The ČEZ Group is no longer the general partner of the Karlovy Vary
International Film Festival, organisers revealed on Friday.
According to reports, the energy giant backed out of further cooperation before the start of this year. ČEZ was the key partner for the last 16 years – since 2002.
The company cited economic results as the reason it could no longer serve in its previous capacity.
The annual KVIFF takes place between June 29 and July 7.
Prague’s biggest film event, Febiofest, gets underway on Thursday evening. The festival will deliver more than 160 movies in 15 categories, including New Europe, a competition section showcasing debuts. Viewers can also look forward to profiles of critically acclaimed directors and stars such as French singer and actor Charles Aznavour and Sherlock’s Mark Gattis.
Ice Mother by Bohdan Sláma swept the boards at the main domestic film awards, the Czech Lions, on Saturday night. The bittersweet family drama collected six prizes, including Best Film and Best Director. This year’s Czech Lion ceremony was also marked by political protest, with some filmmakers taking a stand against the country’s leaders.
The film Bába z ledu (Ice Mother) the story of a widowed senior who finds
new meaning in life and love after she gets to know a hardy man or cold
water swimmer, was the big winner at the the Czech Lion domestic film
awards in Prague on Saturday, converting six of 15 nominations.
The film won all the major categories including best picture, best director for Bohdan Sláma, and best actress for Zuzana Kronerová and best actor for Pavel Nový.
Petra Špalková won the award for best actress in a supporting role in Ice Mother and Oldřich Kaiser tok the award for best supporting actor in the Jan Svěrák film Barefoot.
Other winners on the night were Olga Sommerová for her documentary Červená and renowned editor Alois Fišárek, who received a lifetime achievement award for his contribution to Czech cinema.
The award ceremony was broadcast live from Prague's Rudolfinum concert hall.
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.
Fans of Czechoslovak cinema, in particular the Czech New Wave, will most likely be familiar with many of the films of director Jiří Menzel. From the Oscar-winning Closely Watched Trains to Larks on a String and Capricious Summer, Menzel changed Czech film forever. This Friday, he celebrates his 80th birthday.
English actor, comedian, screenwriter and novelist Mark Gattis, will be
among the guests of this year’s Febiofest international film festival,
the organisers announced on Wednesday.
Mr Gattis, who he is a member of the comedy team The League of Gentlemen, will present his BBC drama series Queers that looks at life for gay men and women in the UK.
Mark Gattis is best known for writing for and acting in the TV series Doctor Who and Sherlock. He also appeared in the HBO series Games of Thrones.
The first major international film festival of the year, the Berlinale, gets underway on Thursday. The Czech Republic is being represented at the prestigious showcase by three films, including one starring veteran director Jiří Menzel and a documentary exploring the life of a young paramilitary leader in Slovakia. Ahead of the festival, I spoke to Markéta Šantrochová of the Czech Film Center, who will be promoting the country’s cinema in Berlin.
The comedy film Prezident Blaník, which features scenes involving real
candidates from the recent Czech presidential elections, enters cinema
distribution around the country on Thursday.
The makers of Prezident Blaník shot scenes at presidential debates and during celebrations on November 17, with the film’s fictional characters – headed by political fixer Tonda Blaník – interacting with candidates for the post of head of state and several other figures from Czech public life.
The movie is an offshoot of Kancelář Blaník, a regular political satire that found large audiences on the website Stream.cz.
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