her efforts result in the construction of a modern nursing home in the middle of rural Moldova and the establishment of a care system so advanced that it can challenge those of Western Europe.


Czech Republic

The Anatomy of Czech Pop

Producer: Pavla Kubečková
Production company: nutprodukce

Anatomie českého popu , Czech Republic, 90 min, HD, Arts and Culture, Creative, Culture, Entertainment, Music, Personal View, Society, Youth Documentary

The film, with working title The Anatomy of Czech Pop, is conceived as a documentary musical excursion to the backstage of Czech music-media industry. The film proposes to become a complex analysis of show business and in doing so, to reveal the deep levels of the phenomenon of pop music. The goal of the film is not to superficially criticize or glorify this phenomenon but more to explore what we actually expect from our celebrities. For example, how they take in their roles and create it, and who helps "them" to do so…

Czech Republic

The Life of My Father

Production company: Pink Productions s.r.o.

Život mého otce , Czech Republic, Norway, 100 min, HD, Arts and Culture, Creative, Culture, History, Personal View, Portrait

"I have to convince you that what you see and hear could have happened to you." (---Lubos Hruza). On 2nd of December, 2008, my father, Lubos Hruza, dies tragically and suddenly. I am in shock. I clean his apartment and empty the fridge, but leave everything else as he left it the last time we were there together. I close the door thinking that he might come back. He will be glad to see how clean it is. I open it again a year later and it is as I left it last. I resist as long as I can before I have to start cleaning things out. It is then I discover in his basement, in the room black with coal, hundreds of pictures, sketches and paintings mapping his fantastic theatre career. His beginnings at DAMU, the click that would later become Cinoherni klub, a quarter of century as head set designer at the National Theater in Norway, Iceland, Sweden, Denmark. It is all here. I look at all the drawings and turn them around. Almost everything has mold on it.



Czech Republic

Under (the) Construction

Director: Bystřičan Ivo
Producer: Síbrt Radovan
Production company: Pink Productions s.r.o., FAMU - Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague

Hranice dálnice , Czech Republic, 75 min, HD, Creative, Current Affairs, Docu drama, Environmental, Nature, Personal View, Politics, Society

A highway is under construction in the Czech Midlands. Although it runs through a natural reserve not too many locals seem to mind it. Some seem to think that the countryside would be prettier without the highway but conceded to the official standpoint of the building lobby which claims that the new highway is a must. There are several people living in the vicinity of the construction site whose "lifetime achievements", in one way or another, are closely linked to the highway. For one of them, the road itself is the pinnacle of his career. Others wanted to leave behind their cottage and its garden as a monument of their lives - they are now learning to live together with the highway right behind their fence. Yet others are looking forward to money they expect to make thanks to the new road.



Not My Land

Production company: Diafilm

Suur - Sõjamäe , Estonia, 70 min, 35 mm, Creative

You are at home, but you are homeless, your plot belongs to your State, but your State no longer exists. A new power could arise at any time and destroy your cottage. The conflict is between the communist and capitalist systems, between the poor and the rich, between the young and the old.



Blueberry Spirits

Director: Zoldnere Astra
Producer: Braķis Kaspars
Production company: Fly For Film

Melleņu gari , Latvia, 90 min, HD, Society

Horror and fairy tales surround a small Gypsy family who live in a Latvian forest together with ghosts and spirits. Bruno is the leader of a small Gypsy family who spends warm seasons living in the forest. He organizes a huge surprise party for his granddaughter Sindija’s birthday. He is afraid that he could be disturbed in his preparation because of ghosts populating their forest. Spirits of the ones who have died of unnatural causes wander around. Danger is in the air. They will not accept happy parties in their territory. Will the ghosts show up in the camp and destroy Bruno’s plan to surprise his beloved granddaughter Sindija?



