The Fifth East Doc Platform is Approaching

16. 2. 2016

Author: Filip Šebek

The Institute of Documentary Film will introduce the fifth edition of East Doc Platform in Prague from March 7 to 13, 2016. The largest documentary industry event in the region is traditionally organized in association with the One World IHRDFF. Institut Cervantes and Komedie Theatre will host more than 400 guests: both Czech and international directors, producers, distributors, TV, fund and festival representatives, media representatives and general public. The 2016 Open Programme will include the KineDok conference focused on innovative forms of distribution, the presentation Czech Docs… Coming Soon and several lectures and masterclasses of world-renowned documentary filmmakers. 18 films that will be screened at One World 2016 were supported by IDF activities in the past. Most of the EDP programme is open to the general public. 

The motto of this year’s edition is SIGHT SPECIFIC, expressing both the diversity of perspectives and creative approaches to a topic while revealing one of the focuses of the programme - site specific screenings as an alternative form of distribution and encouraging author - audience dialogue. You can watch the jingle of this year’s edition here.

KineDok 2016 will present festival highlights

Last year, the pilot edition of a unique alternative distribution project KineDok, dedicated to screening creative documentaries at non-traditional venues, drew the interest of audiences in all five participating countries: Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary, Romania and Croatia. In 2016, KineDok is planning to present 15 new creative documentaries and bring its concept of site-specific screenings and discussions also to audiences in Poland and Norway.
”We are very pleased by the success of KineDok’s screenings over the past year, both in Czech Republic and abroad, as well as by the fact that we managed to get 15 exceptional creative documentaries produced in European and get new places and communities around them excited for cooperation - clubs, galleries, cafes and multifunctional spaces,” says the project manager of KineDok, Jana Ripplová.
The upcoming edition will present Kinedok not only at alternative venues, but also within East Doc Platform; Cervantes Institute will host a two day KineDok conference focused on innovative forms of distribution with the presence of several professionals from abroad, including the crowdfunding specialist Wolfgang Gumpelmaier. Within the conference, a screening of a Polish documentary 6 Degrees will take place in Vinohradský pivovar (Vinohrady Brewery) at 8:30 pm.
The film is inspired by the 'Six degrees of separation' theory by social psychologist Stanley Milgram, and its assumption that every person in the world can be reached through 6 personal connections. The crew tries to prove the theory by exploring the social network of the punk-rocker Martyna from Warsaw and a Mexican farmer Antonio. The film will be screened with English subtitles and followed by a small reception.
And what films are on this year’s KineDok’s menu? Czech documentary filmmaking is represented by the successful film by Jan Foukal Amerika, about the Czech tramping phenomena and by an observational documentary by Jiří Stejskal My Home, whose protagonist is fitfy-year-old Natasha from Ukraine trying to protect her home against developers. Hungarian documentaries will be represented by Drifter - a film about a rebellious racecar-driving teen coping with life in rural Hungary that was awarded at festivals in Sarajevo, Amsterdam and Leipzig among others. Another multi-award-winning film on KineDok’s programme is the successful Romanian film Toto and His Sisters that has already collected prizes in Lepizig, Warsaw, Firenze, London, New York and Jihlava (Silver Eye). The selection also includes the most successful Slovakian documentary of 2015 - So Far, So Near and Latvian film My Father the Banker. In this documentary, the director searches for her father, a former rich banker who was reported to have been found by Interpol in Malaysian mental hospital.  You can find detailed information and the complete list of KineDok films, dates and places on kinedok.net and their Facebook page very soon. The general media partner of project KineDok is Czech TV.

