First recipients of Ji.hlava Film Fund grants were announced

The twelve most remarkable documentaries from Central and Eastern Europe, planned for theatrical release during the upcoming 12 months, were presented today at the Karlovy Vary IFF.

Projects from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Kazakhstan, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia and Ukraine made it to the final selection of Docu Talents @KVIFF 2017. The presented films ranged from an Ukrainian-Estonian "existential journey from past to present" ((N)Ostalgia by the directors Vicki Thornton and Pavel Yurov) to a documentary directed by five directors from the five Warsaw Pact countries that occupied Czechoslovakia (Occupation 1968, produced by Peter Kerekes).

Since 2005, Docu Talents has been a launch pad for a number of documentaries, including Rabbit a la Berlin, Blind Loves, Matchmaking Mayor, The Mosquito Problem and Other Stories, Cooking History, René, Fortress, Pipeline, Under the Sun, Gogita´s New Life and The Road Movie.

Film professionals traditionally attend the Docu Talents @KVIFF presentations to see the top of the documentary crop produced in the region.After two hours of presentations, the selected directors and producers met with film professionals and media representatives at an informal cocktail. 

“Relations between film festivals are sometimes strained and over-competitive. I am very pleased to look back on the past 13 years of our successful collaboration that prove how we are able to combine the strengths of the Karlovy Vary IFF and Ji.hlava IDFF festivals for the benefit of exceptional documentary films. I greatly value the ability of the Czech festivals to join forces to support the filmmakers, just like Swiss festivals held in Locarno and Nyon", says Marek Hovorka, director of the Ji.hlava IDFF and curator of Docu Talents.


During the event, the representatives of the Ji.hlava IDFF also revealed the names of the Emerging Producers 2018. This unique programme aims at promoting talented European documentary film producers and provides them with a range of networking, educational and promotional support throughout the year. 16 European producers will be accompanied by 2 producers from Morocco, which is the guest country of the 2018 Emerging Producers programme. Since this edition, the Emerging Producers programme will be extended for an additional workshop taking place during the Berlinale 2018.


The recipients of the Ji.hlava Film Fund were also announced. The support in the amount of 16.000 Euros in post production services provided by the companies UPP and Soudsquare was granted to the the Ukrainian-German co-production Boy of Wars (directors: Igor Kosenko and Cyprien Clement-Delmas, producer: Fabian Driehorst).

Two documentary projects will receive support from the Ji.hlava IDFF, which includes feedback to the rough-cuts and distribution strategies: Polish-German coproduction Foreigner(director: Filip Jacobson, producer: Karolina Galuba) and Polish project The Whale from Loriono (director: Maciej Cuske, producer: Mikołaj Pokromski).

A Czech project Vienna Calling (director: Petr Šprincl, producer: Marek Novák) will receive research support from the Jihlava-based Centre for Documentary Film.

The Ji.hlava Film Fund, which was launched in 2017, provides in-kind grants for visual and sound post-production to documentary films at the stage of production or post-production. The awarded projects were selected from over 50 applications.

For more information, please contact:

René Kubášek

International Communication | Ji.hlava IDFF

This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

+420 778 058 273


For the second time, Prague-based international script and project development program MIDPOINT teams up with high-profile experts from Sundance Institute, APA – Audiovisual Producers' Association and Karlovy Vary IFF, offer emerging film talents from the region a unique opportunity to go in-depth with their scripts. Supported by The Ministry of Culture of Czech Republic and the Czech Film Fund. 
The 6 selected feature film projects come from writers/directors from Azerbaijan, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Macedonia, Serbia and Ukraine. They are: 
From Space with Love
- writer/director Yassen Genadiev & producer Gergana Stankova (Bulgaria) 
- writer/director Vuk Rsumovic & producer Mirko Bojovic (Serbia) 
National Street
- writer/director Stepan Altrichter & producer Pavel Strnad (Czech Republic) 
Night Tide
- writer/director Ismail Safarali & producer Maria Ibrahimova (Azerbaijan) 
- writer/director Dmytro Sukholytkyy-Sobchuk & producer Vladimir Yatsenko (Ukraine) 
The Candlemaker  
- writer/director/producer Svetozar Ristovski (Macedonia) 
From July 4 – 8, the writers/directors and producers will receive script feedback in intensive one-to-one sessions with the acclaimed American script editors and experts from Sundance Institute, Erik Jendresen and Naomi Foner, just as they will take part in the industry activities and network opportunities that the context of Karlovy Vary IFF naturally offers. 
About Naomi Foner:
American Oscar nominated and Golden Globe winning scriptwriter for Running on Empty by Sidney Lumet, starring River Phoenix; director and former teacher at Columbia, UCLA and USC film schools.
About Erik Jendresen:  Co-creator, lead writer, and supervising producer of the miniseries Band of Brothers for HBO in 2001, which won both a Golden Globe and Emmy Award. A writer/producer of feature films and TV. 
About MIDPOINT Intensive @KVIFF: 
Panel Discussion: 'The Benefits of Guided Script Development'
Tuesday, July 44-6 pm at the Industry Pool at Hotel Thermal 
MIDPOINT is taking part in the open panel discussion at KVIFF about the importance of script and project development. The discussion takes off with MIDPOINT tutor from Sundance Institute, Naomi Foner; and will later include film cases such as MIDPOINT alumni project 'Filthy' with director Tereza Nvotova, a TorinoFilmLab case, as well as introduce the new script incubator of the Czech Film Fund represented here by Czech Academy Award Winner Jan Sverak. The Head of Studies of MIDPOINT's Feature Launch program, Danijel Hocevar, will moderate the 2 hour discussion, and onboard the panel are also representatives from Trieste Film Festival, When East Meets West, and Director of MIDPOINT, Barbora Struss. 
From Space with Love Bulgaria, 1990. ANGELINA (14) is smart, beautiful and has the unusual ability to heal people with her energy. She practises this esoteric activity at home, secretly from her father, ANTON (37), but strongly encouraged by her mother, LORA (36). When Lora loses her job and the family situation starts getting worse, the woman interprets this as a clear sign for the long-awaited arrival of the extra-terrestrials on Earth and the consequent new order in which she and her daughter will play an essential role. Lora makes Angelina quit school, so they both can dedicate themselves completely to the Mission. When Angelina fails to cure the progressive blindness of one of her patients, the faith in the special Mission is undermined. Angelina gets depressed and starts realising that Lora constantly changes her revolutionary theories in order to fit the reality. The girl spins relentlessly into the destructive spiral of loneliness and isolation. 
Living RADOVAN (42), a Serbian farmer turned smuggler, picks up a group of migrants crossing border. Among them is a young woman BOUSHRA (25) holding her sick daughter AYA (6). Radovan's boss orders him to take away the girl and leave her die. But the girl survives and Radovan decides to leave his life behind and go on a journey in search of Aya's mother. As they travel along harsh illegal immigrant routes, Radovan and Aya become the only family to each other. Two years later, as they reach Sweden, they finally find Boushra. But, it turns out that she has a new husband and a baby. Boushra is faced with a big dilemma: to leave her new life and be with Aya or to turn back on her past forever. Radovan and Aya are sitting on the coast gazing at the sea, as they are waiting for Boushra to come and tell them her decision. 
National Street
Vandam lives in the suburbs of Prague, a manual worker painting roofs. He likes to get into fights, he calls it “teaching people a lesson”. Vandam is trying to impress Lucka, landlady at the local pub. One night Millner appears there, who paid some debts for Lucka and now he wants his money back. Vandam offers to lend her the money, but Lucka rejects. Vandam approaches Millner in the street and threatens him. One night Vandam is escorting Lucka home. They end up making love. Vandam notices bruises on Lucka's body, but she refuses to talk about it. They have an argument and Lucka runs away. Vandam buys flowers to apologize. He finds her beaten up and sets out to get Millner. He finds him in sauna of a luxury hotel and beats him up with a golf club. That night Vandam celebrates at the pub. Millner arrives and challenges him to a fight. Vandam senses this time he’s out of luck. Vandam the thug, the last warrior, fights his final battle for the woman he loves and his place in this world. 
Night Tide
In a tiny Azerbaijani fishing village little Sara's father disappears at sea. She refuses to bury him while there is no proof of his death. One tragedy after another befalls the village, and the superstitious inhabitants demand the family have a funeral. Rebellious Sara undertakes one last, and deadly, attempt to find her father. 
Pamfir earns his living by digging wells in villages of the border area between Ukraine and Romania. His wife Helena works in the local veneer factory, their son Nazar, 12 years old, goes to school. Pamfir’s family badly needs money for Nazar’s eye surgery, which is why Pamfir decides to go to Europe to work. He needs to apply for the visa, but the money he earns is not enough for the visa services. Pamfir’s younger brother Viktor lives by helping the local gang with smuggling. Viktor offers Pamfir a quick way to earn the lacking money by smuggling the bootleg cigarettes across the border without the gang, on their own. Pamfir agrees, without knowing that one needs a tremendous physical endurance to take the bootleg across the border, which the gang achieves by using steroids. The steroids have a dangerous aftermath of uncontrolled aggression. Nevertheless, Pamfir decides to do steroids too. The gang finds out about Pamfir’s business. The biggest challenge of Pamfir’s life awaits him. 
The Candlemaker
The Candlemaker recounts the story of a woman who starts suspecting her husband of hurting her when she’s asleep, or when she “loses time”, various periods of amnesia when she can’t remember anything, and she fears that ultimately he’s trying to kill her. Burdened by her suspicions, she develops paranoia, which leads her into a nightmare world of uncertainty, guilt, and psychosis. 

