Slovak film Lines wins top prize at Ji.hlava documentary film festival

Director Barbora Sliepková also won best debut, while Francesco Montagner's Brotherhood was named the best Czech documentary at this year's festival.


Written by ČTK Published on 31.10.2021 09:27:00 (updated on 31.10.2021) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Slovak film Lines, which charts life in contemporary Bratislava, won the Opus Bonum for best world documentary at the 25th edition of the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival, which concluded on Saturday.

Lines was selected among 16 films in competition for the top international prize. Brotherhood, which follows a Bosnian pastoral family, won the Czech Joy section, competing with 18 films as the best Czech documentary at this year's festival.

The awards presented at the festival's closing ceremony yesterday were paintings created by a robot inspired by emotions triggered from Donald Trump's Twitter account.

The awards were created by Czech-Argentine artist Federico Diaz, who built an artificial neural network that studies text on the level of emotions. In the future, the festival's awards should be the robot's depiction of the winning films, festival director Marek Hovorka said.

"Diaz studies emotions because they were created even before speech and because they are something we all share regardless the language we speak, they are more universal," Hovorka said.

The Life Achievement Award for at the Ji.hlava festival was presented to Czech documentary filmmaker Jana Ševčíková, who is currently working on her eighth film. Hovorka said that Ševčíková has never cared about the quantity of her films, but focused on their quality instead. Her works are remarkable for their outstanding empathy and deep authenticity, he added.

Brotherhood, directed by Francesco Montagner, tells the story of Bosnian brothers who grew up amid strict Islamic rules and try to navigate their own path through life as adults. Prokop Souček won Best Cinematography for his work on the film.

In Lines, director Barbora Sliepková sets her story amidst the hustle and bustle of life in modern Bratislava. Through intimate interviews with residents, the documentary also depicts personal and community life in the city. Sliepková also won the award for the best debut film.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Ji.hlava festival was held online in 2020. This year's edition welcomed audiences back to the cinemas, but the festival will follow up with a two-week program that offers more than 100 films from the 2021 festival online.

As of Sunday from 6:00 p.m., viewers can watch not only most of the winning films, but also some of the most interesting documentaries that Ji.hlava presented this year, festival spokesperson Zuzana Kopáčová stated.

The festival presented over 300 films from 68 countries. Approximately 120 documentary films competed for awards across six categories.

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