Wednesday night will see the opening of the fifth Prague Festival of Short Films. The event will be held at Prague’s Světozor cinema and over the next four days it will offer the best of last year’s short film production from all over the world. The Prague Festival of Short Films was established five years ago by the producers of the international film festival in Karlovy Vary. I spoke to Radka Weiserová, one of the festival’s organizers, about its history and highlights:
“Six years ago was probably the last time when short films had their own section at the festival. Each year, more and more short films applied for the programme of the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival but there was no space and time for it, so the organizers decided to establish a new festival, dedicated to short fiction films only. At that time, there was no festival dedicated to short fiction; there were lots of animated and documentary films but no fiction films, so it was a mixture of those two reasons.”
Do you have a central theme each year?
“We don’t have a central theme but we have thematic blocks that continue every year, for instance a section of films made by famous directors, which is called ‘First Service’ and which is on the programme every year. There is also a section of experimental films and a section of films awarded last year at world festivals and competition programmes, such as Cannes or Berlinale. For instance one of the films this year is the winner of the Oscar for short films.”
As far as I know one of the sections this year is dedicated to football. Is that right?
“Yes, it is one of the thematic sections. There are five films about football players and football fans and about the love of football.”
What are the highlights of this year’s festival?
“I think it is films by Jan Kounen, who is a director from Netherlands living in Paris. His most recent film ‘Coco Chanel and Igor Stravinsky’ was the closing film of the Cannes film festival last year and we are going to introduce his short films from the 1990s. It’s a really interesting programme and it is hard to see his films somewhere else so we would like to invite people to see the programme and learn about Jan Kounen.”
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Screenshot: a hybrid English-friendly Prague art-house cinema where screenings are events