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Institute of Documentary Film’s Activities

Founded in 2001, INSTITUTE OF DOCUMENTARY FILM (IDF) is a non-profit training and networking centre based in Prague, Czech Republic, focused on the support of Central and East European creative documentary film and its wider promotion.

We work closely with Central and East European film directors and producers and provide in-depth development support for their projects as well as international promotion.

We also work with key international festivals, broadcasters, distributors, sales agents, markets, film institutions, film schools, MEDIA Desks, training programmes, national film centres and various film portals, and serve as the GATEWAY TO EAST EUROPEAN DOCUMENTARY FILM – an indispensable source of documentary projects and films from Central and Eastern Europe.

East Silver Caravan at DocuDays, UA

The Ukrainian Human Rights Documentary film festival DocuDays, which starts these days, presents a wide set of Eastern European documentaries, including five titles from the East Silver Caravan. On top of that it festures also the Silver Eye short category winner I Will Forget This Day by Alina Rudnitskaya.

DOCU/LIFE competition section presents Nikolaus Geyrhalter’s Abendland and Ramin by Audrius Stonys (both East Silver Caravan 2012) togehter with other Eastern European titles that apepared in the East Silver catalogue: Autumn Gold, How Are You Doing, Rudolf Ming?, La Machina, Paradise Hotel, Planet Kirsan, Argentinean Lesson and two Czech docs All for the Good of the World and Nosovice and Katka.

The DOCU/RIGHT competition features Caravan’s Evolution of Violence by Fritz Ofner and, finally, the DOCU/SHORT competition introduces two more Caravan submissions: Czech animated documentary Chronicle of Oldrich S. (dir. Rudolf Smid) and the Silver Eye winner I Will Forget This Day (dir. Alina Rudnitskaya).

DocuDays dedicates a special retrospective to Russian director Marina Razbezhkina presenting her recent work. Another themed section focuses on the topic of Dictatorship and Authoritarism.


DocuDays, Ukraine
March 23 – 29, 2012

East Silver Caravan titles in programme:


Production company: Nikolaus Geyrhalter Filmproduktion GmbH

Austria, 2011, 90 min, HD, Creative, Society

Western standard of living, civilization, and the urge to exclude others from it are the core of Geyrhalter's latest cinematic documentary essay. Entirely shot at night, Geyrhalter takes us on a very personal journey through the Western world and the structures that guarantee our "civilized" world. Sometimes darkness can help us to see things more clearly.

Doc Launch 2010East Silver 2011East Silver Caravan 2012 / Silver Eye nominee 2011



Director: Stonys Audrius
Producer: Cekulis Uldis
Production company: Vides Filmu Studija

Ramin , Georgia, Latvia, 2011, 58 min, Digi Beta, HD, Creative, Portrait, Society

Ramin Lomsadze, a 75-year-old Georgian wrestler who once won seven matches in 55 seconds, is getting ready for the fight with his last and most formidable opponent - loneliness. He gets on the train and sets off for a remote Georgian village to seek out the girl he loved and lost fifty years ago.

East Silver 2011East Silver Caravan 2012Silver Eye nominee 2011Doc Launch 2010East European Forum 2008Ex Oriente Film 2008


Evolution of Violence

Director: Ofner Fritz
Producer: Neumann Oliver
Production company: FreibeuterFilm KG

Evolution der Gewalt , Austria, 2011, 77 min, 35 mm, History, Human Rights, Politics, Social Issues

Guatemala, labeled a banana republic, is one of the most violent countries in the world. In 4 episodes the film tells us the story of those, for whom violence is an everyday business: a group of crime scene journalists, a village fighting for a cemetery after a horrible massacre, and a social worker supporting women who are victims of violence. A country without security and justice, where impunity reigns. When justice fails, people are pushed to the ultimate act of violence - lynching. The film traces the roots of violence and portrays people struggling for decency in an unjust society.

East Silver 2011East Silver Caravan 2012Silver Eye nominee 2011


Chronicle of Oldřich S.

