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Echoes of Ji.hlava in Brussels 2018

Echoes of Ji.hlava: Selection of cutting-edge documentaries from the International Documentary Film Festival Ji.hlava for the sixth time in Brussel

 Press release to download: 

For the sixth time already, Brussels will host Echoes of Ji.hlava. The showcase of the best of the International Documentary Film Festival Ji.hlava will take place from March 5 to March 11 in multiple locations across the city. The programme features a presentation of the discussed Czech Journal: Limits of Work by its authors, and masterclasses and talks by award-winning filmmakers, including a lecture by Polish director Piotr Stasik who took home the Best Central and East European Documentary Film award.

The popular International Documentary Film Festival Ji.hlava attracts each year documentary enthusiasts from all over the world to the Czech Republic. After the festival, the selection of the best films is showcased in Brussels in cooperation with Czech Centre Brussels and local film institutions. The screenings and masterclasses of Echoes of Ji.hlava 2018 will take place in Cinema Galeries, RITCS, Cercle des Voyageurs, and European Parliament.

The Echoes will be officially opened by the much-discussed documentary Czech Journal: Limits of Work by Apolena Rychlíkováa film based on a half-year long under-cover investigation of the lowest-paid jobs by the main protagonist, journalist Saša Uhlová. The film, awarded the Best Czech Documentary Film Award at last year’s Ji.hlava IDFF, has influenced public debate on workers’ rights on European level, and a vivid discussion is expected also in Brussels. Both of its creators, Apolena Rychlíková and Saša Uhlová, will be present.

Czech documentary tradition, and Czech appreciation for documentaries, has become a well-known term in Brussels – in a large part also due to the Echoes of Ji.hlava that are coming to the city already for the sixth time. The Limits of Work, a winning documentary of the festival and the launching screening of Brussels Echoes 2018, is a great example of the merits of a well-done documentary: it does not only mediate a different experience, but it also has the capacity to change policy-making. We hope the Echoes of Jihlava will have a lasting impact on our perceptions, as well as on the cities, states, and continents we share,” says Jitka Pánek Jurková, Director of the Czech Centre in Brussels, co-organizer of the Echoes.

Besides Limits of Work, also other featured documentaries promise an outstanding experience: The aforementioned Piotr Stasik will present Opera about Poland, a documentary that won one of the main awards at the festival’s last year’s edition. The director who studied and until recently lectured at Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing in Warsaw will also focus on his work in a separate presentation. Along with Stasik’s film, the audience will see The Last Shift of Thomas Hisem by Jindřich Andrš which follows the last descent into the now closed coal mine Paskov.

One of the most attractive titles of this year’s Echoes in Brussels is Last Men in Aleppo by Ferras Fayad, which won the newly established Best Testimony on Politics award at Ji.hlava IDFF 2017 and had been nominated for an Academy Award. Through the lens of camera’s attached to “white helmets” of voluntary rescue squad members depicts the everyday life in a Syrian city destroyed by war. A similar topic was the focus of Also Known as Jihadi by Eric Baudelaire offering an unconventional perspective of radicalisation in the case of one French man of Algerian descent. The third film in the selection is Meteors, a story of one Kurdish town in Eastern Turkey at the outbreak of a war conflict. Director’s Rana Eid’s personal film essay Panoptic explores the heavy legacy of Lebanon.

On a somewhat lighter note, On the Edge of Freedom, a film by a duo of Danish directors, contemplates on the dangerous pastimes of today’s young generation, such as climbing up high-rise buildings, providing the audience with a unique perspective of Kyiv and Moscow. Short animation called Hypnagogia captures abstract landscapes of the half-waking state before falling asleep.

“We have carefully selected 10 of 331 titles shown at 21st Ji.hlava IDFF for our showcase as we believe that they very aptly illustrate the variety and impact of documentary cinema. These titles represent distinctive figures from among the up-and-coming filmmaking generation who often pose very similar questions in Turkey, Poland, Lebanon, Czech Republic and Syria, being at the same time able to provide unique and brave answers,” said the festival’s director Marek Hovorka. “Today, the success of media is measured by the time elapsed between the event covered and the moment of the publication of the news, but documentarians are those who are still allowed to observe and to think. And they enable us, the audience, to do so too, adds Hovorka.


Echoes of Ji.hlava in Brussels, March 5–11, 2018, Cinema RITCS, Cinema Galeries, Le Cercle de Voyageurs, European Parliament.


Complete program at :



Contact for media :

Jitka Pánek Jurková


Czech Centre Brussels

GSM: +32 479 490 493

E-mail: jurkova@czech.cz