KineDok International: Covid edition (March 2020 – June 2021)

The pandemic and the subsequent anti-pandemic restrictions made it very difficult to hold any cultural events in the last year and a half. However, people's thirst for culture remained alive and KineDok was able to meet it. Thank you for being with us and have a look at the recap of our activities across all seven participating KineDok countries!

What's new


KineDok is an international cinema community connecting fans and documentary filmmakers through alternative distribution of European documentary movies. We screen movies in non-traditional venues such as galleries, coffee shops, and even boats. Screenings are sometimes accompanied by discussions with filmmakers or other relevant guests.

When the pandemic hit in March 2020, our activities in all seven participating countries were affected. However, we still managed to balance online and offline events while complying with current restrictions. We have succeeded in finding new interesting venues for our screenings and also new audiences, both offline and online. Thanks to the online screenings, we have managed to connect audiences from different countries and to organise many interesting discussions and screenings. 

Despite the restrictions and diminution of cultural events during the pandemic period,the audience was eager to participate in the events of the project. In May 2020, all of the participating KineDok countries decided that each will cover at least one international online Facebook screening and discussion with the director of the selected film or other appropriate guest. The last of these events took place at the end of June 2021. All of these activities, both online and offline, had a huge reach resulting in a total of 30 995 spectators.

In May 2020, we began to screen online with support of the DAfilms platform. In May and June, two documentaries (Srbenka and Ghetto Balboa) were available online. With Srbenka, we held a discussion involving 70 people. With Ghetto Balboa, we listened to a Q&A about the fight of the young boxer from the ghetto with the director of the movie. 

In July we started screening offline in our new venue Portal Club & Gallery in Sofia. There, the audience enjoyed the Bulgarian film Palaces for the People, the Norwegian Descent into the Maelström, the Czech Central Bus Station and the Romanian The Distance Between Me and Me. All of the screenings were visited by a large audience.

In the meantime, at the end of July, we held offline events in Dimitrovgrad where we screened Easy Lessons. In August we got another extraordinary place for events - bar 65 Fireflies in Sofia. Events there attracted 30-40 people and we hope that the interest will continue to grow. 

In September 2020, we partnered with Burgas International Documentary Historical Film Festival to screen The Distance Between Me and Me. We emphasized on having more screenings during the summer and autumn months because of the expected second covid wave. 

In the winter of 2020-2021 we had a lot of online screenings, both international and local. We tried to involve the audience more by organizing discussions with directors or other relevant guests on the topics of the screened documentaries.

In March 2020, right at the time covid cases were surging in Europe, our trusted KineDok locations were closing or had to stop organizing live events including film screenings. In order to keep things moving and offer our viewers in all seven KineDok countries our documentaries, together we organized monthly online screenings accompanied with discussions with the directors, protagonists or other experts depending on the topic. The aim was to always have guests from multiple partner countries and promote the events in all territories. 

In May 2020, we were happy to have a Croatian title, Srbenka, as the first international online screening and discussion with the director. The online screenings/discussions that followed were Srbenka, Ghetto Balboa, Every Wall is a Door, Putin's Witnesses, Palaces for the People again, On the Water, Easy Lessons, The Distance Between Me and Me and Never Happened

From 24. 3. 2021 to 1. 4. 2021 Oliver Sertić, Petra Babić and Nika Bobić from Restart traveled to 13 places where we have KineDok partners to see their situation and future plans regarding film screenings and to meet new potential partners and organize workshops with them, focusing on building communities around film and culture in general, but also engaging audiences, promotion, financing, technical equipment and other. We hope this will not only strengthen our partnerships but make a way for new ones in this time that projects like KineDok are of high value.

In the Czech republic, a promising start to 2020 (47 offline screenings) was interrupted by a lockdown in March as well. However, in May we started online screenings in cooperation with other KineDok countries, which were very successful. 

We also had our first offline screening again in May 2020, gradually adding more until September when another lockdown occurred. In between the lockdowns we managed to have 62 screenings for 1092 viewers. 

In the autumn of 2020, all of our screenings moved online again and continued to do so until June 2021, when we kicked off the new KineDok season with Acasa, My Home on the banks of the Vltava river at Přístav 18600. 

