The annual Summer Film School festival begins on Friday in the Moravian town of Uherské Hradiště. The largest non-competition movie festival in the country has a lot in store for the 3,300 visitors already accredited, namely an astounding array of films, but also special workshops with this year’s star guests, who include British director Ken Loach, and much to do outside the cinema. Earlier today, our reporter Christian Falvey asked the festival’s programme director Jan Jílek how the atmosphere was on the first day.
“The atmosphere is what you’d imagine; we are starting the screenings at 2.30 and the first visitors are arriving, and everything seems to be quite well prepared, so I hope there won’t be any inconveniences or surprises.”
How many films and how many cinemas do you have this year?
“We use all the places possible. You know, Uherské Hradiště is not such a big city, between 25 and 28,000 inhabitants, so we are screening not only in the main cinema, called Hvězda, but also in the theatre, in Reduta, in the culture club and in other places. So we are screening at seven or eight places. And on the programme is about 250 feature films and 200 shorts.”
What is the primary focus of the films this year?
“This year we have chosen the cinematography of Island, so we are having a focus on Icelandic films and that will include about 35 feature films, some shorts and also an accompanying programme, so it will be really big - I think the biggest presentation of Icelandic films ever held in the Czech Republic.”
And I understand you’ll also be concentrating on Latin American films and also on football films.
“Yes, the programme slot called ‘Spectrum’ looks at trends in world cinematography and this year we have dedicated it to new Latin American film. So we also have a very big collection, about 30 features, from Mexico, from Colombia, from Argentina and so on. And the football programme is called ‘Football Fever’, and it’s dedicated to the world of football and football fans. So we will be screening films about football fanatics in the good sense, and also about rowdies and hooligans and all of these problems.”
Are there any accompanying events outside the cinemas that you’d like to mention?
“Of course. We are screening the films on the main square and in another open air cinema. Then we have concerts in a big tent here in the park. We will have a nice music programme including mainly Czech groups, with Please the Trees, Sto Zvířat and other bands. And we also have a theatre programme, and a rich accompanying programme. As the Festival is called ‘Summer Film School’, we want to stress the ‘school’ aspect of it, so we have a large programme of lectures and workshops and master classes held by prominent guests. So I can say we have a rich accompanying programme, and people who don’t feel like watching films can choose from many other possibilities.”
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