The newest forms of documentary genre

For the third year in a row, visitors of the East Doc Platform will have the opportunity to get to know the most interesting transmedia projects within the DocTank programme section. The authors of these projects took a courageous approach towards topics with a campaign potential. They deal for example with urbanism and the effort to improve the public space or set off on an investigation journey with social overtones as they addresss the topic of alcoholism and the head of state. In the Czech-Estonian project Dwellers: Living Together the visual antropologist Pavel Borecký uses his experience in the area of community and urban development and tries to create a multimedia platform shared by people of various occupations who live in a close neighbourhood and applies it to Czech and Estonian society.  
A wide range of useful and thought-provoking lectures were prepared for the EDP Open programme.  One of them will focus on the most effective social campaigns and will be led by two experienced professionals. Swedish director Fredrik Gertten, the author of the film Bananas! about the fight against the multinational company Dole, will, in the context of his new documentary Bikes vs Cars introduce the movement connecting bikers from all over the world and a mobile application Bike Data Project. The acclaimed British producer Sarah Mosses, who in the past successfully motivated seniors to take part in table tennis amateur tournaments in her project Ping Pong, will present the campaign and film They Will Have to Kill Us First about persecuted musicians from Mali, who can be supported by buying their music. The Emmy-nominated Irish author Jasmina Kallay will focus on the potential of transmedia narration; Frédéric Dubois will give advice on how to create a successful web documentary and how to measure its impact.
The East Doc Platform will also host the exhibition Mind the Map at the Austrian Cultural Forum in Prague. Its visitors can dive into a complex network of individual biographies, muddled company and family histories and the ongoing crisis of migration policy in Europe.  The authors of the exhibition, members of the artistic group Time's Up, design spaces, construct interactive situations, invite an audience into them and encourage their playful experience-driven exploration of the space and its behaviours. They will also give a lecture presenting the ways they work.

A rich menu for the documentary palate

The documentary genre enthusiasts should not miss the lectures, masterclasses and presentations of numerous world-renowned experts. The British Oscar-nominated producer Mike Lerner lets the audience peek into the behind the scene making of the Russian Woodpecker, the winner of the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance and also a film that can be seen within this year’s One World’s programme. Another successful film from the One World programme selection is the Swedish Theory of Love. Its director, acclaimed documentarist Erik Gandini, best known for his award-winning film Videocracy about the moral meltdown in Italy under the premiere Silvio Berlusconi, will present the essential principles of his directing art and craft.
A lecture by the New Zealand-born, L.A. based editor Maya Hawke, who had among others worked on eight films by Werner Herzog and on films by Errol Morris, promises to be a very interesting experience.

Amongst this year's guests there will also be the Romanian filmmaker Anca Damian, whose animated docu-drama The Magic Mountain was awarded at Karlovy Vary IFF 2015.
Whoever wants to find out what kind of documentaries are being made these days in the CEE region, should not miss the public East European Forum pitching, taking place on Saturday March 12th, 9:30 am - 1:30 pm at  Komedie Theatre.  Directors and producers of 21 upcoming feature-length documentaries from Central and Eastern Europe will present their projects to international decision makers and documentary professionals. The event will be followed by an award ceremony, where the best projects participating in EDP will win valuable awards  - for example the HBO Europe Co-production Award, Czech TV Postproduction Award and East Doc Platform Development Award, each in the value of 7500€.

So that the Czech Documentaries won’t get lost in the World …

The traditional Evening of Czech documentaries, held annually in Světozor Cinema in September, has already built a significant fan base among film industry professionals, media, and interested public. Following its success, the Institute of Documentary Film has decided to organize an extra event within the East Doc Platform programme dedicated to Czech documentary filmmakers. The event Czech Docs… Coming Soon is open to the public. Its main purpose is to enable the Czech producers to present their upcoming films for international distribution and international festival release to the attending representatives of almost twenty acclaimed film festivals, including IFF Toronto, IFF Rotterdam, IFF Sarajevo and many more. The event will be moderated by the producer Simone Baumann (Saxonia Entertainment, Germany).

Among the presented projects there will be the stylized documentary by Lukáš Kokeš Nothing like Before, in which the director tries to infiltrate the world of contemporary teenagers living on both the ​ geographic and social periphery in the middle of Europe. The acclaimed Slovak director Robert Kirchhoff attempts in the Czech-Slovak co-produced documentary Through the Forest to provide a comprehensive view of the rarely examined historical and social theme of racial persecution of the Roma people in European countries. Martin Ryšavý copes in his personally tuned documentary Blind Gulliver with his fading eyesight and meets a Prague-based optician and a Russian wizard.

The main protagonist of the film My name is Hungry Buffalo by Radim Prochazka and Pavel Jurda is Jan Pavlíček, nicknamed Buffalo, who has been blind from his birth and is losing his hearing gradually as well. Although he will soon be relying on communication through the touch only, he keeps on being an eternal optimist. Miroslav Janek will present his new documentary called the Normal Autistic Film, focused on the almost magical and mysterious ways in which the autistic people think.

You can download the complete EAST DOC PLATFORM Open programme HERE
The Open Programme is held in English and welcomes everyone for free.

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