Director: Šmíd Rudolf
Production company: AniFest - International Festival of Animated Films, Anima Production

Kronika Oldřicha S. , Czech Republic, 2011, 18 min, DVD, HD, Animated, History, Personal View, Politics, Social Issues

Mr Sedláček was writing one-sentence entries in his chronicle from 1981 to 2005. The chronicle includes everyday stories of his and his family's life (Today our Gypsy neighbour Gina broke my hand. I was taken to hospital in Mladá Boleslav), the life of the village and its surroundings (A man called Bartoš, 32 years old, killed his wife, 30, today in Příšovice and threw her body into the pond) as well as international events (L.I. Brezhnev died today). The real chronicle has more than two thousand daily notes. The authors picked two hundred and used about eighty of them for the screenplay. These eighty notes provide a concentrated overview of Mr. Sedláček's life and of our society.

East Silver 2011East Silver Caravan 2012Silver Eye nominee 2011


I Will Forget This Day

Producer: Telnov Alexey
Production company: Saint-Petersburg Documentary Film Studio

Ya zabudu etot den , Russia, 2011, 25 min, 35 mm, Beta SP, Creative, Gender, Social Issues

You can forget. You have to forget. It's impossible to forget... A woman's feelings and thoughts just before having an abortion.

East Silver 2011East Silver Caravan 2012Silver Eye nominee 2011


Eastern European films at DocuDays included in East Silver Market:


Director: Keca Srdjan
Producer: Keca Srdjan
Production company: National Film and Television School

Mirage , Serbia, United Kingdom, 2011, 42 min, Digi Beta, HD, Experimental, Human Rights, Social Issues

At the edge of a city growing from the desert, a man plays alone on a golf course. Another, sleepless, sends a letter from a labour camp to his wife in Kenya. A sand storm hits a construction site, and the locals hold a strange dance ceremony.Dubai, usually seen either as miracle of development or failed gimmick, here becomes a set for a visual exploration of displacement, longing and desire. In three chapters the city, the surrounding desert and their inhabitants slowly uncover some of the darker aspects of contemporary society, while the ongoing economic meltdown spells the end of an era.



Director: Panasenko Julia
Producer: Panasenko Julia
Production company: VEDA Film Studios

Outro , Russia, 2010, 43 min, DV, Health, Portrait, Social Issues

There are two weeks left before a meeting with her mother. There is one month left before death. But the first frightens her much more.


We Will Be Happy One Day

Production company: BMC FILMS

Kiedyś będziemy szczęśliwi , Poland, 2011, 42 min, Digi Beta, Portrait, Social Issues, Society, Youth Documentary

„We will be happy one day“ is a documentary film about Daniel, a young man from Lipiny - the poorest town in the southern Poland. Daniel wants out of the omnipresent misery. With a mobile phone camera in his hand he wanders round his neighbourhood asking kids and grownups questions about their dreams. Are they going to come true, at least, for some? However, in the process of Daniel’s filming there emerges a hidden layer: the love between him and his charismatic grandmother. But will he ever manage to complete his film?


How Are You Doing, Rudolf Ming?

Director: Rubins Roberts
Producer: Cilinska Antra
Production company: Juris Podnieks Studio

Kā Tev klājas, Rūdolf Ming? , Latvia, 2010, 62 min, Digi Beta, Arts and Culture, Creative, Portrait, Youth Documentary

Rudolf is 13years old boy obsessed with filmmaking. As a matter of fact, it is the only thing he is really fond of. His main interest is horror films, and he uses a special technique to make them - drawing each shot on long strips of paper. He shows the films on a slide projector with a special live soundtrack. Rudolf´s story illustrates the conflict between the imaginary world of a boy and the society surrounding him, where everybody expect him to live according to certain rules and dogmas. How does he cope with it? The biggest surprise comes when the local priest asks Rudolf to make a film to be played during the service.


Autumn Gold

Director: Tenhaven Jan
Producer: Beetz Christian
Production company: Navigator Film, Gebrueder Beetz Filmproduktion

Herbstgold , Austria, Germany, 2010, 94 min, Beta, Adventure and Sports

Life is short. Run faster. Autumn Gold tells the life-affirming story of five athletes in their preparation for the Track and Field World Championships. Their toughest challenge is their age: these potential world champions are between 80 and 100.With ambition and a good portion of humour, they accept the task. On the finishing line of their lifes, they seek their ultimate challenge for yet another time and give their best on the way to a gold medal in Finland. True to the motto: "We can still rest after death."



