Documentary filmmaking and ethics take center stage at upcoming Ji.hlava IDFF conference

The much-anticipated second edition of the Conference on Ethics in Documentary Filmmaking is set to take place on 26 October, offering a unique platform for dialogue among academics, professionals, and the general public interested in the intersections of documentary filmmaking and ethics.

Organized by Ji.hlava IDFF in partnership with the Center for Media Ethics and Dialogue (CEMETIK) at the Department of Media Studies and Journalism, Faculty of Social Studies of Masaryk University, the conference aims to stimulate both dialogue and research in the field.

This year’s conference will delve deep into how filmmakers should work with material they haven’t filmed themselves, such as archive material, found footage on social media, home videos, and news reports. This approach is especially relevant given the contemporary crises such as wars, pandemics, and totalitarian regimes.

Programme Highlights

  • Morning Coffee on Documentary Ethics: Students and early-career filmmakers will have the chance to discuss moral dilemmas related to documentary filmmaking in a non-hierarchical and inclusive setting, offering a space for open discourse on authorship, representation, and the profession itself.
  • Keynote by Michael Renov: Michael Renov, an eminent American documentary film theorist and documentary animator, will explore the compilation of films from media archives, and its relationship to the history of the genre and remix media culture.
  • Academic and Professional Perspectives: Various panels throughout the day will feature leading scholars and professionals discussing complex issues related to working with archives and found footage. Topics will also extend to artificial intelligence’s impact on filmmaking and the ethical challenges arising from it.
  • Masterclass by Sergei Loznitsa: Sergei Loznitsa, a prominent Ukrainian director of Belarusian origin, will share his techniques in working with archival material, often associated with historical events like war and totalitarianism.
  • New Media and Current Conflicts: The conference will close with a panel focusing on the ethics of covering contemporary conflicts like the war in Ukraine, particularly when the material comes from social and news media.

The event hopes to establish a new space for ongoing conversations among academics and industry professionals, thereby fostering an environment where crucial ethical questions can be posed and debated.

For those interested in the evolving landscape of documentary filmmaking and the ethical quandaries it often navigates, this conference promises to be a milestone event.

For more details, visit the official Ji.hlava IDFF website.

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Steve Rickinson
Steve Rickinson
Steve lives in Bucharest, Romania. He writes for some platforms and does some other things as well.

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