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.

Rublyovka - A Road to Bliss

Rublyovka Road is the traffic artery connecting the powerhouse Moscow with the Russian outback. At all times this region has had a magnetic attraction for the ruling elite. In Putin's Russia, Rublyovka has become synonymous with wealth, social ascent and decadent lifestyles. Capitalism has created a bizarre microcosm there.

Shell

"Shell" is a popular name for a collapsible metallic garage for a single vehicle. They have become quite popular in Russia after 1991. The advantage of "shells" is their low price and the ability to install one close to home. The disadvantages are unattractive appearance and big size. More than a third of "shells" are used not for their original purpose.Retirees Karasevs have lived in a "shell" for 79 days with a nearly fatal outcome. What exactly was happening in downtown Moscow at the end of 2006?

Blind Loves

It is very often difficult for us, those who can see, to find our true fulfillment and happiness in the world. The more complicated, but maybe the more interesting this journey might be for the blind. Their perspective of the world is much more essential and sincere in many ways, and it often uncovers the invisible dimensions of the world. This film is about love amongst the blind and about the different forms it can take. The main protagonists are people who were born blind and they have been living in a world of their own since ever. This world is often filled with unusual visions, perceptions and dreams. It is through the lives of four different characters in the film, through which we are presented different kinds of love experience. Zuzka, a blind teenager, is in search of her first love. Blind young Roma, Miro, falls in love with a blind white girl. Blind Elena happily raises her 5-year-old sighted daughter. Peter, a blind music teacher, wants to fulfill his wife’s dream and takes her to ‚see‘ the sea for the first time in their life. The cinematography we intend to apply should be artistic and visiualy attractive in the surrealistic aesthetics but at the same time its content will consist of real and true moments from the lives of the characters. The screenplay was awarded the Tibor Vichta Award for the best documentary script in Slovakia.

Marina and Sasha, Coalshippers

Waiting "as if for God," two Russian sailors, Marina and Sascha, look forward to the ice-free season on Lake Baikal, where they transport coal on their barge. They take loads on board in Kultuk, and unload them in Barguzin, where they live. This is a precarious business, and they depend on the orders they receive, of which there are fewer and fewer. This would however be the perfect job for Sascha, the silent captain, and Marina, who's occasionally compared to a seal. She loves the lake, she even loves the storms. During their trips the two work together without quarreling. Story of two individuals who don't have an easy life, though they don't complain.

Lord of the Rims

An old man has been fixing rims for all his life. He’s the one of a few people doing this job in the constantly changing Warsaw. Cheerful and humorous film presents the man who is devoted to his passion.

Road to Mecca - The Journey of Muhammad Asad

At the beginning of the 1920's, the Jew Leopold Weiss takes a journey to the Middle East. The desert fascinated him, Islam became his new spiritual home. He left his Jewish roots behind, converted to Islam and started calling himself Muhammad Asad. Becoming one of the most important Muslims of the 20th century he first started to work as an advisor at the king's court of Saudi-Arabia, later translated the Koran, became a co- founder of Pakistan and finally ambassador of the UN. The director follows his fading footsteps, leading out of the Arabian desert to Ground Zero. He finds a man who was not looking for adventures but rather wanted to act as a mediator between Orient and Occident. A Road To Mecca takes the chance to deal with a burning debate which is starting to gain more and more importance nowadays.

Probes

Lobotomy is Yuri Khashchavatski's personal indictment of the Russian media's brainwashing tactics. Taking the recent war between Russia and Georgia as a point of departure, he illustrates how far removed actual events were from the conflict as it was reported on Russian state television. The director's own voice drives the argument, but journalists, military experts and politicians also have their say. The film intersperses interviews (live or via Skype) with archive footage that is, in turn, contrasted with amateur clips found on the Internet. Khashchavatski contends that "Montage is a powerful and insidious weapon." And he would be the one to know, because in addition to directing the film, he also edited it and its highly effective audio mix. He is a master of the art of irony as well. This personal account by the director suggests that the Russian state is not being governed according to democratic principles, but by a Mafia-style hierarchy.

PRL de Luxe

Crazy Mike from Krakow specializes in organizing guided tours that are anything but typical. He drives the tourists to Nowa Huta in a dilapidated Vee Dub and allows the relics of the past - the "Stylowa" restaurant, the former site of the Lenin monument, the giant steelworks, a typical worker's flat - to unfold their charms. During the sightseeing, he talks about the joys of life in the People's Republic of Poland and the absurdities of real socialism. Will the memory of the trip stay with the tourists a little longer?

Profile: Jan Kaplický

"I have the feeling that there is always someone creating something which our generation never even imagined." Jan Kaplický, quote from his essay on architecture. We believe that from today's perspective, i.e. a time when ecological issues are becoming the focal point, a time when many of us suffer from a lack of living space, forming the human beings; We believe that it is worth trying to make a film portrait of a man who dealt with these issues a long time ago, through architecture! Long before 1968, when he decided to leave the country as a consequence of the then political turmoil and it was only in emigration that he proved his exceptional talent! Our intention is to create – on a large scale – a portrait of the heart of Jan Kaplický, as well as of his opinions and thinking through the architecture of today's society. Jan Kaplický has been living and working in England for a long time, where he also founded Future Systems, a prestigious society recognized throughout the world. He visits Prague, his native town, partly because of the fact that he feels homesick and also because he pursues various projects here (among the most famous ones, there is the proposed memorial to the victims of the communist regime, in the form of 42 stairs leading to a point overlooking the city, which has however not been put in practice yet). Unfortunately, all his proposals usually meet opposition in the Czech Republic, both due to personal intolerance, associated with envy – a typical Czech character, as well as due to a number of absurd decisions about what to build, where bribery often plays an important role. Similarly to Milan Kundera, a well-known writer, Jan Kaplický has not become very popular in his home country. The important themes on which the film should focus include the life story of this man – an architect, problems of leaving one's native land and various issues of modern architecture. Thanks to our friendly relations with J.K., we managed to make a short recording in spring 2002, when the architect took us to his favourite spots in Prague, heartily spoke about the influence that his parents had on him (in Letná Alley) and about how one develops as an architect, moments of his youth before he left the country in 1968, about how a Russian soldier aimed his gun at him, about the generation changes and the unrealised monument to the victims of communism. This interview could help people reveal the horizons and motivate them to take a different view of the world. With his more than two-meter-high posture of a tall gentleman (visually an extremely interesting person), he irradiates strong energy. This was also evident from his lecture which he gave to a crowded audience in Veletržní Fair Palace, Prague, in 1999, from which we have managed to get a unique recording.

Prison of My Own

Forty-four year old Susanne is incapable of acting spontaneously. For the past 25 years her thoughts and actions have been dictated by psychological compulsions. When her mother found the situation too much for her to cope with, and the medication and periods of hospitalisation did her no good, a large family decided to take her in. Twenty years have passed since then. Susanne talks with astonishing self-irony and sensitive self-awareness about her illness, what triggered it, and whether she has the courage to be completely well again.

 

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