The 2nd edition of KineDok brought new audiences to alternative venues, introduced successful documentaries and inspiring guests

3. 1. 2017

Author: Barbora Holková

In 2016, almost 22 000 people attended screenings under the auspices of KineDok, project focused on the innovative forms of documentary film distribution, in 7 European countries. In the Czech Republic alone, there were 168 screenings organized. The alternative venues chosen for screenings promise not only a great atmospheric environment for watching a thought-provoking documentary film, but also provide space for an accompanying programme and debates with interesting guests - directors, producers or experts in the field of the documentaries’ topics. Institute of Documentary Film as the main organizer of KineDok strives to bring the filmmakers and their audience closer together and to strengthen the position of the documentary genre on the cultural scene. The positive feedback from both the filmmakers and their audiences give the project the green light to another successful edition in 2017!

These days, the support of alternative distribution seems essential to me. Many minor cinemas with an ambitious program ceased to exist and lots of beautiful art film cannot thus reach the audience - simply, there is nowhere to screen them. And that is, of course, a negative trend and a big issue for cinematography in general, “ says the Polish director of 6 Degrees, Bartosz Dombrowski in an interview for IDF, capturing the main aim of KineDok: support of the alternative film distribution.

Bartosz Dombrowski was one of the directors, who travelled quite a lot to attend KineDok screenings and talk to the audiences. For example, in March, more than 100 spectators in the Vinohrady brewery in Prague were discussing the film with him, in the summer, in the open-air cinema “Palouk stříbrného plátna” in Brno he was answering the questions of 60 documentary fans. The 6 Degrees screening in Bergen, Norway, was attended by his equally likable colleague and best friend, Blazej Kafarski, who also took part in the whole crazy shooting journey. The director of the film My Father the Banker Ieva Ozolina went for the Q&A tour to three KineDok’s partner countries: she began in Romania, then she launched the cooperation of KineDok and Meetfactory in the Czech Republic and eventually visited four cities in Croatia. In Croatia, the screening of Miss Roma was attended by the two protagonists of the film, the diligent students of Roma grammar school. In Romania, more than 130 spectators had a chance to talk to the boxer Steluta, the heroine of the film Golden Robot, as well as with its directors Mihai Dragolea and Radu Mocanu, who described the importance of KineDok project in Romania:
I am very grateful for our film to be a part of KineDok. I think it is a courageous initiative providing the documentarists and documentary fans with a time and space for talking to each other. Moreover, there are not many cinema halls in Romania. After the tragic fire in Bucharest in October, some of the cinemas had to be shut down out of safety reasons. The situation is even worse out of Bucharest. There are still many abandoned cinemas and cities where people have no chance to watch a film at all.  There are not many options left for documentarists apart from film festivals and projects such as KineDok.“

Discussions with guests, music, exotic refreshments and a tournament in domino
Apart from the directors and producers of the documentaries, diverse guests were invited to KineDok venues from various NGOs to comment on the topics or areas covered by the films screened. The drug problematics was discussed with the workers from SANANIM or  Progressive organizations following the screening of Toto and His Sisters, the current state of Abkhazia and its political situation were enthusiastically presented by Milan Štefanec from  Nesehnutí, Sylva Horáková from People in Need and Jan Šír from Charles University. The task to unveil the world of autistic people and help understand their perspective and perception of things and situations was taken by the director of the National Institute for Autism, Magdalena Čáslavská, commenting on the documentary So Far, So Near.
Some of the local partners got really creative when organizing the KineDok events and prepared an extra programme to complement the debates. For example in a cafe in Veselí nad Moravou the spectators were invited to build a domino maze together after a screening of The Domino Effect. The same film inspired the organizers from Divadlo 29 in Pardubice to announce their own small tournament in the game. In the same theatre, the screening of Miss Roma was accompanied by a vernissage of photographs taken by socially disadvantaged teenagers within the Multicultural week. The TIC Gallery in Brno has prepared a series of regular introductions by university lecturers and the cultural organizators’ team from Kroměříž accompanied the screenings by musical performances of diverse genres and bands. A brand new venue in Prague, korpus., prepares traditional meals that match the screened documentary - for example, Abkhazian eggplant accompanied the screening of Domino Effect. America, a documentary about Czech tramping had a great success within the sceneries of Barrand ateliers, followed by a campfire and grilling sausages. Another screening of the same film in Tábor underlined the atmosphere by an open air guitar concert/singing with the director Jan Foukal and his band. 

Meet KineDok at train stations, in a church or in the school

In 2016, KineDok managed to broaden the list of its partner venues and enliven some non-traditional spaces - for example, the audience could enjoy the screening in a beautiful gothic Church of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross within the Jihlava IDFF, at Nákladové nádraží Žižkov, in the Scout Institute at the Old Town Square in Prague, in the industrial environment of the international center of contemporary art MeetFactory, in a tiny PidiKino in the backyard “Vnitroblock” in Prague or in the local mini-library in Dožice.

“The great thing is that we have still more and more new people, partners and venues contacting us to cooperate and organize their own screenings. For us, it is a clear signal that adding the project working with audiences to the numerous activities of Instute of Documentary Film was a step to the right direction. Our audiences are our priority and we keep looking for entertaining ways to address them. In 2017 we would like to extend the cooperation with high schools in such a way that we managed with the Johannes Kepler Grammar School within their forum and lecture cycle, Symposion, where the students screened 4 films and debated with the director Jiří Stejskal,“ says the international manager of KineDok, Jana Ripplová.

“The young filmmakers and their perspectives are also an inspiration to us and therefore the second KineDok conference focused on the innovative forms of distribution will be dedicated primarily to them,” adds Kristýna Genttnerová, the coordinator of the project in the Czech Republic, inviting everyone to join this conference, taking place at the beginning of March, at the same time as the One World IHRDFF.

The third edition of KineDok will bring 16 new acclaimed European creative documentaries, comprehensible to anyone interested in attending a screening, thanks to the subtitles being provided in all of the languages of KineDok Partner countries. Come and watch the entangled stories of people like you with people like you! All you need to do is find a place near you in this list. Can’t find your favourite or nearest one?  You can contact and organize a screening yourself!

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