“After several years of preparations, we started revamping the festival’s competition sections, the jury structure as well as the award categories. The aim is to pay tribute to documentary cinema which has been undergoing enormous changes, at the same time being the real drive behind contemporary filmmaking,” said festival director Marek Hovorka introducing a new festival concept during the opening of Ji.hlava’s Echoes on March 11. As of this year’s 25th edition, Ji.hlava IDFF will feature a main competition section comprising up to 18 feature films screened in world, international and European premieres.
In addition to the new competition concept, there will also be an innovation with regard to the award giving. Aside from the main award, the jurors will also hand out awards for the best cinematography, editing, and sound design. At the same time, outstanding formats, such as the best film essay, will be highlighted.
The jury will award a prize to the most significant debut film and film from the region of Central and Eastern Europe but Ji.hlava’s traditional sections First Lights and Between the Seas will become a natural part of the main competition. The main jury will be composed of seven members who will ensure a varied reflection on contemporary cinema.
“I’ve always considered it a pity how many talented and exceptional professionals have not been rewarded for their documentary work. Documentary cinematographers, editors, sound engineers and producers are only rarely recognized, even at the level of national film awards. And also with regard to American or European Academy Awards, it seldom happens that these professionals are nominated alongside feature filmmakers. This isn’t fair and we are determined to encourage the change,“ explains Hovorka.
In addition to the main competition section, Ji.hlava will offer three other categories: “Fascinations” for the best experimental films, “Testimonies” for the best films with political, ecological or scientific themes, and the traditional national competition “Czech Joy”.
The festival takes place 26-31.10