Adam Ondra: Pushing the Limits
One of the best rock climbers in the world, Adam Ondra prepares to participate in the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. He not only undergoes grueling physical training, but he must also navigate the internal and external pressures of competition and status as a national celebrity: a Czech television host describes watching Ondra climb akin to “watching Michael Jordan play basketball or Einstein count”.
Directors Petr Záruba and Jan Šimánek, themselves climbers, capture the raw beauty and gracefulness of Adam Ondra’s climbing, from rugged mountains to indoor walls, while providing a window into his inner life. Climbing defines him physically, mentally, and spiritually, as well as the lives of those around him. His celebrity status leaks into his relationships with his parents and his girlfriend Iva Vejmolová, herself a skilled climber who sacrifices her own ambitions to support him. An intimate portrait of devotion and dedication to the art of climbing alongside the mental and physical toll it takes along the path to greatness.
Missing VIFF? Check out what’s playing at the VIFF Centre
Robert Irwin: A Desert of Pure Feeling
No artist instills a sense of sublime awe like the legendary Robert Irwin, Elusive yet down to earth, Irwin is a true original. His extraordinary work is honored in this stunning portrait of one of the most influential contemporary artists of our age.
Veteran director Marco Bellocchio (The Traitor) returns with a passionate historical drama about a Jewish child abducted by Pope Pius IX in 1865 on the grounds that he had been secretly baptized. This is a rich, operatic film that resonates strongly.
The Mother of All Lies
As her parents and grandmother prepare to leave the Casablanca home they have lived in for decades, Asmae El Moudir takes the opportunity to probe the past, unraveling repressed truths buried within her own family and Moroccan political history.
A Cooler Climate
In a recollection of veteran filmmaker James Ivory's unfinished film about Afghanistan. Old footage provides a pronounced air of mystery to compliment its rough beauty, setting the scene for a look back into Ivory's life.
Winner of Cannes Critics' Week Grand Prix, Tiger Stripes is a coming-of-age body horror film set in a Malaysian girls' school. 12-year-old Zaffan’s body starts to change before everyone else’s, and she becomes convinced she's turning into a monster.
Kristina Škodová, Chiara Nicoletti
Jan Šimánek, Petr Záruba
Jan Šimánek graduated from the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU). He is a photographer, documentary director, visual artist, and passionate climber. His short films about mountain climbers—including Marek Holeček, Zdeněk Hák, Reinhold Messner, and Doug Scott—have been featured at international mountaineering film festivals.
Petr Záruba graduated from the Department of Documentary Film at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU). In his previous films, he focused on artists and topics related to nature. His feature debut, Traces of a Landscape (2020), premiered at Visions du Réel and was awarded the Student Jury Award at Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival and Best Documentary at Elbe Dock International Film Festival.
Filmography: Traces of a Landscape (2020)