The 2014 One World festival of human rights documentaries, which gets underway in Prague on Monday, will showcase over 100 films from more than 50 states around the world. The theme of the 16th edition of the festival is work. Ahead of the curtain raiser, the director of One World, Hana Kulhánková, explained why the organisers chose that subject – and shared some tips as to what films to catch.
Burning Bush, Agnieszka Holland’s depiction of the aftermath of the self-immolation of Jan Palach, swept the boards at the Czech Lion film awards in Prague on Saturday night. The movie, originally a TV mini-series, picked up a record 11 prizes, including Best Film, Best Director and Best Screenplay. Zdeněk Tyc’s Like Never Before picked up the two main acting prizes, Clownwise by Viktor Tauš took Best Supporting Actor and Crooks by Sylvie Dymáková was named Best Documentary.
In this week’s In Focus, we look at the success of a new Czech documentary called Fulmaya, the Girl with Skinny Legs. The film is a portrait of Slovak actress and musician Dorota Nvotová and how she chose a path less travelled: life in Nepal for six years where she worked as a guide and above all helped to raise funds for children at a local orphanage.
A new documentary about the late Czech documentary maker Pavel Koutecký is set to receive its premiere in Prague on Tuesday night. Jana Počtová’s film, entitled Fragmenty P.K. (Fragments of P.K.), maps the life and work of Koutecký, who was killed in 2006 before completing one of the most successful Czech documentaries of recent years, Občan Havel (Citizen Havel), a portrait of the former president. Koutecký died after falling from an uncompleted Prague skyscraper at the age of 49.
One of the most compelling Czech documentaries of the year gets a cinema release on Thursday. Show! follows manufactured teen pop group 5Angels as they are drilled for fame by the super ambitious father of one of the young girls. Musicians who have remained popular since the communist era also appear in a film that lifts the lid on the Czech entertainment industry and raises questions about exploitation.
The 17th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival has just taken place in the capital of the central Vysočina region. Far and away the most important event of its kind in the country, it draws scores of directors from home and abroad and plays a key role in the thriving Czech documentary scene.
David Mrazek, is an award winning American writer and film producer. David, whose grandfather was a Czech American émigré, made an award winning documentary film in 1990 called ‘My Prague Spring’, which documented the lives of some of his Czech relatives in the heady months after the Velvet Revolution. In an interview for Radio Prague he talked about how the documentary was made and what inspired him to document this heady period of Czech modern history.
When Czechoslovakia’s President-in-exile Edvard Beneš spoke in the English industrial city of Stoke-on-Trent on 6 September 1942, it was a turning point in the propaganda war with Germany. This was three months after the Nazis had destroyed the village of Lidice near Prague; many of the men who were murdered were miners or steel workers and in Britain the massacre led to a wave of solidarity with the victims, most markedly among miners. The “Lidice Shall Live” movement that was born in Stoke-on-Trent became the focus of this solidarity, initiated
The controversial documentary depicting the Czech capital as a city of fraudsters and pickpockets aired on the National Geographic Channel last November was not filmed by the company’s own reporters but was acquired from Zig Zag Productions, the internet news site novinky.cz reports. The news site claims it has an exclusive interview with the documentary’s director Conor Woodman who allegedly spent ten days in Prague shooting at various locations and using hired actors to play out scenarios of tourists getting ripped off by taxi drivers, prostitutes and drug dealers. Prague is considering suing National Geographic over the report claiming in is manipulative and damages the city’s reputation.
A new British-made documentary entitled Lidice – A Light Across the Sea was screened in the Central Bohemian municipality on Thursday night. The village of Lidice was razed to the ground by the Nazis in June 1942 and the film focuses on the work of English doctor and Labour MP Barnett Stross, who soon afterwards started a collection to rebuild it. The mayor of the present-day Lidice, which is a few hundred metres from where the original village stood, said after the screening that it might not be there without Stross’s efforts.