Our take: This Czech festival is quickly garnering a reputation as, along with Copenhagen, one of the centers of "creative documentary" in Europe. It has an entire experimental slate that is larger than its international line-up. Takes place in late October, just prior to Sheffield. The fest was founded nearly 15 years ago by college students, some of whom are still running it today. It's part of a 5-festival alliance of European doc festivals with CPH:DOX, Leipzig, Nyon and Warsaw. A new market element focuses on Central and Eastern European filmmakers but seeks to bring in buyers from around the world. Has a new portal for downloading some of the films that have screened at the festival.
Selection of US films screened at 2009 festival: FOOD, INC., FIXER: THE TAKING OF AJMAL NAQSHBANDI, BEETLE QUEEN CONQUERS TOKYO, THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD, CAPITALISM: A LOVE STORY, GRAPHIC SEXUAL HORROR, LA DANSE: THE PARIS OPERA BALLET,
Our coverage of Jihlava here.
Industry: "It’s a fairly anarchic event, in terms of having this punk sensibility, but it’s a little bit off the grid, geographically and programming-wise. I guess for the filmmaker they have a huge Czech student population – the screenings are packed and the discussions are great. If you want a festival experience that’s a lot different than any other festival… It’s close to Prague. The programming is really challenging. The Danish and Czech scenes are both very similar in that they are based on filmmakers who’ve come out of film schools. Both are really new wave. Most of the people who run Jihlava went to school together."
Industry: "I went about five years ago and was incredibly impressed. It’s the reverse of Leipzig. It’s soviet bloc country turned cool, young, hip western. Incredibly interesting programming, much more so than practically every other documentary festival around."
Next: Number 16.