Make a documentary about an issue that burns you

Anyone willing to bring up interesting themes from their surroundings can apply for the My Street Films workshops with their film concept by April 25, 2019. Leading Czech documentary filmmakers will guide selected participants through the filmmaking process and help them create their own film. Besides Prague, the workshops will also be held in Brno and Ústí nad Labem this year.

Emerging filmmakers address housing situation in Prague

It all started when Barbora Šimková received an eviction order from the municipal office in Prague. In an attempt to reverse this decision, she explored the city’s housing policy. Based on her experience, she wrote a film concept which she realized at the My Street Films workshop. The resulting 9-minute personal film See, Prague! was chosen as the best film in the My Street Films competition by a jury of experts. The housing market is also discussed by young documentarist Barbora Chalupová who made her short film m2 for My Street Films last year. The visual collage of newly emerging apartments in Prague is accompanied by a dialogue with a mortgage advisor in the background. Chalupová elaborates on the theme in her feature-length documentary Real(e)state which was screened in Czech competition at One World festival and will receive its television premiere in the Czech Journal series on Czech Television.

Short films submitted within the My Street Films competition capture socially relevant themes as well as remarkable stories of people and places around us. Documentarist Anna Kryvenko, who launched her debut film My Unknown Soldier in cinemas last year, made an experimental film about a solitary tree in one of Prague‘s backyards. “City life often makes us ignore the simple things around us. That’s why I wanted to capture the age-old story of the tree from several perspectives and by various cameras and technologies,” says Anna Kryvenko about her film.

Experienced documentary filmmakers help realize selected concepts

The My Street Films competition is open to the general public, with no previous filmmaking experience being necessary. Anyone can attend a series of workshops and seminars with leading Czech documentarists to guide them in making their films. “Each year, we receive many concepts reflecting the current social events or little stories from our everyday lives. Especially today, it is important to give people space to address issues they find urgent and to offer them professional guidance so they can create quality and informed testimonies,” says My Street Films coordinator Dominika Andrašková.

The film workshops are held from May to September in Prague, Brno and Ústí nad Labem. In each city, up to 8 selected workshop participants will learn the basics of film language and filmmaking under the guidance of Viola Ježková and Ivo Bystřičan. The practical part will be accompanied by public seminars with leading filmmakers. The first seminar will feature Martin Mareček, script editor and director known for his films Auto*Mate (2009) and Solar Eclipse; the latter won at Ji.hlava IDFF in 2011 and later received the Czech Lion Award and the Czech Film Critics Award. Film narrative will be discussed at the seminar with Jakub Hejna, the long-time editor of Helena Třeštíková, with whom he co-directed the documentary Doomed Beauty (2016) and the upcoming film on Miloš Forman. The seminar on documentary directing and work with the protagonist will feature Viera Čákanyová, who has contributed to the short story film Gottland (2014) and will introduce her feature-length film FREM this year. The deadline for the submission of finished films is September 23, 2019. The winning films will be screened at Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival, Architecture Day and Different City Experience. They will also be included in the catalog of the international documentary VOD platform Dafilms.com.

Anyone can send their concept up to 1 standard page (1800 characters including spaces) by April 25, 2019 to info@mystreetfilms.cz and create their own documentary film.