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JIHLAVA 2020

Female creativity and Polish underground cinema in the spotlight at the upcoming edition of Ji.hlava IDFF

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- The festival is planned as an on-site event, with a backup plan for a virtual festival ready in case cultural events should be banned in the Czech Republic

Female creativity and Polish underground cinema in the spotlight at the upcoming edition of Ji.hlava IDFF
Last and First Men by Jóhann Jóhannsson

“This year’s journey is by far the most adventurous in the history of the festival. We still believe that Ji.hlava will take place on site, safely, and that it will again bring extraordinary cinematic experiences,” the director of Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival, Marek Hovorka, says as he reiterates the festival's stance from May (read the news). Hit by a second wave of coronavirus, the Czech Republic is tightening measures to slow down the spread. The 24th edition of the Ji.hlava IDFF, however, has a backup plan of online screenings, in case cultural events should get banned entirely. “We still believe this will not be the case,” adds Hovorka.

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The upcoming edition, per the festival's usual programming, will present classical and experimental creative documentary films. The first and the last film of Icelandic filmmaker Jóhann Jóhannsson, sci-fi poem Last and First Men [+see also:
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narrated by Tilda Swinton, will screen in the section Special Events dedicated to outstanding cinematic events, alongside conceptual experimental short Five Hundred Plateaus by the current dean of FAMU’s, Andrea Slováková (read the news). Documentaries from the festival circuit will be introduced to the domestic audience in the Constellations section, which includes Hubert Sauper’s Epicentro [+see also:
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]
, Jørgen Leth’s I Walk [+see also:
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interview: Jørgen Leth
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]
, Igor Bezinović’s Microcassette – The Smallest Cassette I've Ever Seen, and Catarina VasconcelosThe Metamorphosis of Birds [+see also:
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interview: Catarina Vasconcelos
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]
.

Films made over the past 120 years, including works by the pioneer of film abstraction Oscar Fischinger and US avant-gardist Stan Brakhage, will be showcased in the Fascinations section. The festival has been systematically mapping experimental and underground cinema in Eastern European countries, and this year's focus will be on Polish experimental cinema, including Jerzy Skolimowski’s 1960 film Erotique as well as works that have not yet been discovered internationally. Female creativity will be the centrefold of the music film section Siren Test, offering film portrait Lydia Lunch – The War Is Never Over by Beth B. and Lisa Rovner’s Sisters with Transistors [+see also:
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]
, which follows women who have influenced electronic music.

An intimate cinematic portrait of Serbian conceptual and performance artist Marina Abramović by Boris Miljković, Homecoming - Marina Abramović and Her Children [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
, will bow in the Testimonies competition, alongside Lithuanian film The Jump [+see also:
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trailer
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]
directed by Giedre Žickyte. This year’s experimental retrospective will revolve around the topic of gardens. “The selection also showcases various approaches and methods of presentation: from Norman MacLaren’s stop motion-animation through the exquisite structures of Kurt Kren, Takahiko Iimuru or Steina Vasulka, to works where garden artefacts are glued directly to the film reel, such as Biostructure by Alice Růžičková,” reveals the section’s programmer Andrea Slováková.

The 24th edition of the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival will run from 27 October-1 November.

The spot of the 24th Ji.hlava IDFF by Mike Hoolboom:

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