Last year was a good one for the Czech film industry. The turnover of Czech-based film production companies grew by 23 percent, from over four billion crowns in 2012 to more than five billion, according to figures released on Monday by the country’s Audiovisual Producers’ Association. The growth was mainly fuelled by foreign co-productions.
Film production turnover in the Czech Republic rose last year by more than 20 percent from just over 4 billion crowns to over 5 billion, according to the Audiovisual Producers’ Association. The association highlighted an 82 percent jump to just over 2.8 billion in the production companies turnover related to foreign film shoots. One of the reasons for the surge in business was the increase in 2013 in the budget for incentives for foreign film productions from 300 million to 500 million crowns. The government has decided to boost the budget for next year to 800 million crowns. The association also pointed out the shrinking budget spent by advertisers with one of the problems higher fees on the main Czech commercial television channels.
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival continues on its second day with the spotlight perhaps on the world premiere screening of the director’s cut of Andrzej Wajda’s film ‘Walesa: Man of Hope’. The version of the film will be screened in the presence of former Polish dissident and leader of the Gdansk shipyard strikes that helped to topple the Communist regime, Lech Walesa. As well as the former Polish president the lead actors of the film will also be present. Later on Sunday, French actor and director Fanny Ardent will present her latest film ‘Obsessive Rhythms.’
Gibson’s star guest status at Karlovy Vary has been attacked by Jewish groups in the Czech Republic who highlighted past comments deemed to be anti-Semitic. In an interview at the festival’s launch, Gibson said he had tried to deal with those complaints and dismissed them as ‘just noise.’ The head of the Jewish Community, Petr Papoušek, in a letter to the festival’s organising committee accused Gibson of propagating xenophobic and anti-Jewish sentiments and regretted the film festival had invited him as its star guest. Gibson was criticized for his depiction of Jews in the film, The Passion of the Christ, which he directed and was also caught on tape in an anti-Semitic rant in 2006.
The 49th International Film Festival at Karlovy Vary started on Friday night with Oscar winning Oscar winning actor and director Mel Gibson being awarded a Crystal Globe for his lifetime contribution to cinema. Gibson, who admitted it was his first time in the Czech Republic, mixed with crowds of fans and signed autographs before an open air screening of his cult film ‘Mad Max’ from 1979. His last film, Apocalypto, from 2006, will be shown later in the week. He has just finished the filming of Blood Father, in which he stars as a father of an estranged daughter who is being sought by drug dealers.
Film fans from at home and abroad have descended on the west Bohemian spa town Karlovy Vary for the 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival which opens on Friday night. The festival will screen over 200 films, including seven international and two Czech premieres. Ian Willoughby is in Karlovy Vary for the event and I called him ahead of the big night to find out what would be the main attraction at the festival’s opening.
The 49th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival kicks off in the west Bohemian spa town on Friday night with a red-carpet ceremony at the Thermal Hotel. Among the festival’s guests this year is US actor and director Mel Gibson who is set to receive a Crystal Globe award for lifetime achievement. Seven films will have their world premieres at the festival including the Czech movies All My Tomorrows and the documentary film Magic Voice of a Rebel. The Karlovy Vary festival runs until July 12.
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.
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