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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.

Silver Eye Docs at Planete Doc Film Festival

Visitors of Polish Planete Doc Film Festival have an opportunity to see thirteen Eastern European titles from the East Silver catalogue. East Silver Caravan helped Silver Eye winner Family Instinct and the award nominee Paradise Hotel to be presented there. Apart from that, there will be two Czech titles, Czech Peace and Katka screened in the competition and another nine East Silver titles are included in various programme section.

8th Planete Doc Film Festival 2011, Poland
May 6 – 15, 2011

Selected East Silver titles in programme of Planete Doc Film Festival:

Family Instinct

Director: Gauja Andris
Producer: Melberga Madara
Production company: Fa Filma

Ģimenes lietas, Latvia, 2010, 58 min, HD, Drama doc, Portrait, Social Issues

"Family Instinct" is a film about incest - an illegal act, social taboo and a violation of religious norms. Zanda is a 28-year-old woman, worn out by hard work. Surrounded by poverty and despair, she is trying to survive with her two children in a god-forsaken Latvian village. Her hardships can be traced back to living in a relationship with her brother Valdis. When Valdis is put in jail, the local community forces her to make a difficult choice: to stay with him or with her children. Despite her ill fortune, she manages to express her love for the children, still hoping to save her family. The film offers a tragicomic but highly authentic insight into the bleak reality of Latvian countryside today.

East Silver 2010 / East Silver Caravan 2010 / Silver Eye Winner 2010 / Docu Talents from the East 2010


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.

East Silver 2010 / East Silver Caravan 2010 / Silver Eye Nominees


Heaven Hell

Director: Čálek David
Production company: HBO Czech Republic, Ad Wood s.r.o., Jacket Bros. Production

Nebe peklo, Czech Republic, 2010, 84 min, Digi Beta, HD, Personal View, Portrait, Society

Heaven Hell is a full-length documentary film project dealing with human diversity that doesn't necessarily lead to hell even though it might seem like that from the outsider's point of view. It is an attempt to defend even very extreme notions of freedom if such notions are well-founded and lead to new horizons of human understanding. The film portrays people who have found pleasure in pain and decided not to hide this passion, or at least not to suppress and deny it any more. These people either inflict pain or demand it from others, but they do not force anyone to do anything. This closed society is often labelled by its members as BDSM.

East Silver 2010 / East Silver Caravan 2010



Production company: Negativ s.r.o., Czech TV

Katka, Czech Republic, 2010, 90 min, 35 mm, 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?

East European Forum 2007 / East Silver 2010 / East Silver Caravan 2010 / Docu Talents From the East 2009


Czech Peace

Production company: Hypermarket Film, Czech TV, Taskovski Films

Český mír, Czech Republic, 2010, 52 min, 35 mm, HD, Creative, Politics, Society

The story of the Star Wars, the Cold War and the War On Terror of one small Czech village. As part of its National Missile Defense Program, the US plan to build a military base in the Czech Republic, a former hiding place for Soviet nuclear rockets during the Cold War. Despite the fact that 73% of Czechs are against the project, the government has continued with negotiations. Supporters of the base claim that it will strengthen the country's defense against the global threats of the 21st century. Opponents point out that the plan essentially shifts the Iron Curtain toward the east; they also insist that it represents an attempt of the US to rule the world.

Docu Talents From the East 2008 / East European Forum 2008 / East Silver 2010 / East Silver Caravan 2010


Little Bride

Director: Dobrucki Leszek
Production company: Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing

Przyrzeczona, Poland, 2010, 14 min, Digi Beta, Human Rights, Music, Social Issues

There is about 2.5 million Turkish minority members in Germany. Every year there is at least a dozen of Turkish women beaten to death by their husbands or other family members. The actual scale of those crimes in Germany, where law and order are so highly valued, is unknown — according to the official data, in Turkey there are committed more than 300 so-called honor killings annually and 40% of wives are violence victims. A Turkish girl was sent to Germany and forced to marry when she was 13 years old. Soon after that, her hell has begun; she was beaten and abused in different ways. After several years she managed to run away; she has been hiding until now – only because of that she is able to tell us her life story.

East Silver 2010 / East Silver Caravan 2010 / Silver Eye Nominees 2010


Planet Kirsan

Director: Pieta Magdalena
Production company: Eureka Media, Polish Television. - Poltel Ent.

