Winners of the 21st edition of Ji.hlava IDFF



selects an outstanding documentary film of the year from a diverse collection representing tendencies in world documentary; since all of the films are significant, the festival suggest the following game; a single juror picks a single film, a “brilliant” work.

Juror: Laila Pakalniņa​

  • Best World Documentary Film 2017: The Wall (Stena, Dmitry Bogolubov, Russia, 2017)

Jury statement: For using the film language to express the inexpressible. For film.



is a competition section for the countries and nations of Central and Eastern Europe, including their historical, political, and cultural interrelationships.

Jurors: Illia GladshteinNicole BrenezRobert KirchhoffThomas A ØstbyeTiffany Pritchard​

  • Best Central and East European Documentary Film 2017: Opera about Poland (Opera o Polsce, Piotr Stasik, Poland, 2017)
  • Special Mention: People Pebble (Jivko Darakchiev, Perrine Gamot, United Kingdom, France, 2017)

Jury statement: 
World emergency!
Hysterical analysis. 
Destructive mosaic.
Heretic essay.
Audio attack. 

Special Mention:
Harmonising fragmented landscapes.
Experimenting with Textures.
Creating a grey marriage between horizon and frame.



is a prestigious selection of Czech documentaries; rather than a mere competition for the best Czech documentary, it represents a celebration of the diverse range of new topics and the adventurous spirit of cinematic expression. The composition of the jury, too, is diverse; besides various personalities of Czech cultural and social life, it also includes the last year’s winner of the Czech Joy section as well as a citizen of Jihlava.

Jurors: Alice KrajčírováAndrea HanáčkováKrištof KinteraMiroslav JanekRozálie KohoutováTomáš Bojar
Student Jury: Daniel Bauška, Natálie Cábová, Milena Krupičková, Vojtěch Vlk


Jury statement: The jury awards the Special Mention in the Czech Joy section to The Last Shift of Tomáš Hisem by Jindřich Andrš for its radical form, suggestive minimalist approach and unique authenticity.

Special Mention: The jury awards the Special Mention in the Czech Joy section to The Last Shift of Tomáš Hisem by Jindřich Andrš for its radical form, suggestive minimalist approach and unique authenticity. Viola Ježková’s Everything Has its Own Time received the jury’s Special Mention for its poetically charged images and her unrestrained use of the filmic language. A tripping movie, an abstract testimony about one’s real life.

Student Jury: Our choice stems from the need to point out that also us, those who sit on the student jury and who didn’t experience the absurdity of the previous regime, find it important to bring attention to and reflect on the atrocities of the communist era. We would like the film to rach out to the younger generation as we believe that in their hands lies the chance to change our society and to avoid making the same mistakes.



is a large factory for experimental filmmaking; stripping reality-based films of all that weighs them down, it significantly expands the possibilities of cinematic expression. The jury of the competition part of the Fascinations section is traditionally composed of members of a single film family.

Jurors: Zbyněk BaladránPetra BaladránováMatěj BaladránMarie Anna Baladránová

  • Best Experimental Documentary Film 2017: Boat People (Sarah Wood, United Kingdom, 2016)
  • Special Mention: The End of Time (Milcho Manchevski, Cuba, USA, 2017)

Jury statement: Following a long and democratic discussion, the jury agreed to award the prize to Boat People, a filmic essay directed by Sarah Wood. Based on scenes taken from other films and a poetic voice-over, it compiles an account of migration on the backdrop of the history of Great Britain as a maritime power and an unforeseeable movement of human masses. The jury recognises the combination of a subjective perspective, historical reflection and especially the role of the moving image in depicting tragic events associated with the loss of home. We also acknowledge the focus on hospitality as a human way of relating to others.

Special Mention: The jury’s Special Mention goes to Milcho Manchevski’s The End of Time. Within the framework of several minutes, the film shows a seconds-long moment from everyday reality, thus opening a time window to a multitude of hidden details celebrating life. The jury was appreciated mainly the director’s straightforward approach and his ability to build up tension in a seemingly timeless atmosphere of a street in Cuba. Microstories revealed through an uneven slow-motion of the images sets off small miracles that escape our perception under the standard speed of the flow of time.



is a competition survey of the latest Czech experimental films that touch upon reality and never cease in their search for new ways of expressing reality through classical and digital film.

Jurors: Zbyněk BaladránPetra BaladránováMatěj BaladránMarie Anna Baladránová

  • Best Czech Experimental Documentary Film 2017: Can (Konzerva, Lucie Navrátilová, Czech Republic, 2017)
  • Special Mention: Tradition (Tradice, Kateřina Turečková, Czech Republic, 2017)

Jury statement: The main prize is granted to 16mm film collage Can by Lucie Navrátilová. The film humorously elaborates on the topic of storing and preserving, with the ambition to conserve the folklore of the Haná region, dying trees, as well as forms of narration that are becoming inadequate and are slowly disappearing. The jury was impressed by the humorous angle and playfulness with which the author approached her topic. We also appreciate her work with the form. The collage of several layers of narration, fused into a highly personal testimony about the end of adolescence and the inevitable end of everything that is connected with the intimate exploration of the world.