13/06: UNIC’s 2017 annual report celebrates continued growth and innovation in European cinema exhibition – UNIC
The International Union of Cinemas has published its Annual Report, examining key trends and developments in across the 36 territories represented by the association over the last year.
19/06: UNIC President Stresses Innovation And Diversity in CineEurope Keynote – Celluloid Junkie
During his keynote address at CineEurope 2017, UNIC President Phil Clapp has highlighted the importance of innovation and diversity for the continued success of the European cinema sector.
21/06: Exhibitors Create Global Cinema Federation to Tackle Major Issues – UNIC
The world’s leading cinema operators today announced the establishment of the Global Cinema Federation, a Worldwide grouping intended to represent cinema exhibition’s global interests.
22/06: UNIC launches Women's Cinema Leadership scheme – UNIC
During CineEurope 2017, UNIC has launched its Women’s Cinema Leadership Scheme, a one year pilot mentoring programme for women in cinema exhibition. The programme will provide six rising female European cinema professionals with the unique opportunity to network with and receive 1-to-1 career advice from a group of senior female executives recognised for their leadership and business success across the wider cinema landscape.

15/06: Axel Voss appointed new Rapporteur for Copyright Directive – EPP website
Following the announcement that Therese Comodini Cachia will step down from the European Parliament in order to take up a seat in the Maltese Parliament, the EPP Group has appointed Axel Voss MEP, the EPP Group Spokesman on Legal Affairs, to carry on the rapporteurship of the Copyright Directive.

19/06: European films make up one third of all films promoted on VoD platforms in Europe – European Audiovisual Observatory
The European Audiovisual Observatory, part of the Council of Europe in Strasbourg, has just published a new report “Audiovisual Media Services in Europe: Focus on Services Targeting Other Countries”. Based on data gathered in the MAVISE database, the report provides an overview of the European audiovisual media landscape. 

01/07: Launch of the Estonian Presidency of the EU 
11/07: Votes in CULT, LIBE and ITRE on Copyright Directive (tbc)
8/09: Conference "Best practices in the fight against counterfeiting & piracy – the role and responsibility of advertising, logistic and financial service providers", Switzerland – more information here

For the 3rd year in a row, Europa Distribution will hold its Annual Conference in the scope of Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The event will take place from July 2 to 6 and will bring together 40 independent distributors, all members of the European network.
On Monday July 3, from 09.30am to 11.30, an open panel organised in partnership with KVIFF and the LUX Prize will be entirely devoted to exploring this theme with experts from the field. The panel, entitled “The Constant Gardeners - What role for distributors in the new film industry ecosystem?”, will be an occasion for scholars, marketing experts and representatives of industry lobbies and public institutions to share their research and perspectives with distributors. What are the new trends of the market? How can the available data be interpreted? And, what are the challenges faced by distributors today?
The confirmed panelists are Ben Johnson (GRUVI), Nikolas Moschakis (FIAD), Huw Jones (University of York) and Liesbeth Sträter (University of Antwerp). The panel will be moderated by Michael Gubbins (SampoMedia) and Bogdan Wenta, Member of the European Parliament, will give a keynote speech.
The Panel will represent the starting point of a discussion that distributors will continue on Tuesday, during a private workshop. On this occasion, marketing and piracy experts Ben Johnson and Chris Anderson (MUSO) will address some of the newly available marketing tools and analyse the possibilities offered by piracy in terms of targeting audiences. Distributors will gather in smaller round tables, in the interest of exploring the topics further and sharing their individual experiences in the field.