In autumn 2020, we also launched the KineDok School film clubs project, where through documentary screenings, discussions with filmmakers and other activities, students learn more about topics that relate to the high school curriculum and broaden their horizons. Despite the fact that most of the activities have been online so far due to covid restrictions, the response of students is positive according to the teachers. This is why we have decided to continue with the project and we have several workshops for autumn 2021 planned, this time hopefully offline.

The Kinedok 2020-2021 year was determined by the pandemic situation. When we finished shaping our annual catalogue in March/April, the lockdown had started and except for a few weeks made it impossible to have physical screenings and keep contact meetings with our local promoters.  

We kept our annual workshop in March for the local promoters of our venues via an online meeting platform. There were about 20 participants from Kinedok side and we invited the Hungarian directors and producers to give ideas to promote their films in the catalogue, help to search for different points of views to talk about the movies. We gave place for brainstorming and looking for methods together how to make successful event based online screenings, focusing especially in promotion and technical solutions. The main task was to personalize for each community the possibilities of the online world. 

In May we started to organize online screenings for the whole Hungarian Kinedok community through our Facebook page. We had 3 types of events: organized by the local promoters for their own community, organized by Kinedok Magyarország in collaboration with Bánkitó Festival under the brand Karanténfeszt Cinema - with an outreach to 20 000 followers, and KineDok International online screenings in collaboration with the KineDok countries. 

From the middle of summer and in autumn, we had a few weeks without restrictions. Some community cinemas started screening and we visited them in order to shoot short videos about their venues, to give a homage to their enthusiastic work and to introduce the faces behind the events to wider publicity. This video series had four episodes before the second lockdown started.  

We prolonged the availability of our annual catalogue coincidently with our partners until the end of June 2021 because we strongly believe this strong and worth to watch catalogue deserves more community based physical screenings at our localities.

We joined the KineDok project in the middle of the first wave of pandemic, so it was very hard start for us, because no physical activities like film screenings or workshops were possible to happen and during summer when everything was open for a brief moment, it was not possible for us to organize screenings. First KineDok activity took place in December 2020, it was the first of the series of online screenings.

A total of eight online screenings with lectures and one online event took place. The online event was a discussion hosted by Piotr Szczyszyk (programmer of International Documentary Film Festival OFF CINEMA from Poznań) with two young polish directors Marta Prus (director of Over the Limit) and Natalia Koniarz (director of successful short film Tame) about arthouse documentary films in the times of streaming services.

KineDok managed to bring interesting documentaries in cities where the offer of documentaries is almost non-existent and also to facilitate debates between the audience and special guests (film directors, protagonists, specialists from different fields). Fifteen author documentaries and five Sahia Vintage short films have been screened in unconventional spaces as well as online on the communication channels of the KineDok International network. 

KineDok Romania supplemented the selection with a highly acclaimed documentary Midnight Traveler. Also, in order to meet the public demand, we added five short films from the “Sahia Vintage” collection (Romanian documentary films realized in the communist period between 1950-1990) on the theme “living” - a theme that became extremely relevant in the context of the pandemic. 

All the activities provided by the project have been carried out and adapted to the restrictions imposed by the health crisis. We met with a reluctance of the partners from the country to travel to Bucharest for the annual workshop. That's why the KineDok team has adapted and offered a series of online workshops that are accessible to everyone.  

When the anti-pandemic measures were imposed, KineDok Slovakia decided to start with online screenings. The first film screened online with all of the KineDok countries was Srbenka in May 2020 on Facebook followed by an international moderated discussion with the director. During the summer 2020 in Slovakia, we managed to organize about twenty screenings offline in Spišská Nová Ves, Košice, Bratislava, Topolčany, Považská Bystrica and Lúčenec. In autumn, online screenings took place again. 

In December 2020, we decided to connect our relations with the regional partners of the One World Festival in Slovakia. An online workshop was held via ZOOM webinar on 8th and 9th of December 2020. Both days consisted of presentations and discussions of the KineDok SK coordinators with local promoters.

From January to June, we had a joint international online screening and discussion once a month and we also tried to offer films from the KineDok distribution 2020 to schools as part of online education. Our online screenings were an admirable success for the audience and that's why we decided to extend the screening rights of the films.

Although we found ourselves in a very challenging period for all cultural events, we are glad that we managed to adapt to the new conditions and our project survived. We are happy that we can now meet our audience offline and stay tuned for all the events we are planning!

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