Ji.hlava – The winners of the 25th edition

1 November, 2021

The 25th-anniversary edition of the Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival took place between October 26-31. This year, the Conference Fascinations program focused on Romania, more precisely the Romanian experimental art scene. The retrospective showcased works by the artistic collective kinema ikon and the Sigma art movement, as well as by prominent artists such Ion Grigorescu, Mircea Săucan and Paul Neagu.

The Opening Ceremony introduced the first award-winners. The Best Documentary Book Award went to The Taste of Mulberries/Travel Message of the Wizard’s Apprentice by Miloslav Nevrlý. The winner of the Short Joy section is Open Mountain by Maria Rojas Arias, and the APA World Excellence Award was accorded to French producer Jacques Bidou.

Romanian documentary You Are Ceaușescu To Me (dir. Sebastian Mihăilescu) won the awards for Best Central and East European Documentary Film and Best cinematography.

Over 300 films from 63 countries were presented during the five days of the festival, which kicked off with When Flowers Are Not Silent by Belarusian director Andrei Kutsila.

Here is the full list of winners:

Opus Bonum

Best World Documentary Film: Lines (dir. Barbora Sliepková)

Special mention: When You Are Close to Me (dir. Laura Viezzoli)

Best Central and East European Documentary Film: You Are Ceausescu To Me (dir. Sebastian Mihăilescu)

Special mention: When Flowers Are Not Silent (dir. Andrei Kutsila)

Best editing: Dark Light Voyage (dir. Tin Dirdamal)

Best cinematography: You Are Ceausescu To Me (dir. Sebastian Mihăilescu)

Best debut: Lines (dir. Barbora Sliepková)

Original approach: No Desire To Hide (dir. Rikun Zhu)

Best sound design: Lines (dir. Barbora Sliepková)

Student Jury Award: YOON (dir. Pedro Figueiredo Neto, Ricardo Falcão)

Czech Joy

Best Czech Documentary Film: Brotherhood (dir. Francesco Montagner)

Special mention: Ordeal (dir. Zuzana Piussi)

Special mention: Preparations for Film T (dir. Milan Klepikov)

Best editing: Out in Force (dir. Martin Mareček)

Best sound design: Love, dad (dir. Diana Cam Van Nguyen)

Best cinematography: Brotherhood (dir. Francesco Montagner)

Student Jury Award: Leaving Beginnings Behind (dir. Linda Kallistová Jablonská)


The best film about nature: How to Kill a Cloud (dir. Tuija Halttunen)

Special mention: From the Wild Sea (dir. Robin Petré)

The best film about knowledge. Special mention: Dark Red Forest (dir. Jin Huaqing)

The best film about politics. Special mention: Gorbachev. Heaven (dir. Vitaly Mansky)


Best Experimental Documentary Film: In and Out a Window (dir. Richard Tuohy, Dianna Barrie)

Fascinations: Exprmntl.cz

Best Czech Experimental Documentary Film: Beautiful Solution (dir. Eliška Cílková)

Audience Award: Heaven (dir. Adéla Špaljová, Tomáš Etzler)

Silver Eye Awards (awarded by the Institute of Documentary Film)

Silver Eye Award feature-length category: Mara (dir. Sasha Kulak)

Silver Eye Award for the best short documentary: Sounds Of Weariness (dir. Taymour Boulos)

Contribution to World Cinema Award: Jana Ševčíková

The Best Festival Poster Award

Festival Identity: One World. International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival 2021

Audience Choice: 40. Istanbul Film Festival 2021

Writer, photographer and videographer. For Films in Frame she writes news about the latest happenings in the film world and brings to the readers' attention the productions that can be seen at the cinema. When she's not writing articles, she's photographing people in a small studio or searching for new cake recipes.