Attending distributors will also participate in the festival activities, including works in progress, meetings and special screenings. The General Assembly will also provide an opportunity for members to discuss the activities of the Association.

CONTACT: For more information about the presence of Europa Distribution in Karlovy Vary, contact:  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Meet festival selectors and sales agents in Mojmírovce, June 26th to July 1st

Are you interested on how to distribute your documentary abroad? How to gain a revenue from the distribution? Take part in an open program of the dok.incubator workshop, meet top producers, sales agents and selectors of leading festivals; all this in the last week of June. Slovak, Czech, Hungarian and Polish filmmakers are invited to attend panel-discussions focused on festival strategies with IDFA (Joost Daamen), Hot Docs (Shane Smith), DOK Leipzig (Leena Pasanen), CPH:DOX (Mads Mikkelsen) and One World Film Festival (Julie Kárová). Sales agents will share their experience with international distribution, including practical details such as contracts, profits, territories. Salma Abdalla (Autlook), Maëlle Guenegues (CAT & Docs), Aleksandar Govedarica (Syndicado) and Peter Jäger (Jaeger Creative) will offer examples and practical case studies on how to position different films at the market.

Beside theoretical sessions, decision makers will be discussing tailor-made strategies for the rough-cuts of eight selected projects that have been developed during the dok.incubator mentoring workshop. The projects originate from eight different countries and cover a wide range of topics and genres; including the very actual subjects of a Russian sport crises (Over The Limit /PL), a modern day slavery problem (My Marish /HU) or the resistance of traditions overviewed from the very insight of the affected community (Before Father Is Back /GE). In addition, three Slovak projects are attending the workshop in Mojmírovce, too. Selected Slovak projects are A Good Death (directed by Tomas Krupa), Lovely Oil Homeland (directed by Dominik Jursa) and New Life (directed by Tina Diosi). The complete list of the projects is available on the dok.incubator website.

The working language is English, and the program is for free. May you want to attend the open program, please, RSVP to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Baltic View has started a new initiative showing films from the Baltic countries. The first official CINEMA EVENT with a Lithuanian documentary film MASTER AND TATYANA took place in London on the 14th of June at CINÉ LUMIÈRE - the French Institute. The event was a success - it was nearly sold out! Considering it was one of the hottest days of the year in London

The​ film's​ director Giedrė Žickytė attended the event, where the Q&A was conducted by another Lithuanian documentary film director Neringa Medutytė.

Inesa Ivanova, the head of Baltic View commented: ​
​"The film was well received and the audience was ​surprised to learn that Lithuania had many talented photographers during the occupation period and wanted to find out what impacted such a precedent. It proves once again that films from the Baltic countries are ready to travel."

The film has travelled throughout many established film festivals around the world and received many awards inluding 4 "Silver Cranes" awards during the Lithuanian National film awards in 2015. The documentary tells a story about the life of a famous Lithuanian photographer Vitas Luckus (1943-1987). He was an extremely colourful artist standing out from the Soviet era. Keeping a lion cub in his apartment seemed a norm to him. Vitas went beyond Lithuanian surroundings and documented the spontaneous reality of the Soviet Republics. His photographs, just like his eccentric lifestyle, make a long lasting impression even today. He lived in Vilnius with his beautiful wife Tatyana and together they were a vibrant couple of the ‘60s. Their home was always full of people, wine, nightlong conversations, guests from the farthermost places of the Soviet Union. It is a very personal story of love and life portraying a fragile connection with the past.

Event partners:
Lithuanian Culture Attache in the United Kingdom Justė Kostikovaitė
Online magazine Londonietė
Ministry of Culture of the Republic of Lithuania
Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in London
CINÉ LUMIÈRE - French Institute
Lithuanian Culture Institute

​Next month Baltic View in collaboration with Dep​tf​or​d​ Cinem​a​ is inviting Londoners to see the Baltic View season, showcasing three films: an Estonian film ​- ​The New WORLD​,​​ dir​acted by​ JAAN TOOTSEN​​, a Lithuanian film - The Green Musketeers, directed by Jonas Ohman and a Latvian film - My Father the Banker​, directed by Ieva Ozolina.​

Text prepared by Baltic View​ 
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Within the framework of the business platform Film Industry Office, the Odesa International Film Festival will hold the Public Pitching of drama series projects. Applications are accepted until June 25th.

