On Thursday evening, the closing ceremonies of Prague's One World documentary film festival honoured Swiss director Eric Bergkraut's film, "Coca: The Dove from Chechnya" with the Rudolf Vrba Award, for the best film in the category of Right to Know. Now in its 8th year, this year the One World festival screened 118 films from 40 different countries. During the festival Eric Bergkraut spoke to me about his film, and why he chose to feature Chechnya in his latest documentary.
The Czech Republic's art and antique auction houses certainly have a season to look forward to if this year's opening auction at the Dorotheum auction house in Prague is anything to go by. Three records were broken on Saturday. Items valued at 14 million crowns (a little over half a million US dollars) were sold for 22 million (around 900,000 US dollars), the best turnover that the country's established houses have ever witnessed.
This week we are joined by Igor Malijevsky, who is a poet and author, photographer and performer. It is very common for Czech writers to write in a number of genres. Often poets will write essays and short stories, but Igor has an unusually wide range of activities, and photography in particular is a central part of his life. So how do all these activities fit in with one another?
The City Gallery Prague's House at the Golden Ring, is currently featuring the works of thirteen British artists at an exhibition called: "Supernova, geometric abstraction reconsidered". The exhibition, which was prepared in cooperation with the British Council and runs until April 30th, shows how contemporary art develops through time. Hence the name Supernova, which (in very simple terms) is a star that explodes and produces so much energy that it can lead to the creation of new stars.
In today's Czechs in History we look at one of the most illustrious periods of the kingdom of Bohemia - the rule of the Luxembourgs - reflected in an important exhibition now underway at Prague Castle: Charles IV - Emperor by the Grace of God. The exhibit, which had an immensely successful run last autumn at New York's Metropolitan Museum opened in Prague mid-February to great expectations. Opening the exhibit curator Jiri Fajt explained the period of the Luxembourgs, between 1347 and 1437, was among the most artistically important the kingdom
Featuring the lives of a group of young friends who live in a shabby housing development in a poor industrial region in Bohemia, Bohdan Slama's film "Stesti" or "Something Like Happiness" has received broad critical acclaim both at home and abroad. On Saturday, it clinched seven prizes at the Czech Lion Awards (Cesky Lev) - the country's own national version of the Oscars.
In this edition of Encore we look at recent recordings that cover two centuries of Czech music. We start with a composer and organist who is enjoying a much earned revival after long neglect by the communist regime, we relish the Sturm and Drang of the late 18th century, and we look at a CD of a rising star on the Czech conducting scene.
It is not in the nature of Miroslav Janek to make plans. The film director and editor believes in coincidence. Things happen, days go by and bring along the subjects of his documentaries. The very last 'coincidence' happened, when he was invited to take a look at the lives of Czech orphans. It led to the short movie Chacipe. This meaningless word was made up by children from a Czech orphanage, who are the film's stars, and also co-directors.
Last week saw the opening of a major exhibition devoted to the 14th century king and emperor, Charles IV, at Prague Castle. It brings together priceless works from dozens of museums in fifteen countries, and covers not only the reign of Charles IV himself, but the whole period when the Luxembourg dynasty ruled the Czech lands in the 14th and 15th centuries. But some objects from that time were simply too large to be transported to Prague Castle. They are on show at a separate exhibition at the National Museum's Lapidarium in Prague 7.