Conference Fascinations 2016

The Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival (IDFF) organised a conference meeting of experimental documentary film distributors, gallerists and festival representatives. Following up on Conference Fascinations 2015 that brought together representatives of experimental film distribution companies from all over the world, giving them the opportunity to meet, confer and learn more about the Czech experimental scene, focusing primarily on the curatorship and institutional-commercial aspect of presenting and disseminating this type of works, this year’s discussion revolved around experimental film curatorship in relation to specialised festivals and the presentation of moving images in gallery spaces.

The conference took place as part of the 20th edition of the Jihlava IDFF (October 25 to 30, 2016) and the main items on the agenda will include experimental film distribution, presentation and preservation as well as various strategies of bringing experimental works to curators and general public.

Gallery presentations of experimental films and video-art make up to one half of the profit for some distributors. However, their previous debates have implied that there are no generally applicable rules to providing, appraising and displaying these works in gallery spaces. While the communication with festivals takes place along similar lines, galleries are inclined to prefer “ad hoc” rules.

Representatives of distribution companies, festivals and galleries had the opportunity to watch selected works from Czech experimental cinema ( competition section) as well as a special historical cross-section of Eastern European cinema. The Jihlava IDFF has become the first platform enabling a systematic presentation of Czech experimental films (notably works referring to reality and including documentary features), at the same time systematically focusing on Eastern European cinema; the festival’s ambition is to promote Czech films internationally and to facilitate collaboration with experienced distributors and festivals abroad.

Conference Fascinations curator: Andrea Slováková

– documentarist, curator, teacher, publisher. She studied Mass Media Studies at the Faculty of Social Sciences of Charles University in Prague, after graduation received the degree PhDr. Graduated also from Film Science at the Philosophical Faculty of Charles University, where she also got herdoctorate. She studied documentary film-making at FAMU in Prague and strategic management at Cambridge Business School. Since 2003 until 2011 she worked in the management of Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, in the last years as the director for publishing activities.Now she continues in curating programs of experimental documentaries. In 2012 – 2015 she worked as a director of AMU Press – the publishing house of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. She publishes articles in different magazines (e.g. Cinepur, Kino Ikon, A2), was editor-in- chief of the annual anthology of texts on documentary called DO and a chief editor of bimonthly Dok.revue. Since 2008 she teaches history and methods of documentary and avant-garde cinema at Masaryk´s University in Brno, occasionally at Charles University and Palacký´s University. She is an expert for Czech State Fund for Cinematography and Slovak Audiovisual Fund. She is a founder of a publishing house for non-fiction Nová beseda. As an artist, she made the portrait of mathematician Petr Vopěnka, film about clouds, essay about supervision mechanisms and experimental film on Czech industry.

01 Presentations

5-minute presentations of distributors, festivals and galleries

> Image Forum (distribution, education and festival) / Koyo Yamashita, Artistic Director / Japan /

> LightCone (distribution company) / Emmanuel Lefrant, Director / France /

> L U X (distribution company) / Matt Carter, Distribution Manager / UK /

> Sixpack film (distribution company) / Brigitta Burger-Utzer, Managing Director / Austria /

> CFMDC (distribution company) / Lauren Howes, Executive Director/ Canada /

> Atopia (research project) / Michel Pavlou, Co-Founder/ Norway /

> National Gallery of Iceland Reykjavík (gallery) / Halldór Björn Runólfsson, Director / Iceland /

> Stiftelsen 3,14 (foundation) /Malin Barth, Director / Norway /

> Bergen IFF (festival) / Ingebjørg Aarhus Braseth, Project Manager / Norway /

> Northern Wave IFF (festival) / Dögg Mósesdóttir, Founder, Director / Island /


02 Discussion Panel I

The curatorship aspect: what criteria do distributors apply when selecting films for festivals vs. galleries; how do these criteria relate to their collection-building strategies and how does the submission and assessment of new works and authors take place – what are festivals and galleries looking for?

David Dinnell, former Program Director (Ann Arbor Film Festival, USA)
Koyo Yamashita, Director (Image Forum, Japan)
Emmanuel Lefrant, Director (LightCone, France)
Michel Pavlou (Atopia, Norway)

03 Discussion Panel II

Organisational aspect: the best ways of offering films to festivals vs. galleries, in what form are they available to/needed by curators, how do curators search for film works; sharing experience and best practice of searching for and offering experimental films and videos.

Brigitta Burger-Utzer, Managing Director (Sixpack film, Austria)
Ingebjørg Aarhus Braseth, Project Manager (Bergen IFF, Norway)
Lauren Howes, Director (CFMDC, Canada)
Malin Barth, Director (Stiftelsen 3,14, Norway)

04 Discussion Panel III

Economical and legal aspect: practice in the sphere of cinema (festivals) vs. fine arts (galleries) – presentation possibilities, licences, fees.

Dögg Mósesdóttir, Founder, Director (Northern Wave IFF, Island)
George Clark, Film curator (Tate Modern, UK)
Halldór Björn Runólfsson, Director (National Gallery of Iceland Reykjavík, Iceland)
Matt Carter, Distribution Manager (L U X, UK)