The whole audiovisual world is passionate with more and more fascinating drama series, which become as complicated and innovative as the best festival feature films. In this competition, unfortunately Eastern European scriptwriters can still not fully participate. There are many reasons, and among them are limited budget possibilities of even the best broadcasters of our region and the traditional habits of the television audience in our countries.

Screen Shot 2017 06 16 at 08.00.19

Believing deeply in the creative possibilities of scriptwriters from our region, three Eastern European institutions enjoying international recognition and reputation: Odesa International Film Festival, the European master training programme ScripTeast for the best Eastern European scriptwriters, and Star Media, the largest Ukrainian international television company, are co-organizing the first ever competition Odesa IFF ScripTeast Series Projects for Eastern European drama series projects with international potential.

4 to 6 best drama series projects with international potential that have been created by the best writers of Eastern and Central European origin, and/or owned by the production companies registered in one of the Eastern and Central European countries, will be selected for participation in the Public Pitching.

The selection is based on three factors:

•   originality of drama series projects;

•   international potential of the project;

•   the writer(s)’s and/or showrunner(s)’s track records.

Details about the application digital package can be found on the OIFF official website. The selection is made by the Committee appointed by the Odesa International Film Festival, ScripTeast and Star Media.

The results of the selection will be announced on June 30th. The Public Pitching presentations to the potentially interested TV-broadcasters, platform operators, distributors and co-producers will be held on July, 19th in the framework of the Film Industry Office.

The Jury of the Odesa IFF ScripTeast Series Projects’ Public Pitching will consist of the representatives of ScripTeast, Star Media and OIFF.

ScripTeast is an European master training programme for the best Eastern European Scriptwriters organized by the Independent Film Foundation from Poland. Since 2006 altogether 114 scripts were developed within the Programme and today 35% of them are in production or already produced, being shown on many international festivals.

Star Media is one of the leaders in the production and distribution of theatrical and television films, telenovelas and series, TV shows and docudramas, successfully leading television programming in Ukraine and abroad.

Odesa International Film Festival will be held on July 14-22.

The retrospective of director Chris Marker who has influenced several generations of filmmakers across the globe will be held on June 5 to 18, 2017 exclusively at The viewers will have a unique opportunity to watch seven key films by Marker which prove his timeless mastery. The collection includes La Jetée, Sans Soleil, Level Five, Junkopia, Sunday in Peking, Letter from Siberia and Description of a Struggle.

Chris Marker ranks among the prominent French artists of the 20th century and directors of the French New Wave. Besides being a documentary filmmaker, he was a photographer, author of essays, newspaper articles and poems and multimedia artist. He was a leftist artist who voiced his provocative opinion on the current social and political events in his films. That is why some of his films dealing with taboo themes in Africa, the Soviet Union and Cuba were forbidden or censored. His work is imbued with the recurrent themes of time, memory and nostalgia. Throughout his life, Marker explored film as a medium and experimented with its form. For instance, his film The Pier (La Jetée, 1962) is composed of static photographs.

“For eleven years, the online documentary cinema has been discovering quality creative films and bringing them to viewers across the globe. Legally and online, we present contemporary production as well as retrospectives of distinguished filmmakers; for instance, we have presented films by Helena Třeštíková or the French living legend Agnès Varda with great success. This time, we look back at the key personality of cinema Chris Marker whose work reflects the technological development of cinema while merging film, new media and the internet. Many of his retrospectives were limited to his documentary essay Sans Soleil and La Jetée which inspired Terry Gilliam to make his cult film 12 Monkeys., on the other hand, brings a cross section of the work of the writer, photographer and explorer, ranging from Sunday in Peking from 1956 to one of the most famous cyberpunk films Level Five from 1997,” says acquisitions manager Diana Tabakov.

Chris Marker was born in 1921. After graduating from a lyceum, where Jean Paul Sartre was a professor at the time, Marker studied philosophy. During occupation, he left for Switzerland where he allegedly joined the United States Air Force. After the war, he worked as a journalist and photographer. In the 1950s, he joined the French New Wave, made documentaries and film essays.

