FNE at Jihlava IDFF: Opera about Poland Wins Between the Seas Competition

Opera about Poland by Piotr Stasik Opera about Poland by Piotr Stasik

JIHLAVA: Director Piotr Stasik picked up the award for the best film from Central and Eastern Europe for Opera about Poland in the Between the Seas competition of the 21st Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, which concluded on 29 October 2017.

The film, which applies modern opera to the documentary form, was produced by Anna Gawlita of Kijora, who was one of this year’s Emerging Producers presented at the festival.

Opus Bonum, the festival’s international documentary competition section, was judged by solo jury member Laila Pakalnina. The Latvian filmmaker called the concept of a single jury member revolutionary and gave the main prize to the Russian documentary about the cult of Stalin, The Wall by Dmitry Bogolubov.

Politics was a prominent topic of the festival, with the recent election of a right-leaning coalition government dominating Czech politics. Following opening and closing ceremonies fashioned as satirical Communist Congress meetings, the festival opened with the international premiere of Tereza Nvotova’s documentary Meciar / Lust for Power about the Slovak prime minister, who was the precursor of today’s populist/nationalist strongmen leaders. The closing film was a more hopeful, traditional documentary that took a behind the scenes look at the campaign of Macron. The issue of current political leadership was also the underlying factor in discussions on film funding and production, which concluded with an “it’s complicated” message.

Czech documentary film production again received prominent coverage at the festival, with a large cadre of documentary filmmakers, led by the revered long-form documentary director Helena Trestikova. The festival devoted three competition sections to Czech films. The Audience Award and the Czech competition section Czech Joy, was won by The Limits of Work directed by Apolena Rychikova.

List of winning films:

Czech Joy

The Limits of Work (Czech Republic)
Directed by Apolena Rychlikova
Produced by Hypermarket Film, Czech TV

Special Mentions:

The Last Shift of Tomas Hisem (Czech Republic)
Directed by Jindrich Andrs
Produced by Studio FAMU

Everything Has Its Own Time (Czech Republic)
Directed by Viola Jezkova
Produced by Studio FAMU

Opus Bonum
The Wall (Russia)
Directed by Dmitry Bogolubov

Between the Seas
Opera About Poland (Poland)
Directed by Piotr Stasik
Produced by Kijora Film

Special Mention:
People Pebble (UK, France)
Directed by Jivko Darakchiev and Perrine Gamot

Best Experimental Film:
Boat People (UK)
Directed by Sarah Wood

Special Mention:
The End of Time (Cuba, USA)
Directed by Milcho Manchevski

Best Czech Experimental Film
Directed by Lucie Navratilova
Produced by Studio FAMU

Special Mention:
Directed by Katerina Tureckova
Produced by Studio FAMU

Best Debut Films

Meteors (Turkey, Netherlands)
Directed by Gurcan Keltek

Panoptic (Lebanon, UAE)
Directed by Rana Eid

Student Jury Award
Milda (Czech Republic)
Directed by Pavel Kremen
Realfilm Production

Silver Eye Award
Sand and Blood (Austria)
Directed by Matthias Krepp