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True Story

True Story

By Institute of Documentary Film and Film New Europe
True Story: a documentary video and podcast interview series; almost everything you ever wanted to know about Central and Eastern European documentary film.

In-depth interviews, analysis, field reports, live events and much much more with your curious and enthusiastic hosts, Ivona Remundova and Nicole Jennifer Adelman.

This series is brought to you by the Institute of Documentary Film (
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True Story, episode 43: Scarecrows
"Sometimes we have to be frightening to be safe." Director Laila Pakalnina and producer Uldis Cekulis talk about their new project Scarecrows, following people working at the airports who make sure birds do not cross paths with the planes.
July 24, 2022
True Story, episode 42: Pianoforte
With director Jakub Piątek and producer Maciej Kubicki about their new project Pianoforte, an intimate coming-of-age portrait of young pianists taking part in the legendary International Chopin Piano Competition, a unique chance of the lifetime portrayed from the backstage.
July 03, 2022
True Story, episode 41: 5 Pills Away
Ivona Remundová discusses with director Karolina Domagalska and producer Anna Stylinska their documentary 5 Pills Away about four women friends from Abortion Dream Team who step in and lead a revolution when Polish government introduces a near-total abortion ban.
June 26, 2022
True Story, episode 40: Up in the Air
Ukrainian director Oksana Syhareva and producer Nataliia Pogudina talk about their documentary project Up in the Air which follows youg Ukrainian aerial artists from Kharkiv before and after the Russian invasion.
June 12, 2022
True Story, episode 39: Shut the Fuck Up!
With Ukrainian filmmaker Taisiia Kutuzova about her new project Shut the Fuck Up!, following a shy Ukrainian young man Serhiy, outraged by corruption and injustice in his village near Kyiv, who becomes a whistleblower.
June 01, 2022
True Story, episode 38: Ivars Zviedris
Latvian director Ivars Zviedris talks about his film Latvian Coyote, in which he follows smugglers and illegal immigrants, and reveals interesting information about his new project - a documentary musical.
May 22, 2022
True Story, episode 37: KIX - The Story of a Street Kid
Director and producer Bálint Révész discusses with True Story host Ivona Remundová his recent project KIX - The Story of a Street Kid (co-directed by Dávid Mikulán). For ten years, Bálint Révész has followed a troubled street kid, Sanyi, a public enemy facing involuntary manslaughter charges at the age of 16.
May 08, 2022
True Story, episode 36: Mariia Ponomarova
In March 2022, Ivona Remundová talked to Ukrainian producer and director Mariia Ponomarova about the need to listen to Ukrainian voices, her Ex Oriente Film workshop experience with documentary project Nice Ladies, and much more.
May 01, 2022
True Story, episode 35: Marianna Kaat
In November 2021, we talked to Marianna Kaat, Estonian director and producer, about her upcoming film The Last Relic, which won the East Doc Doc Platform Award in 2018, Marianna explains how she combines her directing and producing work, and much more.
April 10, 2022
True Story, episode 34: Judgment In Hungary
With documentary filmmaker Eszter Hajdú, an episode on Hungary’s restrictive government, normalized racism against the Roma community, and generational differences when speaking out on injustice.
March 13, 2022
True Story, episode 33: Darya Bassel
Ivona Remundová talked to the Ukrainian producer Darya Bassel in October 2021 about her new film Outside (directed by Olya Zhurba), which will have a World Premiere at CPH:DOX 2022. It is a story of a street boy Roma, known as the Child of Maidan in 2014, who 5 years later got back on the streets with nothing in his pocket but a lighter and a knife. Darya also discusses the Ukrainian documentary scene, financing and Docudays UA, where she works as a Programmer and a Head of DOCU/PRO Industry Platform.
March 06, 2022
True Story, episode 32: Vlad Ketkovich
Producer Vlad Ketkovich talks about the current situation in Russia, his successful film Life of Ivanna (dir. Renato Borrayo Serrano), recent project Shaman VS Putin (dir. Beata Bubenec) and much more.
