Ji.hlava IDFF announces first 2023 programme details

The 27th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival (IDFF) is set to launch in a mere six weeks, scheduled from 24 to 29 October 24, 2023. This year’s programme highlights a mix of acclaimed directors and contemporary subjects, with a particular emphasis on female filmmakers and issues.

A significant feature is the retrospective dedicated to Marguerite Duras. The festival has a history of showcasing female filmmakers, with past retrospectives highlighting the works of Susan Sontag, Shirley Clark, Alice Guy, and Agnes Varda. Festival director Marek Hovorka mentions, «It’s important for us to make their works accessible…and to allow audiences to view them with today’s perspective.»

Naomi Kawase, a staple in Japanese cinema, will be revisiting Ji.hlava after a hiatus of eighteen years. Kawase’s accolades include a Contribution to Cinema Award in Jihlava in 2005 and the Grand Jury Prize from the Cannes Film Festival for Suzaku. This year, she will introduce the Ji.hlava audience to her creative process during a Masterclass.

The Constellations section, a collection of remarkable films from global festivals, will include films like Our Body, where director Claire Simon delves into topics surrounding womanhood. Estonian director Anna Hints’s Smoke Sauna Sisterhood navigates women’s trials, fears, and relationships. On the topic of age, Vika! by Polish director Agnieszka Zwiefka introduces us to an elderly DJ challenging age-associated stereotypes. Steffi Niederzoll’s Seven Winters in Tehran tells the story of Reyhaneh Jabbari, an Iranian woman facing dire consequences after defending herself against an attempted rape.

In the local scene, Czech Joy will present The World According to My Dad, capturing a father’s fight for climate justice, and Olympic Halftime, a look into the fate of Olympic structures in global capitals.

A tribute to Czech documentarist Pavel Koutecký will be displayed in the Translucent Being section. Koutecký, recognised both locally and internationally, was noted for his documentation of the societal shifts post-November 1989.

Venturing into the virtual realm, this year’s festival will emphasize American VR productions. Introduced to the Ji.hlava festival nine years ago, this VR section continues to evolve, reflecting technological and creative advancements.

The Inspiration Forum will concentrate on discussions about food, water, space, artificial intelligence, and communities, seeking not just to inform but to encourage resolutions and future directions. Lucie Ráčková will explore human adaptability in space, Patricia Esquete will dive deep into the effects of deep-sea mining, and Jan Sowa will discuss the challenges in resource distribution in communities. Additionally, Paris Marx will address the rapidly evolving realm of artificial intelligence, considering its regulatory implications and impact on human labor.

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