The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will honour cinematographer
Vladimír Smutný on Thursday with a special screening of the 1983 film End
of the Lonely Farm Berghof.
The seven-time winner of the Czech Lion for Best Cinematography, and a two-time winner of the Czech Film Critics’ Award is set to receive the festival’s President‘s Award at the closing ceremony on Saturday.
Mr Smutný has collaborated on countless films, including the Oscar-winning Kolya by Jan Svěrák and the recently completed The Painted Bird by Václav Marhoul.
One of the most discussed Czech films at the Karlovy Vary festival is Old-Timers (Staříci) by Martin Dušek and Ondřej Provazník. It’s based on a real story from the late 1990s of two men’s plot to kill a notorious Communist prosecutor, Karel Vaš, who four decades earlier had secured prison terms for them and the death sentence for several of their friends. I discussed the film with its directors, starting with Dušek.
Czech animated films collected three awards at this year’s International
Animated Film Festival in Annecy in France. Daria Kashcheeva’s Daughter,
a short puppet film about a complicated relationship between a daughter and
her father, was voted the best film in the Graduation Short Films in
Competition. The film, produced by FAMU, also won the Junior Jury Award in
the same category.
Another FAMU project, Martin Smatana’s The Kite, which premiered at Berlinale in the Generation Kplus section, won the Young Audience Award. The annual festival in Annecy was established in 1960. This year it was attended by around 11,000 film professionals.
Mexican animator José García Moreno studied at Prague’s famous film school FAMU and apprenticed at the animation studio Bratři v triku in the last years of communist Czechoslovakia. There, he made his fist short film, and developed what would prove to be a life-long love for Czech auteurs, especially the surrealist Jan Švankmajer. Now a professor in Los Angeles, he spoke to Radio Prague about the differences between American and central European animation, Czech and Mexican humour, and the need for tactility and relation to the animated object through
Czech Television, the country’s national public broadcaster, has reason to be proud: it will have a strong representation at the 59th Monte Carlo Television Festival. Its two-part real-life mining drama Dukla 61, directed by David Ondříček picked up two nominations and its popular comedy series Dubbing Street received three nominations for Golden Nymph Awards.
The Cannes film festival, which begins next week, is set to pay tribute to the late Miloš Forman, screening a restored version of the late director’s 1965 classic Loves of a Blonde as well as presenting the world premiere of the new documentary Forman vs. Forman. I spoke to the head of the Czech Film Center, Marketa Šantrochová, about the country’s involvement in the 2019 Cannes – starting with the presentation of Loves of a Blonde.
Michael Havas grew up in New Zealand but came to communist Czechoslovakia – the country his parents had escaped from – to study film. He has made over 50 documentaries in a career that has seen him work with director Jan Švankmajer and many more noteworthy figures. Indeed, I first came across him in connection with a letter protesting Brexit that he wrote to the UK prime minister and circulated to friends, including Terry Gilliam and Michael Palin of Monty Python and musician Peter Gabriel. But when we met I first asked Michael Havas about his family
The legendary runner Emil Zátopek and his wife Dana, a javelin thrower, made history at the 1952 Olympic Games in Helsinki, when they won altogether four gold medals for Czechoslovakia. The story of one of the world’s most famous sporting couples is the focus of a new film by David Ondříček, which has just started shooting.
Czech That Film, an annual festival of contemporary Czech films, is currently underway across the United States and Canada. The largest Czech cultural event in North America offers both Czech expats and US film enthusiasts a chance to get acquainted with present-day Czech cinematography and meet some of the filmmakers in person.