PRAGUE — The Jihlava documentary festival celebrated fresh, provocative work from around the former Eastern bloc on Saturday, awarding Nedzad Begovic’s comic autobiographical “Totally Personal” its film kudos.
The quirky Bosnian pic generated buzz among fest buyers along with Erika Hnikova’s lampoon of small-town Czech politics, “I Guess We’ll Meet at the Eurocamp,” which picked up a special prize in the Czech Joy sidebar.
HotDocs’ Sean Farnel, who was acquiring pics for the Toronto fest’s upcoming focus on Eastern Europe, said Jihlava offers a rich trove of ideas, styles and visions.
“A huge percentage of these are from first-time filmmakers,” he said, adding that Europe excels at funding docu work and showboating it at such fests.
Fest launched Doc-Air.cz, a streaming video Web site where most of the entries are available for download — a system HotDocs may adopt in partnership with Jihlava.
Portuguese documaster Manoel de Oliveira, 98 years old and still working, picked up an honor for his contribution to world cinema.
Other winners are Jan Sikl’s “A Low-Level Flight” for top Czech film; Marcin Koszalka’s “All Day Together,” Central European film; the Czech Linda Jablonska’s “Left, Right, Forward,” Bosnia audience prize.