Czech Competition

This year, the Czech Competition category went through several about-faces. A physical festival, as envisioned in the initial plans for this edition, appeared to be a wonderful starting point for many long-awaited Czech documentaries. But, as the end of the pandemic and the possibility of physical cinema screenings remained out of sight, concerns about the unavoidability of an online festival halted many filmmakers in midstream and they decided to postpone their film premieres until later this year, when cinemas are fully reopened.

Nonetheless, even this year One World is offering several extraordinary new films made by courageous filmmakers who aren’t afraid of releasing their films even during these difficult times. They include A Marriage, a film by Kateřina Hager, who attracted attention several years ago with her successful Children Online. We are screening her latest film in its European premiere. Another valiant entry is Housing Against Everyone, an activist documentary from Brno about the inaccessibility of dignified housing in Czechia. This film by Tomáš Hlaváček will enjoy its world premiere at the festival. It is also impossible not to mention the Formanesque docu-comedy from the Sokol environment – On Your Marks! – which audiences will be able to see in Czechia earlier than in other countries.

In addition to new films, the competition includes documentaries that have received much acclaim at festivals over the past several months. The most expressive of these is the film A New Shift by Jindřich Andrš, which received awards at the festivals in Jihlava and Leipzig. 

Mužská hlava z poloprofilu zabírá pravou polovinu fotky. Muž má zavřené oči, má mokré vlasy sčesané dozadu, ze kterých stéká nahnědlá napěněná tekutina, která teče i přes obličej./A man

Films in category Czech Competition

A married couple are at a crossroads in a forest. The darker-skinned Tabish is standing and smiling. His blonde wife Zdenka is sitting in a wheelchair in front of him. She is tilting her head back so she can look into her husband’s eyes and she is laughing. Both are happy.

A Marriage

A longitudinal documentary tracking Zdenka and her Pakistani partner Tabish, who met playing the computer game Farmville and for 5 years lived their relationship chiefly online.

A close-up of a miner’s face. His entire face is black from coal dust. He’s wearing a yellow helmet and smiling. His white teeth are in sharp contrast to his dark face.

A New Shift

“From miner to programmer” reads a tempting headline, but does this idea have a chance of success? After 25 years underground, a laid-off worker seeks a new way of life.

An older woman wearing a turtleneck decorated with lace at the top is sitting at a table, She is holding a cigarette and there is a glass of coffee in front of her. She is looking ahead with a fixed expression on her face.


Helena Třeštíková’s new longitudinal documentary captures 16 years in the life of Anna, who, at the age of 46, starts to earn extra money as a streetwalker.

A person is standing at the window in a basic housing unit and looking out. They are not fully visible as they are behind the curtain. The room contains nothing other than an old television set and some bedding on the floor, in which the flat’s other occupant is bundled.

Housing Against Everyone

How is it possible to deal with people who are unable to secure their own housing? Czech politicians take opposing positions, and their conflict emerges in all its intensity.

Dozens of people grouped in several precise square formations are standing on a grassy green field. They are wearing white t-shirts and blue shorts. They are Sokols ready to exercise.

On Your Marks!

“One is nothing, unity is everything,” says the anthem of Sokol, a movement that gathers thousands of people every 6 years in Prague to create an impressive mass performance. A human comedy about the society we live in today.

The film’s protagonist Karel – a middle aged-man with chubby cheeks and wearing a baseball cap – is looking into the distance. Behind him we see a colourful, somewhat kitschy, sculpture of Christ on the cross, with a statue of the Virgin Mary on the left and another saint on the right.

Once Upon a Time in Poland

In this existential road comedy a Czech film crew travels to Poland to learn about the local faith in God. The successful characteristic style of the Klusák-Remunda filmmaking duo is obvious.

The photo is dominated by the colossal Monument to the Battle of the Nations in Leipzig, which reminds one of a grandiose grave. A group of people is standing in front of it waving the flags of the nations which once fell under Soviet influence, including the Czech flag.

Soviet man

When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991, it was home to nearly 300 million people – “Soviet people”. Was it just a propaganda myth, or did “homo sovieticus” really exist? Is it now a thing of the past?

A press conference. A bearded bald man stands in the front. He is Czeslaw Walek, the leader of the We Are Fair coalition. He is wearing a suit and there are several microphones in front of him. There are a number of other people – politicians – standing next to him and behind him.

The Law of Love

Talking about equality is one thing, respecting and defending it is another. The journey to the legalisation of equal marriage for all people in Czechia isn’t over yet.

