Czech film makers and producers are withdrawing all their works from the competitive section of the Zlin Film Festival, which is due to begin on May 29th. The decision comes after a new legislative proposal regarding support for Czech cinematography was rejected. Film makers say they are unhappy with the position of MPs and President Vaclav Klaus, as well as with Cultural Minister Vitezslav Jandak, who was the president of the Zlin Film Festival until last year.
A bill aimed at increasing state support for the Czech film industry has been thrown out. The Chamber of Deputies had previously approved it, but on Tuesday failed to overturn a veto by President Vaclav Klaus. Under the bill cinemas, TV stations and video and DVD distributors would have had to contribute three percent of their sales to the state cinematography fund. The Czech Republic's stand at the Cannes film festival closed on Wednesday in protest at the bill's failure.
A cinema in Jirkov, north Bohemia is refusing to show the hit film The Da Vinci Code. Manager Milos Kubelka told the newspaper Deniky Bohemia he was a Christian and said The Da Vinci Code undermined the values this country's democracy was founded on. Both the film and the novel it is based on have been slammed by Roman Catholic groups.
President Vaclav Klaus has vetoed a bill on the state fund for Czech cinematography that would have seen the film industry receive public funds: namely, percentages from theatre ticket (2 percent), video, and DVD sales (3 percent) as well as profits from advertising on public television (3 percent). Mr Klaus reportedly objected to the bill on the grounds that other branches in the arts - whether the Czech music business, fine arts, literature, or theatre - benefited from no such legislation. Mr Klaus said that there was no reason why those in the film business should have such a privilege over those in comparable fields.
In Business News: police are investigating the disappearance of over 22 million dollars from the Czech Consolidation Agency; Czechs are borrowing at record levels; the prime minister wants Russia to supply cheaper natural gas for power stations; the supermarket chain Delvita is denying reports it plans to pull out of the Czech Republic; and the rights to many classic Czech films are bought by a private investor.
Cesky Telecom general meeting clears merger with mobile unit Eurotel.Czech Airlines boosts passengers by 4.3 percent in first quarter. Smart Wings to start regular flights from Budapest. PM to fly to South Korea to seal Hyundai plant deal. MPs vote for sales tax cut on selected foodstuffs. Steyr carrier-producer signs contracts with main suppliers. Lower house again passes cinematography fund bill
On Tuesday, a crowd of cultural enthusiasts gathered at Prague's Marriott Hotel to get a glimpse into what we can expect from this year's Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. For a start, over 200 films are expected to be screened at the 41st annual festival which will run in the West Bohemian town from June 30th until July 8th.
Hugo Haas was one of the stars of Czechoslovak cinema's golden age of the 1930s. This versatile actor and director was hugely popular in the First Republic and he appeared in a number of classic films from that era. Despite his success, however, Haas's life and career - like that of so many other Czechs who lived during this period - was blighted by the tide of history that swept through Czechoslovakia in the 20th century.
Vladimir Simek and Kamila Broulova-Simkova are a well-known husband & wife team that has been making TV documentaries in different parts of the world - from Baikal, Russia, to South America, for years. Their films air as part of the "Ceske stopy" documentary series that follows in the footsteps of famous Czech adventurers or explorers from the past.