June 21, 2024

Ji.hlava Intl. Documentary Film Festival has unveiled the program for its 27th edition, which will take place in the Czech city of Jihlava between Oct. 24-29. The festival will showcase 357 films in both competitive and non-competitive sections, with 115 world premieres, 22 international premieres and 17 European premieres.

This year’s program touches on themes of artificial intelligence and new technologies, the changing planetary climate, migration, transformation of the democratic system and society, as well as the search for new paths to freedom and happiness.

Festival director Marek Hovorka says of the concept of this year’s edition: “The world in which we live is rapidly changing, and this year’s Ji.hlava brings images of these transformations. The films in the program are thematically and formally very diverse, allowing us to recognize and contemplate the world’s transformation.”

Works related to the theme of this year’s Ji.hlava include Sophie Compton and Reuben Hamlyn’s “Another Body,” about a college student who discovers her portrait photos were misused in a deep fake pornographic film, and Armel Hostiou’s “The Other Profile,” which sees the director travel to Congo to track down the person who stole his identity via a Facebook profile.

The Constellations section will present a selection of films that played at other festivals, including Wang Bing’s “Youth (Spring),” Kaouther Ben Hania’s “Four Daughters,” Maite Alberdi’s “The Eternal Memory,” Frederick Wiseman’s “Menus-Plaisirs Les Troisgros” and Claire Simon’s “Our Body.”

On the retrospective side of the festival, Ji.hlava will present a showcase on the Méliès brothers in collaboration with the Cinémathèque Méliès foundation including 28 short films from the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries. A partnership with the National Film Archive will also see a focus on the work of Václav Táborský, a pioneer of the Czech counterpart to cinéma verité.

“Another Body”
Courtesy of Ji.hlava Documentary Film Festival

Fascinations, the festival’s prestigious competition section for experimental documentary films, will showcase 24 films, including new work from leading figures of the global experimental scene such as Dietmar Brehm, Steve Reinke, Mike Hoolboom, Thomas Kutschker and Karel Doing.

The non-competitive strand of Fascinations will present a selection of films co-created with artificial intelligence. Amongst the work selected are “Me, Myself and I,” created by a neural network in collaboration with chatbots, and “Let’s Be Friends,” which used AI to craft images, sounds, editing sequences and even the film’s narration.

This year’s main jury consists of French editor Dominique Auvray, American writer and educator Michael Renov, Czech director Adéla Komrzý, British curator and filmmaker Christopher Small, and Bosnian director Una Gunjak. The jury will not only select the festival’s main winner but also award prizes to best camera, editing or sound design.

The trailer for this year’s festival, created by renowned Catalan director Albert Serra, can be viewed here. You can find the festival’s full lineup here.

“The Other Profile”
Courtesy of Ji.hlava Documentary Film Festival

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