A small wooden cabin built in Scandinavian style stands in the middle of a snow-covered landscape. The light is on in one room. Through the lit window we see a woman – the director of the film – looking down at the table in front of her.

White on White

Slovak director Viera Čákanyová made her Antarctic video diary while shooting her award-winning film FREM. This powerful confession presents both environmental themes and some of her doubts about her actions.

A young man with longish blonde hair is holding his hands cupped in front of his mouth to form an imaginary snout. His eyes are closed. It’s obvious that he is imitating a wolf’s howl.

Wolves at the Borders

Who was here first: wolf or human? The documentary follows the return of wolves to Czech forests and shows our conflicted relationship with nature through the story of a dispute between residents in a small village in the Broumov region.

Other Thematic Categories

Uprostřed stojí voják v těžké výstroji. Před sebou má opřený štít, ve kterém je zasunutá fialová květina. Přes obličej má masku, která zakrývá jeho nos a tváře, hledí do dáli. Po jeho pravici i levici stojí o kousek dál a o pár schodů výš další vojáci./In the middle stands a soldier in heavy body armour. He has a shield in front of him, in which a purple flower is inserted. He has a mask over his face that covers his nose and cheeks; he is looking into the distance. Other soldiers stand to his right and left, a little further and a few steps higher.

International Competition

The International Competition traditionally includes the world’s best documentary films, presenting the most recent documentaries that bring together important themes with exclusive handling of form....

Asi dvacet tváří hledí směrem do kamery. Jsou to Asiaté, přes pusu a nos mají chirurgickou roušku. Stojí těsně vedle sebe v řadách za sebou, muži i ženy promíchaně. V levé ruce drží kytice zabalené do papíru a v pravé čínskou vlaječku. Někteří s vlaječkou mávají, většina se tváří velmi vážně./About 20 faces are staring at the camera. They are Asians, they were surgical masks over their mouths and noses. They stand close together in rows, men and women mixed. Each of them holds a bouquet of flowers wrapped in paper in their left hand and a Chinese flag in their right. Some wave the flag, most look very serious.

Right To Know

This competitive section historically reveals human rights violations one should know about, even though they are rarely covered by the media. All the screened films share the key feature of strong activist...

Mužská hlava z poloprofilu zabírá pravou polovinu fotky. Muž má zavřené oči, má mokré vlasy sčesané dozadu, ze kterých stéká nahnědlá napěněná tekutina, která teče i přes obličej./A man

Czech Competition

This year, the Czech Competition category went through several about-faces. A physical festival, as envisioned in the initial plans for this edition, appeared to be a wonderful starting point for many...

Žena v modré zástěře stojí mezi vysokými regály. V ruce má červené sluchátko od vytáčecího telefonu, který stojí na poličce před ní.  Z telefonu vede kabel, který žena zastrkuje do zdířky ve stěně, která slouží jako ústředna./A woman in a blue apron stands between high shelves. In her hand she holds the red handset of a rotary phone, which is standing on the shelf in front of her. A cable leads from the phone, which the woman plugs into the socket in the wall, which serves as a switchboard.

Connection Lost

This year’s main thematic category reflects the reality many of us experience daily in the pandemic world. Some get more swallowed up by life online, others don’t have sufficient access or choose...

Ve třídě stojí před tabulí dvě řady žen v půlkruhu, tváří se vážně. Žena úplně vpravo drží papír a něco říká, dívá se směrem k nám. Na sobě mají oblečení spíše v šedavých a hnědých tónech./In a classroom, two rows of women stand in a semicircle in front of a blackboard, looking serious. The woman on the far right is holding a piece of paper and saying something, looking towards us. They are wearing dull grey and brown clothes.

Russian Standard

The category strives to bring a flexible image of a country in which the Czech film public has been historically interested. The selection was not made with the intent of solidifying the usual stereotypes...

Do zhasnuté místnosti vchází jeptiška. Je nasvícená světlem z chodby. V přední části jsou dvě postele, na každé spí jedna žena. Na jednou postelí je křížek./A nun enters a dark room lit only by a light from the hallway. In front there are two beds, one woman sleeping in each. There is a cross over one bed.

Our Daily Sex

“Give us this day our daily bread” – this phrase from the best-known Christian prayer is one of the most repeated spiritual and earthly mantras. It calls for satisfying one of the basic human needs...

