The Czech documentary industry is soundly represented at IDFA 30 with two films in competition and a third in Masters. Nothing Like Before, about four teenagers in a Czech border town, screens in First Appearance while The Russian Job about a Swedish manager who tries to salvage Soviet car manufacturer Lada, plays in the Mid-length Competition. The Masters selection is the controversial The White World According to Daliborek. The film, which follows a small-town neo-Nazi, premiered earlier this year at Karlovy Vary.
The Czech contingent is headed by the Institute of Documentary Film (IDF), which has supported creative documentary films from Central and Eastern Europe since 2001. “We feel that the participation of so many Czech documentary films at the 30th IDFA is a double success,” comments IDF's Creative Director Pavlína Kalandrová. “Most of them have been supported by IDF for some time and participated in several of its activities … We will continue to support all of them throughout their festival life.”
Additional IDFA 2017 Czech activity includes the Docs for Sale selections A Marriage Story, described as a longitudinal documentary; D Is for Division by Davis Simanis (produced by Guntis Trekteris and Radim Procházka); the creative doc The Lust for Power by Slovak director Tereza Nvotová, produced by PubRes (Slovakia) and co-produced by HBO Europe and Negativ; and Batalives directed by Karolína Zalabáková and Petr Babinec. The project Satanic Girls; Women on the Move, directed by Bohdan Bláhovec and produced by Anna Herza Tydlitátová, will be pitched at EBU.
Annual funding support for Czech documentaries amounts to approximately €1.4 million (from a total budget of €13.5 million), with additional film incentives amounting to €31 million per annum available to Czech and international filmmakers. Recent legislation reduces the minimum amount of costs eligible for film incentives, which has made access easier for documentary films, points out State Cinematography Fund chief Helena Bezděk Fraňková. “We also systematically support documentary films in all stages of development in special calls,” she adds. “There are also a number of industry and educational institutions that receive regular subsidies for their activities in documentary film. I’m glad that our support translates into the success of Czech documentaries at international events.”