The Czech government approved proposals on Wednesday to top-up a depleted fund designed to offer rebates of up to twenty percent to productions filming in the country. An additional 300 million crowns is being offered, adding to an already used 500 million allocated by the former provisional government. Commenting on the move, Prime Minister Bohuslav Sobotka said the cash infusion would not only help bring in productions from abroad, but also aid the country’s image and economy. Dominik Jůn spoke with Ludmila Claussová of the Czech Film Commission
The Czech Jewish community has protested against the presence of American actor Mel Gibson at this year’s Karlovy Vary Film Festival and the fact that he is to be presented with the Crystal Globe Award in recognition of his contribution to world cinema. In a letter sent to the festival’s president the Jewish community says that Gibson’s movie The Passion of the Christ portrays Jews as evil and bloodthirsty enemies of Jesus and argues that the award presented to him may fuel anti-Semitism.
Hundreds of film fans have been queuing up for tickets to the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival which is due to kick off on Friday. The festival offers viewers over 200 films, including seven international premieres, two Czech premieres and, for the first time ever, an animated film. The festival will open with the international premiere of the American sci-fi I Origins, which will be personally introduced by the film’s lead actor Michael Pitt, director Mike Cahill and actress Astrid Bergès-Frisbey. Among this year’s celebrity guests are Mel Gibson, Michael Pitt, French actress Fanny Ardante who will present her third film Obsessive Rhythms for which she wrote the screenplay and directed and award-winning Hollywood actress Laura Dern.
The government has agreed an extra 300 million crowns will be earmarked next year to help tempt foreign filmmakers to make films in the Czech Republic. This year 500 million has been allocated to bring in the foreign film companies but 2015’s budget has been raised to 800,000. The incentives allow companies to reclaim up to 20 percent of the cash spent on film making in the country. The fund was created following warnings that filmmakers were shunning the country in favour of more generous venues.
Preparations are well underway for the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, which gets underway in the Western Bohemian spa town at the end of next week. On Tuesday the organisers revealed this year’s star guests, including Oscar winning actor-director Mel Gibson – who will receive a Crystal Globe for lifetime achievement – and actresses Laura Dern and Fanny Ardant. Soon after the announcement I discussed this year’s visitors with artistic director Karel Och. But I began by asking him to characterise the main competition at the 49th Karlovy
Oscar-winning actor, director and producer Mel Gibson, 58, will receive the Crystal Globe for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema at the opening of the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on July 4, its president Jiří Bartoška told reporters on Tuesday. Gibson, born in Australia and living in the United States, won two Academy Awards for the 1995 film Braveheart. There will be a screening of Gibson’s Apocalypto, set during the decline of the Mayan empire. The international festival will also welcome French actress and director Fanny Ardant and Hollywood actress Laura Dern (Blue Velvet, Jurassic Park).
The new documentary Toman Brod: Praha – Terezín – Birkenau – Märzbachtal – Praha is the portrait of a Holocaust survivor who is today in his mid 80s. But what’s different about this feature-length film is that it was made by a schoolboy. Indeed, director Matouš Bičák was only 15 when he and his classmates – inspired by a school project – set off with Toman Brod to record his remarkable stories of survival in Nazi concentration camps.
The British director Peter Greenaway will be main guest at the 40th annual Summer Film School festival in Uherské Hradiště, the organizers said on Monday. The director is set to present his latest movie Goltzius and the Pelican Company at the festival which takes places in the eastern Czech town between July 25 and August 2. The Summer Film School this year focuses on Spanish cinema as well as on filmmakers from the Visegrad countries, and will offer a retrospective of the French director and screenwriter Michel Godry.
The American film I Origins will open the upcoming 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival organisers have announced. Top guests will include actor Michael Pitt, actress Astrid Berges-Frisbey, and director Mike Cahill. The science fiction film, awarded at Sundance this year, tells the story of a molecular biologist who makes a significant and unexpected discovery. Actor Michael Pitt returns to Karlovy Vary after nine years: he also attended back in 2005 when the Gus Van Sant film Last Days, inspired in part by the life and death of rock star Kurt Cobain, was screened.
The Dutch film ‘Boys’ directed by Mischa Kamp picked up the most awards at the International Film Festival for Children and Youth in Zlín on Wednesday evening. The film, which recounts the awakening of homosexual desires in two teenagers training for a national relay race, It won four awards at the festival with the main actor Gijs Blom picking up the prize for best young actor. The Czech film ‘To See the Sea’ by director Jiří Mádl picked up two awards among the other winners.
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