Throughout his life, Chris Marker received countless film and literary awards, the most prestigious ones including a César for Junkopia (1981). His most renowned films include La Jetée (1962) and Sans Soleil (1983). He has collaborated with other prominent auteurs of his era, such as Jean-Luc Godard, Alain Resnais, Joris Ivens and Agnès Varda.

In the 1990s, Chris Marker was captivated by the possibilities of digital technologies, in spite of his relatively old age. At more than 70, he made a whole range of multimedia works for leading world art institutions. The very latest work by Marker is the film for one actress Level Five (1997).

Films presented in the retrospective at DAFilms:

Sunday in Peking (1956)

Reflections on the loss of memory in connection with the emptiness of Beijing’s Forbidden City. The film attempts to depict the complex reality of the city, or more precisely of all of China; an economic superpower and at the same time a land of immense poverty.

Letter from Siberia (1957)

How to capture the truth? The film plays with the documentary and other genres and implies how difficult it is to give an account of any country and how determining our point of view is. Marker’s film also tells of the manipulative potential of the film medium; by means of editing, shooting angles and primarily voice-over, images can attain a completely different meaning.

Description of a Struggle (1960)

A documentary with a political focus and a Kafkaesque title in which both poles of the filmmaker’s work – travel essays and political documentaries – meet.

The Pier (La Jetée, 1962)

The black-and-white sci-fi novel depicts a scientific experiment in which a group of scientists tries to save mankind living in catacombs after a nuclear disaster by sending a rescue expedition to the past. The film has inspired Terry Gilliam’s cult film 12 Monkeys for which Chris Marker wrote a script.

Junkopia (1981)

Deserted Pacific Ocean bay near Emeryville, California. The sea is washing up things of the world to the shore and Chris Marker together with his friend are filming objects transforming from these things between the low and high tide. The experimental image of a creative process was awarded a César for the best short film.

Sunless (Sans Soleil, 1983)

A film essay (named after a composition by Mussorgsky) in which an unknown woman reads and comments on the letters she gets from her friend who is a cinematographer. He travels around the world and is most interested in Japan and Africa which fascinate him as “two extreme poles of survival.”

Level Five (1997)

The fascinating documentary puzzle is at the same time one of the most renowned cyberpunk films. The inward theme of the film is the Battle of Okinawa and the questions related to the suicidal behaviour of the local inhabitants. On a general level, the film deals with the individual and collective memory of the Japanese.

You can find a link to the retrospective at DAFilms here (the link is valid from June 5).

About is one of the oldest online VoD portals in the world as it was founded already in 2006. Its mission is to popularize Czech and international documentary cinema and create a unique publicly accessible video library which now includes over 1500 hand-picked films. The portal is programmed by seven prestigious European documentary festivals. The Czech representative is Jihlava IDFF which founded the portal more than 10 years ago.

Doc Alliance comprises seven documentary film festivals:

CPH:DOX, Doclisboa, Docs Against Gravity FF, DOK Leipzig, FIDMarseille, Jihlava IDFF, Visions du Réel

Contact for media

Hana Šilarová, This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., +420 602 792 856

27/05: European Cinema Trade Body UNIC Underlines Importance of Theatrical Release for Leading Film Festivals – Celluloid Junkie

The International Union of Cinemas (“UNIC”), representing cinema associations and key operators across 36 European territories, has today underlined the importance it attaches to ensuring that films selected for competition at leading film festivals receive a theatrical release and supporting the position adopted by French exhibition colleagues during the Cannes International Film Festival.

Digital Single Market
10/05: Digital Single Market mid-term review: Commission calls for swift adoption of key proposals and maps out challenges ahead – European Commission website 

Having reached the middle of its mandate, the European Commission published the mid-term review of its Digital Single Market strategy.

10/05: Antitrust: Commission publishes final report on e-commerce sector inquiry – European Commission website

The European Commission's final report on the e-commerce sector inquiry identifies business practices that may restrict competition. It allows the Commission to target its enforcement of EU antitrust rules in e-commerce markets and has already prompted companies to review their practices.