Planeta Kirsan, Poland, 2010, 52 min, Digi Beta, Arts and Culture, Creative, Society

Over the hills and far away, in the middle of the Russian steppe, you will find Chess City. It was built by Kirsan Ilyumzhinov, the first and only President of the Republic of Kalmykia, one of the smallest and poorest republics in the Russian Federation.In Kalmykia, there also lives a boy called Alekhan, who dreams of becoming the World Chess Champion. And his younger brother Amir, who shares the same dream.The road to make their dreams come true passes through the Chess Competition in Chess City.

East Silver 2010 / East Silver Caravan 2010 / East European Forum 2007 / Ex Oriente Film 2007 / Silver Eye Nominees 2010


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."

East Silver 2010


Brother Sister

Director: Mohr Maria
Producer: Hanfgarn Gunter
Production company: Hanfgarn & Ufer Filmproduktion GbR

Bruder Schwester, Germany, 2010, 90 min, Digi Beta, HD, Creative, Personal View, Religion

A German nun loves a Spanish saint to-be: Rafael Arnaiz, who died 3 years before Sister Ingrid was born. She only has a piece of his rib as an official relic – and his complete works, that she translated from Spanish to German. But why does a German nun love a Spanish saint? Sister Ingrid is the filmmaker’s aunt. This allows an intensive look into the world of the Roman-Catholic Church, where she learned to follow her ideas of a rather independent life. Rafael Arnaiz, who was suffering from Diabetes, had already died at the age of 27. He lived a life between culture, arts, music, good food and fast cars and his sober Trappist abbey – a young, attractive and charismatic young man who nowadays seems to be a the perfect role model of a “modern” saint. "Brother Sister" is a personal reflection on the tightrope walk between wishes and obligations, between Christian humility and the longing for freedom.


Cooking History

Director: Kerekes Peter
Production company: Mischief Films, Negativ s.r.o., Peter Kerekes, ORF - Österreichischer Rundfunk, Czech TV, Slovenská televízia - Slovak Television, YLE - Finnish Broadcasting Company

Ako sa varia dejiny, Austria, Czech Republic, Slovak Republic, 2008, 86 min, 35 mm, DVD, HD, Creative, History, Personal View

A documentary film about army cooks. It shows how the everyday need of thousands armed stomachs affects the victories and defeats. About the field "kitchen" as a model of a world where food preparation becomes a fight strategy; a fight for great ideals standing on strong legs of the kitchen table. The film is based on eleven recipes of the cooks since the Second World War till the war in Tchechenia; from France through the Balkans to Russia.

East Silver 2009 / East Silver Caravan 2010 / Docu Talents From the East 2007


David Wants to Fly

Production company: Lichtblick Film, Navigator Film

David Wants to Fly, Austria, Germany, 2009, 96 min, 35 mm, Creative, Religion, Society

In search of enlightenement young David follows his idol David Lynch and uncovers the billion-dollar industry behind Transcendental Meditation. A sprightly docu about finding own artistic inspiration, both tongue-in-cheek and seriously questioning the Transcendental Meditation financial empire.

East Silver 2010 / East Silver Caravan 2010


The Dog Hill

Production company: Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing

Marysina polana, Poland, 2010, 39 min, Digi Beta, Portrait, Society

A story about three men of different age who spend six months each year working as shepherds, away from their families and civilization. They have a lot of time to talk about the most important and leaving aspects of life. The highlander’s philosophy in short.

East Silver 2010


The 4th Revolution - Energy Autonomy

Director: Fechner Carl A.
Producer: Fechner Carl A.
Production company: fechnerMEDIA GmbH

Die 4. Revolution - Energy Autonomy , Germany, 2010, 83 min, Digi Beta, Current Affairs, Environmental, Social Issues

This film presents the truly thrilling vision of a world community with an energy supply that derives entirely from renewable sources – accessible to everyone, affordable, clean and free of pollution. A global restructuring process, shifting the balance of power and distributing capital more fairly, is now within our reach – all we have to do is embark upon it! Introducing us to exemplary projects in ten different countries, and to the pioneers behind them, Carl Fechner‘s film shows us how to do just that.

East Silver 2010