The filmmaker, film theorist and writer Jan Gogola is one of the best-known representatives of documentary film in the Czech Republic. As a screenwriter or script editor he played a vital role in award-winning documentaries like "Czech Dream" by Filip Remunda and Vit Klusák, "66 Seasons" and "Cooking History" by Peter Kereks or "Lost Holiday" by Lucie Králová.
Gogola's own films are personal comments on the world we live in – witty, surreal, sometimes grotesque, but always full of respect for his protagonists and poetic in their treatment of reality.
His film work is marked by his talent to visualise the oddities of life without losing his eye for what is apparently peripheral, mundane or concealed, always combined with a desire to not just represent reality but transform it into art.
What makes a good documentary film plot? How do you find and develop an original structure for a film? And how important is this for a director's artistic style? Jan Gogola will discuss these and other questions by means of excerpts from films that inspired him and his documentary work. Jan Gogola first studied journalism and later documentary film direction at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU), temporarily worked for Czech television as a programme editor and is currently teaching at FAMU in addition to his work as a filmmaker and writer. His films include "The Diary of Grandmother Němcová" (1999), "Panenka against the Rest of the World" (2001), "Nation to Itself, or 18 High Tides of the Czech Sea" (2003) and "I Love My Boring Life" (2009).