Audiovisual Media Services Directive
23/05: The Council reached a general approach on the proposal for a revised directive on audiovisual media services – Consilium website

The Council reached a general approach on the proposal for a revised directive on audiovisual media services (AVMS) . The aim of the proposal is to respond to the unprecedented technological and market changes that the digital shift has brought about in order to preserve the competitiveness of Europe's audiovisual industry, while preserving fundamental values such as the protection of minors, media pluralism, cultural diversity and consumer protection. 

24/05: AVMS Directive – Great progress to support Europe’s audiovisual works – SAA website

General Approach adopted by Culture Council goes further than European Commission proposal and promises a positive result on promotion of European works ahead of negotiations on final text with European Parliament and Commission.

19 – 22/06: CineEurope 2017 – You can still register here

15-16/06: Digital Assembly, Malta – more information here 8/09: Conference " Best practices in the fight against counterfeiting & piracy – the role and responsibility of advertising, logistic and financial service providers", Switzerland – more information here

Every year, the third day of Krakow Film Festival ends with the award ceremony of the most important festival prize – the Dragon of Dragons, given for the outstanding contribution to the development of the international cinema. This time, Krakow Film Foundation Programme Council decided to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Polish animated film, which falls this year, and honour two eminent veterans of this genre, Witold Giersz and Daniel Szczechura, with the Dragon of Dragons award.

“It would be very hard to determine, who of today’s two winners deserved the award more or earlier,” the Chairman of the Krakow Film Foundation Programme Council, Professor Tadeusz Lubelski, explained the exceptional double award. “Of course, these are two very different artists, but they have a lot in common and this also supported this decision. Both Witold Giersz and Daniel Szczechura are outstanding representatives, the last Mohicans of this wonderful group, not only in a generational sense, but most of all, of the artistic group, which was later called the Polish School of Animated film.”

Professor Lubelski also explained that both of this year’s winners are the leaders of two characteristic varieties of animated film. The work of Witold Giersz is named, also by the artist himself, painting in movement and it involves treating animated film as a way of practising painting. In contrast, Daniel Szczechura is an eminent representative of the trend traditionally referred to as philosophical grotesque, often having the character of a political satire.

The Dragon of Dragons statuettes, designed by Professor Bronisław Chromy, were handed by Magdalena Sroka, the Director of Polish Film Institute, and Jacek Majchrowski, the Mayor of the City of Krakow. The ceremony ended with the screening of six films, highly acclaimed all over the world, by both award-winners.

The Dragon of Dragons award, given for the 20th time this year, is the highest distinction granted by Krakow Film Foundation Programme Council, the organiser of Krakow Film Festival, in recognition of contribution to the development of international cinema in documentary and animated film genre. Among previous winners of the award, there are many prominent film-makers, among others, Werner Herzog, Priit Pärn, Kazimierz Karabasz, Bohdan Kosiński, Bogdan Dziworski, Allan King, Albert Maysles, Jonas Mekas, Helena Trestíková, Stephen and Timothy Quay, Raoul Servais, Jerzy Kucia, Paul Driessen and Marcel Łoziński.

Witold Giersz is one of the most outstanding Polish animated film-makers, called “the painter of the screen.” He is the winner of numerous awards, including seven awards at Krakow Film Festival. His films are described as “moving paintings” because of the role which colour and the way of bringing colours to life play in them. For colour, as Witold Giersz used to say – is the protagonist of his films. In the Master’s retrospective, we will watch his most important films, among others, “Maly western,” awarded the Golden Dragon at the first festival in Krakow (1961) and his latest film “Singum” from 2015.

Daniel Szczechura is one of the most famous figures of Polish animated film. His creative explorations contributed to the creation of the phenomenon called “the Polish school of animated film.” “The films by Daniel Szczechura began with the description of the reality, a satirical, exaggerated, derisive one, but a description all the same. Quickly, the comic tone was replaced by more serious look, documenting our “externality” – penetrating issues which lie hidden somewhere deep in us,” wrote Jerzy Armata. We will have a chance to find it all out by watching a selection of the award-winner’s films.

On Wednesday, the 31st of May, at 12.30 in Małopolski Ogród Sztuki, the audience of Krakow Film Festival will have a chance to participate in the open master class by Daniel Szczechura, whereas on Friday, at noon in Kino Pod Baranami, the second of the award-winners, Witold Giersz, will give a public show of making an animated film.

Throughout the entire Festival, the viewers will have a chance to get acquainted with a comprehensive selection from the works by the Award-Winners.

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