Ondřej Šejnoha

Czech Republic

Ondřej Šejnoha

producer

Digital Prints of a Revolution

Real people and their stories hidden behind the shared cell phone amateur videos shot during the Arab Spring in 2011. A documentary road movie in between digital space and reality. In December 2010, after a desperate shopkeeper set fire to himself and burnt to death in Tunisia, public riots began. In the following weeks and months a massive wave of revolutions moved to other Arab countries, with its extraordinary power set in motion by apparent certainties of oligarchic North African and Middle Eastern regimes. The main media and revolutionary method of communication between young Arabs is the internet. Social networks and Youtube represent a kind of meta-space free of government control. Videos shot with cell phone cameras, thousands of hours of brutal evidence against the power of the state, Revolution documenting itself online. How many personal videoarchives were possibly shot only during the mythical gathering of one million Egyptians in Tahrir square in February? And who are the real people hidden behind these iconic images? Would there be any revolution without these strong shared video-images?

Tears of Steel: Vladimír Stehlík Meets Lubomír Krystlík

A documentary comedy about an era of high hopes and even greater disillusions, about the wild Czech journey to capitalism, about a steep rise and deep fall. Also, a film about the art of aging and the ways of dealing with the collapse of great expectations. Two old men think back to days when they have reached for the top of Czech business. Vladimír Stehlík and Lubomír Krystlík, CEO and his private adviser - they were the main players in the privatization project of the steel works Poldi Kladno in mid 1990s. They once used to be at the top, now they are living off their low old age pensions and the ex-CEO is facing a number of distress warrants. Poldi Kladno went bankrupt many years ago and the glorious past remains alive only in memories.

Toytravel story

Mr. Marek appears before a committee of successful entrepreneurs. During the televised presentation he is overcome by stage-fright and can only muster a few incoherent sentences. He is trying to convince the committee to invest into a travel agency for toys. Most viewers following his performance on their TV screens as well as the studio audience think that he has gone made or is simply trying to attract media attention. Their shock is all that much greater when Mr. Marek actually finds some investors. Tomio Okamura, owner of a successful travel agency, sensed the hidden potential of this business proposal. And this is how a travel agency for toys was born. A film about the search for certainty, about escaping from the world surrounding us, about why we want to stay children. A film about toys travelling. A film about mass media reality and how it's created. And a film about one dream that came true.

Show Me the War

Some journalists need a bit of advice when working in the war - where to go or rather do not, where is be the best view on the ruins of the airport, how to pass through all the checkpoints to the desired place. Fortunately, in every conflict appear also local guides who are happy to provide all the service that journalists need. Media called those people "fixers". The film is a war road movie in eastern Ukraine following the fixer Ruslan accompanying Colombian television crew that wants one thing - to see the war.

Human Beeing

The relationship between people and bees is one of the best mapped phenomena in human history. In most cultures, the honey bee used to be considered a sacred animal and enjoyed great respect. Today, due to our irresponsible interventions in nature, it is facing extinction. Together with Honeymen, two amateur beekeepers from Brno, we set out to search for an answer to how to save the bees. However, it soon becomes clear that it is not only the bees that are dying; it is also something in us. Human Beeing is a reflection upon modern humans losing their relationship both to nature and to themselves. It is not a film about the bees but with the bees. It is about humility, faith and dying humanity at a time of increasing dominance of technology.

Forgotten War

Nazar works in Kiev, Ukraine, as a screenwriter. Together with his wife and small son, they live peacefully and nothing indicates that this is about to change. Towards the end of 2013, however, the Maidan square in central Kiev sees masses of protesters who oppose the decision of president Viktor Yanukovych who refused to sign the pending association agreement with the EU. Foreign journalists flock to Kyiv to report from the mass protests and Nazar is one of those who provide them with intel. He becomes a fixer – a translator and a guide for teams of journalists. Soon he realizes that he likes to work in extreme conditions. When, two months later, an open war breaks out in the East, he guides the journalists through the key events of the conflict. He sees the development first-hand and together with the journalists, he creates the testimony that then travels the globe. Soon, however, the war is forgotten. The web documentary The Forgotten war provides a testimony about a conflict that had raged in the Eastern Ukraine for almost four years now. As a guide, Nazar tries to give objective causes of the war, he leads the viewer through the Donbass area, hinting at the complicated local history and the pride of the local miners. Apart from the historic context, however, he shows the viewers the everyday reality of life in the so-called grey zone, the strip of land directly touching the frontlines. The documentary permits us to view the military conflict from the perspective of the locals and witness the everyday situations experienced by the locals in the unstable region. Through Nazar, the viewer gets a chance to learn about the everyday lives of four different people – a small school girl, a humanitarian aid worker, a female doctor and a senior citizen. In the state of war, their everyday rituals often become absurd.

llllllIIIl

Quasi-interactive dystopic sci-fi documentary meta comedy about the thrills of behavioral marketing, technological determinism and wannabe alive machines that might likely end all human life as we know it.
Working in the style of a documentary essay, in one part the film considers the problem of humans being surrounded by robustly automated online social networks. A calming female voice in its terapeutic tone introduces us into the logics of data mining, behavioral marketing and the value system of machines. The narrator also asks the audience to ready their smart phone cameras in order to take pictures during the screening of the film to capture the projected graphs and diagrams. All that on top of apocalyptic visions of burning Hamburg during the G20 Summit that was also heavily photographed by smartphone cameras. Other parts of the film consider the future role of terapeutic chatbots in psychological self-realization and the human understanding of non-synthetic nature.

Taurophilia

Through rhythmic re-composition of fragmented images, semi-surreal situations are explored in a documentary style of observation of a man's obsession with a powerful animal, the black horned bull, and the Spanish process of taxidermy through which he attempts to embody its beauty and strength, turning into a Minotaur.
The subdued basement space in which the man meticulously studies the motionless flesh of the animal is preceded by a sunlit, empty arena in Spain, the stage in which the bull is presented in its full glory before facing man.
The film's sublime ritualistic pulse evolves with its protagonist's swelling obsession into a ravishing state where the human and the animalistic, reality and fantasy transcend.

Amoosed

The film takes us on a journey of the author and her diary. Something strange is happening in her life. A Moose is always appearing. Is it trying to tell her something? She has to follow. The story starts in Czechia and the Czech stories and protagonists lead us further, across the borders - the same way the Moose goes. Only here the real Moose odyssey starts. We are led through Europe and at the end to Canada, where the Moose message is finally fulfilled. On the way, in different places, she meets protagonists who all have something in common: they have participated in various humans' attempts to deal with moose, to control it. While the moose stayed the same specific indomesticable creature, people, after these encounters, ended up changed completely.
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