Ve vodě je starší žena, je nahá, leží naznak, má bílé vlasy stažené dozadu, ruce si dává k zavřeným očím a má černě nalakované nehty. Voda má ocelovou barvu./An elderly woman is in the water. She is naked, lying on her back, her white hair pulled back, hands next to her closed eyes and black polished nails. The water is the colour of steel.

Old Age Rises

Young people don’t think about the fact that one day they will disappear forever. Maybe this is one of the reasons why senior citizens, although they make up about 16% of the Czech Republic’s population,...

Uprostřed vodní plochy jedou malé děti na červené oprýskané loďce. Dívka pádluje na své pravé straně, pádlo zrovna vytáhla z vody. Dívá se do nebe, kluk je v podřepu, kouše si prsty a jakoby se díval do kamery. Hladina vody je nahnědlá a klidná. V pozadí jsou po obou stranách domy na kůlech a vlevo vyrůstá z vody zeleň. Fotka má výrazné barvy./Small children are riding on a peeling red boat in the middle of the water. A girl is paddling on her right side, she has just pulled the paddle out of the water. She looks at the sky, a boy is squatting, biting his fingers and appears to be looking at the camera. The surface of the water is brown and calm. In the background there are houses on stilts on both sides and plants are growing out of the water on the left. The photo has vibrant colours.

Journeys To Freedom

This category comprises films set in countries with non-democratic regimes and from areas where People in Need is active – whether providing humanitarian and development aid or supporting human rights...

Mezi krajkovými bílými záclonami zavěšenými v několika řadách za sebou zpola vykukuje klidně sedící muž v bílém oblečení, nohy má křížem. Zprava k němu přichází tygr./Between several rows of hanging white curtains, a man wearing white clothes and with legs crossed peeks out at us. A tiger approaches him from the right.


Every year, One World brings to the table questions about environmental balance. Last year, the traditional UnEarthed category even became the festival’s main section. This year, the festival once again...

Dívka je ve vodě, před ledovou stěnou. Vypadá to, jakoby šlapala vodu. Hlavu má nad hladinou, na očích má potápěčské brýle. Pod hladinou vidíme zbytek těla, na nohou má ploutve. Voda je průzračně modrá a hladina lehce zvlněná./A girl is in the water, in front of a wall of ice. It looks like she

Long Live Life

The festival’s annual Long Live Life! section represents an oasis of relaxation in our programme. It is devoted to films that tell stories of unusual hobbies and alternative lifestyles, which move life...

Muž drží před svým obličejem zvětšovací sklo kulatého tvaru, skrz které vidíme jeho tvář. Muž se tváří vážně, má latinskoamerické rysy, na hlavě má černou kšiltovku./A man is holding a round magnifying glass in front of his face, through which we can see his face. The man looks serious. He has Latin American features and has a black cap on his head.


This popular category comprising the greatest hits of the past season once again offers a diverse mix of themes. Two notable Hungarian HBO productions show us how simply trauma can arise from a trip to...

Ve zpětném zrcátku, které je v pravé části fotky, se odráží část tváře blonďaté ženy středního věku. Pozadí fotky je rozmazané, zbarvené do zelena s pár odrazy světel jiných aut./The rear-view mirror, which is on the right side of the photo, reflects part of the face of a middle-aged blonde woman. The background of the photo is blurred, coloured green with a few reflections of the lights of other cars.

Short and Apt

In addition to feature-length documentaries, One World will once again offer human rights audio-visual content in short-length format. These short documentaries are organised into three packages: two...

Grafika počítačové hry. Nepravidelný útvar hnědé barvy levituje uprostřed. V pozadí jsou nazlátlé klenby, ve kterých se odráží světlo. V pásmu mezi útvarem a klenbami jsou čtyři roztříštěné objekty připomínající zrcadla, jsou zpola rozpadlé. Pod nimi je rozmázlá stříbřitá barva připomínající pivní pěnu./Computer game graphics. An irregular brown formation levitates in the middle. In the background are golden vaults, in which light is reflected. In the zone between the formation and the vaults, there are four shattered objects resembling mirrors, they are half disintegrated. Beneath them is a smudged silvery colour somewhat resembling beer foam.

One World Interactive

People around the globe have had just about enough of living in virtual worlds over the past year. Endless conference calls and the ubiquitous mobile phone screens have become our nemesis, from which...

Jeden svět dětem/Docs For Kids

Docs For Kids

One World never forgets about younger viewers. In the Docs for Kids category we introduce films that are made taking school-aged children into account. These are short, dubbed films that will allow school...