DOKweb Content
www.DOKweb.net is a portal dedicated to East European documentary film. The news section provides up-to-date information on upcoming and just completed films, interviews with filmmakers and other documentary professionals, in-depth articles exploring the state of documentary filmmaking in various parts of the region, as well as insightful texts on current trends, funding, etc. The portal also boasts the largest published databases of completed and upcoming documentary films from Eastern Europe, an industry directory, as well as trailers and original video content. www.DOKweb.net is IDF´s key online project that provides comprehensive details on all IDF´s activities and links them with general information service.
Institute of Documentary Film’s Activities
Founded in 2001, the INSTITUTE OF DOCUMENTARY FILM (IDF) is a non-profit training and networking centre based in Prague, Czech Republic, focused on the support of East European documentary films and their wider promotion. Our activities support filmmakers through all stages of completion – development, funding, production, post-production, and distribution. We aim at individual filmmakers (tailored consultations), groups of carefully selected professionals with projects or films (Ex Oriente Film, East European Forum, East Silver, Doc Launch, etc.), broader professional community (East Doc Platform), as well as the general public (portal www.DOKweb.net). We closely work with key int. festivals, broadcasters, distributors, sales agents, markets, or training initiatives and serve as the GATEWAY TO EAST EUROPEAN DOCUMENTARY FILM.

Metrobranding

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.

Cold Waves

This is a love and hate story built around something no one can see or touch: radio waves. During the 80's, Radio Free Europe was the secret relief and confidant of its Romanian listeners. The Radio was Ceausescu's most important enemy; he even hired Carlos the Jackal to close it down. A strange alliance was thus forged, between a national - communist dictator and the international terrorism. The world has changed - there are different wars now. But if you listen to the voices, you may get a better picture…

Journey - Portrait of Vera Chytilova

A documentary about the current life and of Czech New Wave legend Věra Chytilová. Although the 74-year-old director is respected as a seminal director in the history of Czech film, she is yet to attain true happiness. At first glance her life seems perfect. She has been successful at everything she has touched: she made films and had the strength to stand up to the Communist malevolence. Many of her films are considered gems of world cinema and have taken corresponding awards. At one time she seemed content in her personal life as well: she married a fine man, a renowned director of photography, and they had two kids, a lovely house and garden, cats and a dog, everything to make a home. In spite of this, when she looks back, it's difficult for her to find meaning in her long and productive life...

Great Communist Bank Robbery

In 1959, in Romania, six former members of the nomenclature and the Romanian secret police organized a heist of the National Bank. After they were arrested, the state forced them to play themselves in a film reconstructing the crime and the investigation. At the end of their trial, filmed live, they are sentenced to death and executed. A month later, the "Reconstruction" was released and became a sensation throughout the county. Today, Alexandru Solomon retraces this incredible story.

Peace with Seals

Framed by two stories, this feature documentary fable Peace with Seals deals with the concept of "human nature". The first story is about a seal named Gaston who, according to the Prague Zoo director, became "the most famous animal on earth" after he managed to reach Germany during a devastating flood. At the height of his fame, Gaston was adopted by the former Prime Minister Gross; after Gaston's death, the Prague Zoo erected a statue in his memory. The second story took place 50 years earlier and tells the life story of a seal named Ulysses, caught in Sardinia by a Milan photojournalist who, in front of the cameras, tossed the animal into the famous Di Trevi fountain. Patellani - a friend of Federico Fellini's and a specialist on film stars - was fined for his action. The reason, however, was not the killing of a baby seal but the pollution of water in the fountain. Fellini took inspiration from the story for "La Dolce Vita"; referring to photojournalists such as Patellani, he coined the term "paparazzi", i.e. those who create the "nature" of contemporary man. What changes mark our relationship with animals? Today there are urban nature reserves, aquariums instead of oceans, and seal hunting can be booked with a travel agent. In the time of Homer, seals were the most widespread inhabitant of Europe's largest biotope, the Mediterranean Sea. Today, with sun tanning being so fashionable, people have replaced the seals on the beaches. Seals have become one of the most endangered mammals in Europe. Where will we be able to encounter wild animals in the future? How are animals being domesticated? And what is the domestication of people?

Last Tightrope Dancer in Armenia

Two old men, 78, 75, are shouting at each other under the tightrope, arguing whose student is the best; ‘I started to walk when I was thirteen, 30 musicians died whilst I was dancing!’ ‘But I won the competition in the fifties; the cultural minister said if there was a science of tightrope I would be a Professor.’ These are the last two tightrope masters in Armenia, who were once treated like gods. With a smile we will show the ‘funeral’ of their art: even though their troupes walk now, they are sure that their students will not continue.

Baluty Ghetto

I discovered the Baluty district three years ago, almost by chance. It looks much like in surviving wartime photographs. Today, the devastated houses are inhabited by a highly unusual social group which differs distinctly from the remaining population of Lodz... as if the borders of the ghetto still existed. Our film illustrates human misery and the horror of a landscape touched by horror through the survivors' wartime stories.

Durban Poison

The Stable Theatre was the first independent black theatre in South Africa, founded in the racially and culturally mixed city of Durban. Its most famous product is Broadway playwright and pop star Mbongeni Ngema, a controversial figure tainted by scandal and accusations of racism. In an attempt to return to his roots, Ngema begins work on an ambitious new musical designed to tell the Stable's history. Unseen fault lines are crossed, and corruption, fraud and politics threaten to engulf the project. At the same time, the film's producer Deon Maas unexpectedly becomes a reality TV celebrity and decides to use his new public notoriety to investigate the situation. As the musical collapses and the theatre itself slides into failure, the film becomes a road movie through the minefield of contemporary South African politics and a search for the deeper problems at the heart of the Stable Theatre's collapse.

Body Parts

Even if the War recedes its signs remain typed into the earth torn to pieces and into the human memory with its bloody prints. The body of this earth is burnt with shells and torn with mines, and we are the Parts of it. The characters of the film, the young Caucasian guys, are the children of the war that destroyed their childhood and youth, substituted them with sufferings and children's memories with nothing to remember. They don't lose the courage - they get education, get married, raise children and talk about everything - the world, people, love and God. They will never forget the bygone, but they overcome it - they are living on their land, fight and want to make their Motherland free and happy. They are the dignified children of their people. In this black & white film past, present and future are mixed up into one color of all times and nations - the color of War.

Private Century - A Stroke of Butterfly Wings

A Stroke of Butterfly Wings is a view into the family background of composer Václav Felix from the 1930s to 1980s. It shows the sequence of events and context in which Václav's procommunist attitude was formed. Václav's emotional relationship with his parents was extremely strong. He saw his father as a great model which he strove to reach and his mother as a protector from whom he sought understanding. However, from 1948 Václav's personal life began to unwind in connection with the political situation in Czechoslovakia. Václav fully identified with the ideology of the Communist party. His ideology also determined his private, personal decisions, such as the choice of his life partner, and caused a difficult relationship with his father who spent time in a Communist prison. The political ideology also affected his career of a composer. He found refuge in his hobby - collecting butterflies. The ups and downs of his life enable us to observe the roots of Václav's worldview and the reasons behind his lifelong beliefs.

 

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