Screenshot, a new Prague art-house cinema and exhibition gallery, is the beloved brainchild of Iranian-born filmmaker and FAMU International grad Payam Razi, who stepped down as Radio Free Europe music editor in December to devote his energy to the “hybrid space”. All screenings, he says, are English-friendly “events” for film lovers eager for a festival-like, shared viewing experience. Screenshot is working with venerable Czech institutions such as the National Film Archive and Institute of Documentary film (KineDok) and the ongoing popular Írán:ci Film
Dcera (Daughter), the puppet stop-motion movie created by FAMU student Daria Kashcheeva has been nominated for an Oscar in the category “best animated short“. It would be the latest and most significant in a series of awards that the 15- minute production has assembled over the past year. Meanwhile, The Painted Bird, written and directed by Václav Marhoul has missed out on the nomination for “best foreign film“.
The ninth annual Írán:ci Film Festival, this year under the theme of ‘Escape”, gets underway on Wednesday. Ahead of the opening, I spoke to festival cofounder and artistic director Kaveh Daneshmand about how the event has developed over the past decade, what to watch out for this year, and filmmaking in Iran before the revolution and in troubled times today.
One of the most compelling and stylish Czech films of 2019 was A Certain Kind of Silence, the feature debut from Michal Hogenauer. The largely English-language work depicts a Czech girl who becomes an au pair in an unnamed Northern European state only to discover her host family are members of a sinister sect. When we spoke, the conversation took in the challenges of shooting abroad and the ways in which directors can pander to festival programmers. But I first asked Hogenauer about the inspiration for the story in A Certain Kind of Silence.
This summer, director and screenwriter Ivan Fíla’s historical novel about Dr. František Kriegel – the only Prague Spring leader not to sign the Moscow Protocol validating the 1968 invasion of Czechoslovakia – became a bestseller. That success led Fíla to return to a “fairy tale thriller” film script he’d set aside long ago and turn it into a novel.
Czech-American director Miloš Forman’s 1984 biopic Amadeus is among the
films added to the US Library of Congress’ National Film Registry this
Each year the Registry adds 25 films, chosen for their cultural, historic
and aesthetic importance to America’s film heritage.
Forman left Czechoslovakia for America after the Soviet-led invasion of 1968 and became a naturalized US citizen in 1977.
Amadeus is considered among the best films of all time. It received 40 awards, including eight Oscars (including the Academy Award for Best Picture), four BAFTAs, four Golden Globe Awards, and a Directors Guild of America award.