Production company: Negativ, Czech TV

Katka , Czech Republic, 2010, 90 min, 35 mm, DVD, HD, Creative, Longitudinal, Portrait

Helena Třeštíková's film is a remarkable documentary tracing fourteen years in the life of a young junkie and her futile battle with drug addiction. Why did she start taking drugs? She claims she wanted to be different. The year is 1996 and 19-year-old Katka lives in the Sananim therapy community in the town of Němčice with hope for a normal life – she dreams of having a boyfriend and even a family, some day. But there's no happy ending. The director records Katka's descent over the years into a spiral of theft, prostitution, physical and psychological deterioration – a spiral that is broken only by brief flashes of hope and resolutions to stop taking drugs. Katka's desire is sincere, but in the end drugs always win. Will Katka finally find the strength when she becomes pregnant and motherhood offers her life-sustaining motivation?


La Machina

Production company: Centrala Sp. z o.o., Les films du balibari, TVP S.A., France 2

La Machina , Poland, 2010, 52 min, Digi Beta, HD, Arts and Culture, Creative, Docu Series, Personal View

Somewhere in the South of France a boy and an older man live: Sergio – a Master Dollmaker and Adrien – his disciple. They will begin their journey for the first time this summer. They will meet cheerful and fascinating residents of colourful towns. "La machina" is a story of this travel, a story about the meetings, a story about a relation between the master and the disciple.Sergio Dotti is one of the last Master Dollmakers in France. Once, after the show Sergio met a nine-year-old boy called Adrien. The boy had been so interested in the performance that he came back the following day to be in this magic world again. Travelling together from town to town, they will show the world of imagination to children and adults.


Paradise Hotel

Director: Tzavella Sophia
Production company: Agitprop Ltd., HBO Bulgaria

Hotel Rai , Bulgaria, 2010, 54 min, Beta SP, Human Rights, Social Issues, Society

The young Demir dreams of a wedding. But his Roma tower block at the outskirts of a provincial town in Bulgaria is no place for romance. 25 years ago it had all it takes for panel socialist heaven: from parquet floors to intercom, the coveted hot water central, street lamps, benches under murmuring apple trees. Someone called the place Paradise Hotel – and the name stuck. But now? The parquet disappeared. The water stopped. The lights went off. And if you cross the field behind Paradise Hotel, you will see Bozhidar “The God Given” who protects everyone from evil and excessive happiness in a documentary about panel integration, love, misery, a lot of dreams, a little lyrics and one Gypsy wedding.


Planet Kirsan

Director: Pieta Magdalena
Production company: Eureka Media, TVP S.A.

Planeta Kirsan , Poland, 2010, 50 min, Digi Beta, Arts and Culture, Creative, Portrait, Society

13-year old Alehan and his brother Amir spend several hours everyday hunched over a chessboard. It’s his biggest dream to become the next World Chess Champion. The first step on the way to become a grandmaster is a tournament in Chess-City. The event. Full of young players, allows us to see the actors and creators as well as expose the mechanisms behind the Kalmykian chess fairytale. For Alehan it’s a chance to examine his dreams more closely. Ilyumzhinov’s revolution was supposed to transform the whole republic, but can it even change the life of just one small boy?


Argentinian Lesson

Production company: Staron Film

Argentyńska lekcja , Poland, 2011, 56 min, Digi Beta, Creative, Personal View, Society, Travel

In 1998 Wojciech Staroń made the documentary film "The Siberian Lesson". The film told the story of a young teacher who emigrated to the vicinity of Lake Baikal in order to teach Polish deportees’ descendants their native language. Many years later, as a married couple with two children, the director and his wife are leaving for Argentina. For their little son, this trip will not only be an encounter with an unknown language. Influenced by their Argentinian friend, Janek enters the fascinating world of imagination, and is introduced to the bitterness of childhood prematurely contaminated by the problems of grown-ups.