February 20, 2022
True Story, episode 31: Ksenia Okhapkina
Russian filmmaker Ksenia Okhapkina discusses the beauty and challenges of making her films Come Back Free (2016) and Immortal (2019), and her upcoming project about three revolutionary women in Russia, The Manifesto of Tenderness.
February 13, 2022
True Story, episode 30: When the War Comes
When the War Comes (2018) invites us into the world of a burgeoning leader who passionately recruits young men to protect the Slovakian homeland. From who? From what? Nicole and director Jan Gebert discuss populism, xenophobia, the leadership and ideology behind a paramilitary organization in Slovakia. Watch When the War Comes on HBO GO/Max.
February 06, 2022
True Story, episode 29: Common Language
Producer and director Volia Chajkouskaya discusses her short film Common Language (2019) about a visit to her parents and asking them daring and tough questions.
January 30, 2022
True Story, episode 28: In Praise of Nothing
Boris Mitić, documentary director, writer and producer from Serbia, discusses his absurdist and poetic exploration of "Nothing" in his collaborative film achievement In Praise of Nothing (2017), narrated by Iggy Pop. In Praise of Nothing is available on Vimeo.
January 20, 2022
True Story, episode 27: Holy Father
Romanian director, editor and cinematographer Andrei Dascalescu discusses his personal film Holy Father about becoming parents and relationship to his long-lost father. Andrei also talks about how covid changed the release of the film and his upcoming project. Holy Father is available on HBO GO Europe.
January 12, 2022
True Story, episode 26: Veton Nurkollari
In this episode we talk to Artistic Director & Co-founder of Dokufest Veton Nurkollari about beginnings, discoveries and curating for children.
December 29, 2021
True Story, episode 25: Alina Gorlova
In this episode of True Story documentary podcast, we talk to Alina Gorlova, the director of No Obvious Signs (MDR Film Prize at DOK Leipzig) and This Rain Will Never Stop (IDFA First Appearence Award), about being on frontline, bravery and traumas.
December 15, 2021
True Story, episode 24: Anna Zamecka
True Story ep. 24 is focused on Anna Zamecka's film Communion (2016), which got the European Film Award 2017. Anna describes the origins of the project, working with children during the shooting and also discusses her new short film, which is part of the series W domu, shot in Spring 2020 by 16 Polish filmmakers about unexpected experience of isolation caused by pandemic.
December 09, 2021
True Story, episode 23: How I Became a Partisan
Director Vera Lacková talks about the origins of her film How I Became a Partisan. Her search for and revealing of the stories of Romani partisans is based primarily upon the life story of her great-grandfather; Romani partisan Ján Lacko. The autobiographical quest brings the director closer to the previously unpublished facts concerning our history and discovers stories about people, who regardless of their different ethnic origin, stood united against evil.
December 01, 2021
True Story, ep. 22: Museum of the Revolution
Listen to ep. 22 of the True Story podcast with director Srdjan Keča and producer Vanda Jambrović, where they talk about their film Museum of the Revolution, a fable about a little girl, an old lady and an abandoned utopian project set for demolition. Srdjan and Vanja discuss the origins of the project and their collaboration, different layers of the film, pitching experiences and editing process. Museum of the Revolution has the World Premiere at IDFA on November 23 in Luminous competition section.
November 23, 2021
True Story, ep. 21: Davis Simanis
Davis Simanis talks about his new project exploring immortality, Death of Death (formerly known as Frankenstein 2.0), which will be pitched at IDFA Forum 2021, as well as about his previous films, such as D is for Division and Escaping Riga, his approach to filmmaking and society in Latvia.
