The film Cheatin’ by US director Bill Plympton has won the main award at the Anifilm international festival of animated films in Třeboň. The Brazilian movie entitled The Boy and the World by Ale Abreu received the prize for best animated children film. The award for best short film went to Worst-Case Scenario by Kristjan Holm of Estonia. Some 23,000 people attended screenings at the festival which presented 73 films, organizers said.
The annual Anifilm international festival of animated films has begun in the South Bohemian town of Třeboň. The six-day event will feature over 350 films, while the Czech director and screenwriter Zdeněk Smetana will receive a lifetime achievement award. Previously the Czech Republic had two such film festivals but this year Anifilm has incorporated Anifest, which began the tradition of animation showcases in Třeboň in 2002.
Martin Pošta made a mark on Prague in October when his Signal festival of light installations and video mapping brought an estimated quarter of a million people onto the streets over one weekend. The Croatian-born film school graduate – and former director of Fresh Film Fest – lives on Polská St. in Vinohrady, right by Riegrovy sady park. On a bench overlooking the park’s longest slope, Martin Pošta explains why he’s chosen this particular spot to begin our tour of “his Prague”.
Burning Bush, which explores the aftermath of the 1969 self-immolation of Jan Palach, recently swept the boards at the Czech Lion film awards. The Best Director prize went to Agnieszka Holland, while among those collecting a Lion for Best Film was producer Tomáš Hrubý. Though still students at Prague’s FAMU film school, Hrubý and his business partner have already notched up a string of successes with their company Nutprodukce.
Tim Burton is known for distinctive, stylised movies such as Edward Scissorhands, Sleepy Hollow and The Nightmare Before Christmas. Now aficionados can enjoy the director’s art at a new exhibition in Prague simply entitled Tim Burton and His World. Ahead of its opening, the filmmaker recalled a previous trip to the city – and taking inspiration from a Czech filmmaker.
Personalities from the Czech filmmaking world paid a last tribute to director Věra Chytilová on Friday. The funeral of the famous Czech new wave filmmaker was held at Prague’s Strašnice crematorium. Those present included long time Karlovy Vary Film Festival organizer Eva Zaoralová and documentary film maker Olga Sommerová. Chytilová died at the age of 85 on March 12. A native of Ostrava, Chytilová became a leading figure of the new wave of Czech cinema of the 1960s with films such as Daises and Fruit of Paradise; her best-known later movies include Prefab Story, Calamity, The Jester and the Queen, and others.
A record 3,000 films – an increase of 100 percent say organisers – were entered for this year’s Zlín Film Festival focusing on children and youth. A selection of only around one-tenth will be chosen for screening, the festival’s spokesman Martin Pášma said. More films than previously were reportedly sent from countries in South America. The festival takes place from May 30 to June 5 and is in its 54th year; last year some 95,000 people attended.
One of the most popular films at the recent One World festival of human rights documentaries in Prague was Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer. The story of the trial of three members of Pussy Riot for attempting to perform a protest song at a Moscow cathedral, it draws on interviews with their relatives and other members of the collective to create a vivid portrait of the controversial Russian group. Ahead of a screening I asked co-director Mike Lerner what had attracted him to the subject.
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