Since his studies, Indian filmmaker Shivendra Dungarpur has been fascinated by the work of Czech director Jiří Menzel. Eight years ago he started making a documentary dedicated to the Oscar winning director as well as other Czech New Wave filmmakers. The seven-hour-long documentary is called ‘CzechMate: in Search of Jiří Menzel’ and features 85 interviews with close to 20 Czech movie makers, including Miloš Forman and the now deceased Jiří Němec and Věra Chytilová.
A new Czech Television documentary, Barbican: Forgotten Mission, tells the previously unknown story of how around 100 Jewish children were air-bridged to the UK from Prague in early 1939. The organisers were a Christian group focused on converting Jews and their actions predated the well-known kindertransports run by Sir Nicholas Winton, though he was involved. The film’s director Jiří František Potužník says the story began with an archive photo of a small boy and a pilot.
The main prize in this year’s Trilobit film and television awards has
gone to director Tereza Nvotová for Mečiar. The feature-length
documentary explores the impact that the 1990s politician Vladimír
Mečiar, one of the architects of the split of Czechoslovakia, had on
The producer Čestmír Kopecký, who has been behind many successful Czech movies and TV seriesd, received a lifetime achievement award at Sunday evening’s awards ceremony in Beroun. The Trilobit prize is bestowed by the Czech Film and Television Union.
The documentary Children Online shines a highly revealing light on how the lives of kids in the Czech Republic are increasingly shaped, if not dominated, by the internet. The film shows that for today’s generation YouTube videos have largely supplanted television, to be offline is to be an outsider and cyber-grooming is a genuine threat. I discussed Children Online, which has been screened at 20 festivals, with its director, Kateřina Hager. My first question: What had drawn her to the subject to begin with?
Czech filmmaker, documentarist and screenwriter Drahomíra Vihanová has
died at the age of 87. Prague’s FAMU film school confirmed that Mrs
Vihanová, a native of Moravský Krumlov, passed away on Sunday after
suffering from a short illness. The director belonged to the golden 60s
generation of the Czech New Wave, completing studies at Prague’s FAMU and
working alongside filmmakers such as Frantíšek Vláčil and Otakar
Her drama debut, Squandered Sunday (from 1969) was banned for political reasons by the communists and only screened 20 years later, after the fall of the regime in 1989.
In 1994, Vihanová directed Pevnost (The Fortress) with Hungarian actor György Cserhalmi and Miroslav Donutil in lead roles
The 21st edition of the annual Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival has got underway. The festival opened with a film by Tereza Nvotová called The Lust for Power about the controversial Slovak politician Vladimir Mečiar. The former Slovak prime minister is not the only politician focused on by documentary film makers this year.