If you live in the Czech Republic you might recall the popular film festival Febiofest which in recent years has taken place every January. This year it didn't happen, but that is not because the festival has disappeared, it's just that it has been moved to a new date - starting on March 31. The shift is not the only thing that has changed.
The festival is now taking place in a completely different environment. It will not be in Prague's historical centre any more, but it has moved to the modern Prague 5 district Andel, where it will not only take advantage of the big multiplex cinema, but also put to use the whole locality, given the fact the festival also has a number of additional events including a world music festival. Also for the first time there will be a competition of independent films from around the world.
Originally it was only a way of showing independent films that were not easy to find in cinemas. It focuses on films of different regions - this year there's going to be for example a lot of films form Africa or from Caucasus. But what twelve years ago started as a rather small event, has gradually developed into the biggest film festival in the Czech Republic. It actually does not take place only in Prague, but also in other four Czech towns, and later on it even moves to Slovakia.
A number of well known filmmakers are coming to Prague. For example there's the Spanish film director Carlos Saura or Hungarian Istvan Szabo - author of the Oscar wining film 'Mefisto'. As I was told by the festival spokesman Michal Sedlacek they will take part in the new festival's project called 'Cinema of Stars'.
"Our idea is to bring to each day of the festival - which lasts eight days - one well known star, like a film director, cinematographer or famous actor. On that day the actor would be in the cinema for 24 hours and we would screen all his movies, and he could talk and discuss his movies with the fans."
Most of the films will remain in original sound version, and they will also have English or French subtitles, so even foreign visitors are widely welcome.