All for the Good of the World and Nosovice

Director: Klusák Vít
Production company: Hypermarket Film, Czech TV

Vše pro dobro světa a Nošovic , Czech Republic, 2010, 82 min, 35 mm, Creative, Personal View, Social Issues

An original portrait of a Czech village that houses a giant car plant built by South Korea's Hyundai. Before the village turned into an industrial zone, many of the landowners had no intention of selling their plots of land... Not until many of them faced pressure from their neighbours who had accepted approx. EUR 4000 in compensation and not until they received death threats. Using nine protagonists, the film paints a portrait of a village changed beyond recognition. A humorous yet compelling film about a field that yields cars.



Director: Wolski Tomasz
Producer: Gawlita Anna
Production company: KIJORA Anna Gawlita

Lekarze , Poland, 2011, 80 min, HD, Creative, Health, Portrait

What happens behind the closed doors of surgical wards, treatment rooms and other spaces where specialist medical consultations take place? The film follows the everyday work of doctors in a surgical ward: the hierarchy between them, the need to take important decisions, the struggle with economic problems. Although usually they use a vernacular incomprehensible to an average person, they also tell jokes or insider’s anecdotes. Their work, despite the knowledge and experience acquired, may still involve surprising moments.


In Limbo - sailors stranded ashore

Director: Lekus Roy
Production company: Private Joke Productions, Vides Filmu Studija

Viktora pedejais reiss , France, 2011, 52 min, Digi Beta, HD, Human Rights, Reportage, Social Issues

Cases of crews abandoned by their unscrupulous shipowners on rusting cargo ships in ports thousands of miles from home have plagued seafarers from emerging nations for over a decade. In Limbo is the inside story of two such dramatic cases in Brest, France. Why is the port of Brest so prone to such human tragedies? What is being done to protect seafarers? The drama of abandoned crews is told through use of the diary of Captain Vladimir Kostyria as he and fifteen men descend into hell, through the personal insight brought by director Roy Lekus, and by James Smith and Jean-Paul Hellequin, two trade union activists whose spectacular actions in defense of abandoned crews goaded French maritime authorities into action before months turned into years.


Life in Stills

Director: Tal Tamar
Producer: Heymann Barak
Production company: Heymann Brothers Films

Israel, 2011, 58 min, Beta SP, Digi Beta, Arts and Culture, Creative, Portrait, Social Issues

At the age of 96, Miriam Weissenstein never imagined that she would be facing a new chapter in her life. But when "The Photo House" – her late husband Rudi’s life’s work – was destined for demolition, even this opinionated and uncompromising woman knew she needed help. Under the cloud of a family tragedy, a special relationship is forged between Miriam and her grandson, Ben, as they join forces to save the shop and its nearly one million negatives that document Israel’s defining moments. Despite the generation gap and many conflicts, Ben and Miriam embark on a heart-wrenching journey, comprising many humorous and touching moments – a journey that requires a lot of love, courage, and compassion.


The Ulysses

Producer: Esbert Carlos
Production company: Artika Films

Los Ulises , Spain, 2011, 83 min, 35 mm, Human Rights, Social Issues

In the densely forested hills above Ceuta, a Spanish enclave on the Moroccan coast, 57 young Indian immigrants await their fate in a shanty community they’ve built to avoid deportation. With lush visual style, the film accompanies them in their daily trials as they scramble to survive, waiting to cross the last 14 km that separate them from Europe. Will they make it there?


Tonia and Her Children

Director: Lozinski Marcel
Production company: Kronika Film Studio

Tonia i jej dzieci , Poland, 2011, 54 min, Digi Beta, Docu drama, History, Human Rights, Portrait

11-year-old Werka and her 9-year-old brother Marcel wind up at the front door of a children's home in Wrocław. Asked who they are, Werka replies, "We are the children of communists." In return the teacher yells, "Why do they only send us Judeo communists?" It is 1949. Werka's and Marcel's mother, a pre-war communist, is arrested and charged with collaborating with American intelligence. She will do five and half years. Her children will spend these years in children's homes. A film about a brother and a sister marked by the ideological choices of their parents.