Do we notice the chronic lack of time in our lives anymore? Are we even conscious of the dynamics that determine the course of our lives? In recent decades the enormous increase of information, communication and innovations in technology has dramatically altered the dynamics of everyday life. Everywhere we go, we encounter buzzwords like globalization, digitalization and mobility. The consequences directly affect us - lack of time, excess of information, constant stress and lack of orientation.

The Documentary Film Institute in Prague (IDF), the DOK Leipzig and Zipp - German-Czech Cultural Projects, initiated by the Federal Cultural Foundation, have launched a unique documentary film project which has invited experienced filmmakers and young directors from the Czech Republic and Germany to submit proposals for an artistic documentary film project based on the theme "Breathless". The applicants were asked to examine and artistically explore the subject of time and the lack thereof, communication and the deluge of information in a globalized world from a surprising point of view. In contrast to traditional reports and documentaries, the project's organizers were interested in documentary films that ventured beyond the conventions of television. The filmmakers were encouraged to integrate their own personal history, country and culture when viewing the dynamics and rhythms of life in our present day.

A five-member jury of international experts received 130 submissions, from which they selected five projects from the Czech Republic and Germany. The winning proposals address the subject of "time" and "acceleration" in a visually artistic, ironically humorous, philosophic and experimental fashion.

Time's Up - An Experiment in Time-Management (Germany)
by Jan Peters and Marie-Catherine Theiler

Milltown, Montana (Germany)
by Rainer Komers

Discovering the Slowness (Germany)
by Anca Miruna Lazarescu

Diary of Grandmother Nemcova Jr. (Czech Republic)
by Jan Gogola

The Phantom of Liberty II (Czech Republic)
by Karel Zalud

In addition to basic project funding, the filmmakers also received support from experienced mentors and film producers when developing their projects.

The five “Breathless” films celebrated their premiere on 29 October 2009 at the DOK Leipzig, while the Czech premiere was a day later at the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival. A successful cinema run of the omnibus film “Breathless – Dominance of the Moment” was launched on 30 December 2009.

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