Lithuania / Belarus


Director: Luzyte Lina
Production company: Just a Moment

Igrushki , Belarus, Lithuania, 52 min, HD, Personal View, Portrait, Social Issues, Society

The documentary film Igrushki is a portrait of the small town of Zhlobin, Belorus, sometimes nicknamed the ‘town of fairytales’. Its locals have come up with a business idea to make and sell plush toys. There are tons of toys in the town and they are everywhere: in the street, markets, train station. And they no longer amaze anyone – they seem to have been living with the people of Zhlobin for ages. An exotic sight for a passerby, this is actually a poor, wild and utterly unprofitable business for the locals. The film tells five stories of the ordinary people of Zhlobin. They are all making toys, selling them, having chats, drinks, making toys again, singing, fighting and... making toys again. Nothing extraordinary takes place in the film, just like in the life of Zhlobin. Everything is seemingly stalled, absurd, yet at the same time, such is the reality that one cannot escape. Nor is anybody trying to. It is like it is. That is Zhlobin. That is Belarus.




The Domino Effect

Production company: Otter Films

Poland, 52 min, HD, Adventure and Sports, Creative, Current Affairs, Human Rights, Politics

A documentary film about the mutual influence of sports and global politics. The frontlines in this clash between Russia, Georgia and Abkhazia are set by domino pieces...


Russia / Germany



Good Night, White Pride

Director: Begun Daniel
Production company:

Russia, 80 min, HD, Current Affairs, Social Issues

Good Night, White Pride examines various facets of the antifascist movement in contemporary Russia. It provides a glimpse into the inner workings of various antifascist organizations and their members. The underlying subject matter is the shocking advent of fascism in Russia in the recent past and diehard, guerilla-like resistance to it on behalf of a zealous few. Where do the Russian antifascists gather the incredible devotion, determination and audacity necessary for them to persevere? Would a withdrawal from violence they become inherently engulfed in signify advancement for Russian activists or bring about their demise? What are future prospects for the activists themselves and their agenda?





Belgrade, Kosovo

Director: Popović Marko
Production company: Samaljot Production, Red Production

Serbia, 90 min, HD, Creative, Current Affairs, Personal View, Portrait, Social Issues

At the beginning there is the myth - an old graveyard was dug over to build a road and ever since people are frequently dying in car accidents on that road. The two-lane road - the Ibarska Highway - connects the north and the south of Serbia, starts in the capital of Belgrade and ends in the divided city of Mitrovica in today’s Kosovo.With its histories and myths, political assassinations, restaurants where only truckers dare to go, provincial intellectuals, lover motels, prostitutes, local singers, born-again Christians, tycoons, unemployed gamblers, poor neighborhoods, big dreams and lost perspectives, the Ibarska Highway is a grotesque, funny, sad and a sober portrait of Serbia today. It is as if the ghosts of the old graveyard have taken over the entire road and the whole country. Along that road, we meet nine characters.




Tales of Fear

Producer: Belišová Jana
Production company: Zudro

Príbehy strachu , Slovak Republic, 80 min, 35 mm, Creative, Drama doc

Perhaps the film is best described as a ‘documentary happening’. We see a group of Roma people watching the film “Gypsies Go to Heaven’ in Dolina, a small Roma settlement in Slovakia. Inspired by the film, they decide to create their own theatre play, which would reflect their lives. They rehearse in real locations, at home and in different places within their living environment. The characters from the movie are replaced by authentic inhabitants of the village. They want to show situations that they are afraid of. They have fear of death, pain and Gadjos and they are afraid of the world outside of their village. They want to invite Gadjos from the neighbouring villages to watch the play. The Roma people with the help from the film crew have to tackle small tasks. With the small cameras they record their own life and situations which cause them fear.


United Kingdom



Producer: Braid Monika
Production company: Braidmade Films Ltd, The Documentary and Feature Films Studio

United Kingdom, 60 min, HD, Human Rights, Politics, Social Issues

The film tells the story of Ewa Jasiewicz, born in 1978, a British journalist and human rights activist of Polish origin. She graduated from Goldsmith College in anthropology, presently she concentrates on social work and free-lance journalism. She was one of the few western journalists present in Gaza during Israeli attacks in 2008 and 2009. Her reports from Iraq and Palestine were published in The Guardian, The Daily Telegraph, The Independent and Le Monde Diplomatique. She took part in a humanitarian aid convoy to Gaza that was attacked in May 2010 by an Israeli commando, killing nine activists and injuring twenty others. The film follows Ewa's life for one year, accompanying her on her trips to Gaza, at left-wing rallies, etc., and examines why she became an activist. Is it a blemish in her CV or does she have a special sensitivity and awareness about what is happening in the world today?



Click here to learn more about Ex Oriente Film.

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