East European Forum connects filmmakers with producers

By Patricia Koza

    The East European Forum, being held this week in conjunction with the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, is the prime meeting point of doc-makers from Eastern Europe with prominent European TV producers where they can present their works

    At this year's Forum, 15 commissioning editors will be evaluating documentary projects from the region.

    This year out of 71 submitted films from across Europe, representatives of the Institute of Documentary Film and the Jihlava festival jointly selected 10 documentary projects for further review. The directors and producers will pitch these to a panel of commissioning editors and film fund representatives at the public pitch on Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 27-28.

    Altogether Jihlava is screening 170 documentary films, 140 of which are Central Europe or Czech premieres. And it's all in keeping with its working motto, "Thinking Through Film."

    "For our festival, discussions after the screenings are very important, and it is quite usual that they last an hour or more," said festival director Marek Hovorka in an email exchange with FNE.

    Essays in the festival catalog, special anthologies about documentary film and a festival daily are other vehicles to get the word o ut, he said.

    "We do not want only to watch films," Hovorka said. "We want to think through them about ourselves, about the reality around us."