Special Mention: The jury’s special mention goes to Kateřina Turečková for her film Tradition that originated as a school exercise on a 35mm film, poetically reflecting Moravian-Slovakian folklore traditions in the town of Kyjov and the consumption of crystal meth popular among the local youth. The town’s official support reduces itself to Moravian traditions, neglecting social life and leaving young people at the mercy of their fate. The jury appreciates the subtle irony in combining old and new traditions to form a social hybrid as well as the attempt to integrate crystal meth into the film’s sensitive layer resembling a smut preventing social reflection. We believe that the film will catalyse discussion and changes in a town that have allocated funds for its making.



presents first feature-length documentaries by international filmmakers, with the aim of highlighting the search for new forms and the changing nature of subjects and styles. The presented films have the ambition of becoming a voice in the struggle for freedom and the meaning of documentary film.


Jurors: Augustín MasaedoEvgeny GusyatinskiyGiona A. NazzaroHicham FalahJosh Siegel
Student Jury: Pavel Jan, Barbara Nováková, Varvara Šatunova

  • Best Feature-Length Documentary Debut Film​ 2017: Meteors (Meteorlar, Gürcan Keltek, Turkey, Netherlands, 2017) and Panoptic (Rana Eid, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, 2017)
  • Student Jury Award: The Making of Justice (Sarah Vanhee, Belgium, 2017)

Jury statement: The jury of First Lights awards the first prize to two films. We wish to make it clear that this is a reflection of our collective and equal enthusiasm for both. This is not in any way a compromise born out of a divided opinion. While differing dramatically from each other in form and tone, these two films speak to the dark times in which we live. Both are complex inquiries into the roots of conflict, in Turkey, in Lebanon, and beyond. Old hatreds are laid bare in the most brutal of ways in wars that seem to have no end. And yet, Gürcan Keltek and Rana Eid serve the honorable cause of the documentarian who bears witness to sufferings that have purposefully been kept hidden from us. The poetry of their difficult images deepens our empathy in regarding the pain of others. Only in doing so can we ever hope to come out of the darkness that hangs over us all. The jury awards the prize of First Lights to Meteors and Panoptic. We do so feeling inspired and hopeful about the future of documentary filmmaking.

Student Jury: The student jury of the First Lights section grants the award to a filmmaker whose clear vision, confident directing style and a profoundly human insight allowed him to defy the conventional portrayal of those who have been sentenced to prison. The stories of the individual characters combined with minimalist filmic language compel us to reflect on the general character of justice. The Award goes to the film called The Making of Justice by Sarah Vanhee.



presents a selection of the best documentary shorts - consummate works exploring the possibilities and strengths of documentary film within a limited time framework.

Jurors: online voting



creates space in which voices and visions overlap with images and rhythms, the urgency of the content with formal intransigence. A competition section screening this year’s most important political documentaries.

Jurors: Josef PazderkaMartin Dokupil ŠkabrahaSaša Uhlová

  • Best Testimony on Politics 2017: Last Men in Aleppo (Feras Fayyad, Denmark, Syria, Germany, 2017)

Jury statement: We value the exceptional and authentic testimony the film brings. Not only capturing a human drama, the film’s impressive style combines with a pronounced political message about those at the top and literally – those at the bottom.



is a competition section offering a new definition of scientific documentary. The boundaries of human knowledge, the boundaries of the portrayable – and the possibilities of crossing them.

Jurors: Andrea PrůchováTomáš TycZuzana Holubcová

  • Best Testimony on Knowledge 2017: Panic Attack (Ataque de Pánico, Ernesto Ardito, Argentina, 2017)

Jury statement: The film provides a complex testimony on the impact of modern society characterised with a rapid development of the global media communication network on the psyche of an individual. It offers an intersectional perspective that combines the study of natural sciences with modern media theory and cultural research. All of this is conveyed using comprehensible language which appeals to each of us and brings a clear message that can be applied to the everyday lived experience in the heart of the modern civilisation.



is a competition section featuring this year’s documentaries that hold conversations on the creation and destruction, on threats and challenges, about man as part of and as a mortal enemy of nature, all through the refined medium of film.

Jurors: Anton MarkošIvo BystřičanĽuboš Slovák

Jury statement: Our intention was to choose a film that offers a new perspective and is formally surprising.



  • Audience Award of the 21st edition of Ji.hlava IDFF: Czech Journal: The Limits of Work (Český žurnál: Hranice práce, Apolena Rychlíková, Czech Republic, 2017)



  • Marcel Ophuls



  • Best Czech television, video and online report of the past year: Ruličkáři (Janek Rubeš)