November 17, 2021
True Story, episode 20: Peculiarity of Fisherman's Soul
Ivana Pauerová Miloševičová talks about her new film Peculiarity of Fisherman's Soul. A group of six good-natured men embark on a fishing foray to distant Norway. They are united by long-term friendship and desire for male adventure. Like another 20,000 Czechs, our heroes pack their fishing rods, waterproof jackets, lunch boxes and cartons of beer again and, as every year, they leave their partners, pubs, and homes behind...
October 25, 2021
True Story, episode 19: Personal Life of a Hole
With humor and inspiration, Ondřej Vavrečka and Nicole J. Adelman explore Ondřej's unique art film about personal relationships with holes. Song, silliness and a focus on the uncertain and unstable elements in life leads the discussion to find perfection in imperfection itself. How can we fall into and in love with the holes of the world.
October 06, 2021
True Story, episode 18: A New Shift
Ivona Remundová talks to Jindřich Andrš about his award-winning documentary A New Shift. Tomas has been working underground as a coal miner for 25 years. When the mine has to close due to the general decline of coal mining, he is offered a new career as a computer programmer. He enrolls in a state-funded re-education programme, preparing him for one of the most in-demand jobs. Tomas takes up the challenge and gets ready to transform his life radically. But will a forty something long-haired, subterranean punk rocker who has spent his whole life performing hard physical labour ever fit in with the young and trendy digital crowd?
September 29, 2021
True Story, episode 17: The Good Death
Janette is terminally ill and wants to die in a dignified way but British laws do not allow it. She gets in touch with Dr. Erika in Switzerland, who is willing to help her. Muscular dystrophy, the illness that Janette suffers from, has affected her family for generations. Janette's mother was wheelchair bound for decades, becoming a prisoner in her own body. Janette refuses to wait for death in unbearable pain so she opts for physician-assisted suicide. Before leaving on her last journey from England to Switzerland, she has to explain her intention to her family members and close friends.
September 22, 2021
True Story, episode 16: Two Roads
Ivona Remundová talks to director and producer Radovan Síbrt about his film Two Roads (East Doc Platform 2017 & 2019), which follows the members of The Tap Tap band and their director Šimon Ornest on tour. The Jedlička Institute music class currently known as The Tap Tap band was founded 21 years ago by Šimon Ornest to give people with handicaps an opportunity to succeed outside of their daily institutional care. An observing and attentive camera captured the evolution of the personalities of several of the musicians over the course of several years.
September 15, 2021
True Story, episode 15: Grief
Andrea Culková's documentary Grief openly explores the feelings experienced when we see the balance between the planet and human beings threatened by imminent climate collapse. The first film in the documentary series “Love&Rage” is mostly about members of Extinction Rebellion and mainly about women: director Andrea Culková finds that it is often women who perceive and experience climate change in a more immediate, pressing way.
September 08, 2021
True Story, episode 14: Once Upon a Time in Poland
Nicole J. Adelman talks to Filip Remunda about his and Vít Klusák's film Once Upon a Time in Poland. An epic journey and discovery of two nations and two worlds where religion does or does not play a part.  Another name for the film might be "When God looked for Karel" as it's also a coming-of-age and personal evolution story of one man exploring what religion, as a Czech, means for him. A must-watch and listen-to!
September 03, 2021
True Story, episode 13: Reconstruction of Occupation
A look into what was, could be, and may still be. The banality of the simple perfection of our everyday lives and how it was used against a nation in order to occupy and control. Director Jan Šikl and producer Alice Tabery talk with Nicole J. Adelman about the archives used in the film, and about hope, open borders, peaceful protest and more...
August 21, 2021
True Story, episode 12: Every Single Minute
Director Erika Hníková and producer Jiří Konečný discuss their film Every Single Minute, which follows Hanuliaks, a couple from Slovakia, who have decided to bring up their son according to Kamevéda, a complex approach to developing the child’s motor abilities and intellect. Erika and Jiří talk with Ivona Remundová about the process of filmmaking, parenthood, expectations and much more.
August 18, 2021
True Story: Episode 11: Living Water
Water is everything. Pavel Borecký and Nicole J. Adelman discuss his work, the story of Jordan's groundwater, water for wheat and people over profit. What personal responsibility in these worlds mean and how sensory ethnography can help in sharing these stories. A beautiful film and an important message.
August 11, 2021
True Story: Episode 10: Salt from Bonneville
Two Men, a Bike and a Goal. Competition from Ukraine heads west to America to explore the landscape and the inspiration of bringing salt, and a world record for speed, on a Soviet refurbished motorcycle, back from the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah, to the homegrown hunger for the sport found in the Ukraine. An invigorating, joyful and expansive film by Simon Mozgovyi.
January 15, 2021
True Story: Episode 09: Acasa, My Home
In the wilderness of the Bucharest Delta, nine children and their parents occupied an off-grid homestead for 20 years until being chased out and forced to live in the big city. In his newest film, Radu Ciorniciuc documents the family as they face life in the system for the first time. Many difficult questions arise about the freedom and choice to: be illiterate, live off nature, ignore private property, not participate in the society, and many more...
January 08, 2021
True Story: Episode 08: An Ordinary Country
When footage from the archives of the Polish Secret Service were revealed to filmmaker Tomasz Wolski, his passion for Polish history awakened the need to create An Ordinary Country; a haunting and important rememberance about surveillance, our current behaviors and how to frame, and possibly protect, our privacy and our abilities to improve our lives.
January 02, 2021
True Story: Episode 07: Merry Christmas, Yiwu
A gorgeous multi-layered narrative of factory and family life in Yiwu, China. How we consume, how we live, and a beautiful exploration of values, culture and questions regardin our global economy are raised in this True Story conversation.
December 18, 2020
True Story: Episode 06: Her Mothers
As Hungary’s far right political climate becomes increasingly extremist, two women try to adopt a child of Roma origin in this overtly anti-gay and racist society. Directors Asia Dér and Sári Haragonics follow Virág, a former politician, and her partner Nóra, a musician, through their long adoption process. But tensions begin to rise as Virág thrives in her role as a mother and Nóra struggles to find her place within the family. As the rising tides of hate and homophobia begin to overflow into their family, they must face the difficult decision of whether to leave their country behind.
December 11, 2020
True Story: Episode 05: Wolves at the Borders
In Martin Pav's Wolves at the Borders the fight between Man vs. Nature and our role in the ecosystem continues, and in this True Story interview, Martin and Nicole discuss culture clash, ecology and how we can all learn to talk about difficult topics.
December 04, 2020
True Story: Episode 04: Caught in the Net
A powerful, important and necessary film for all to watch in our times. An invigorating interview with one of the producers, Pavla Klimešová, where questions of morality, education and empathy are raised while we all look to our complicitness in how we can better protect our children.
November 27, 2020
True Story: Episode 03: Town of Glory
Do you feel young people and children in the West know less and less about World War II? Should we know more? And how should we frame these important stories? In the newest film, Town of Glory, Russian film director Dmitry Bogolyubov shares with us a particular version of "remembering" heroes of the war. We learn about the town and people of Yelnya, 400 km from Moscow, and how propaganda affects the human minds of both adults and children. We asked questions in this vein, and much more, in this interview with Dmitry Bogolyubov during his latest visit to Prague.
November 20, 2020
True Story: Episode 02: Pure Art
With Maxim Shved about his latest film Pure Art, but also about new project, the upcoming film, which follows the dramatic events surrounding the last presidential election in Belarus. At the end of filming, during the post-election protests, director Maxim Shved himself was arrested and imprisoned. In this part of the True Story Podcast, we also talked about his experience.
November 13, 2020
True Story: Episode 01: A Loss of Something Ever Felt
With Liis Nimik and Carlos E. Lesmes, co-authors of the new documentary A Loss of Something Ever Felt, a gripping story about a young Estonian drug addict who goes missing, and his sister who searches for him in the dangerous corners of Bogota, where no one seems to go.
November 06, 2020