The United Islands music festival, which starts in Prague on Friday, is one of many such fests taking place in the Czech Republic over the summer months. Outside the capital there are big festivals in Trutnov and Cesky Brod, as well as numerous smaller ones, ranging from hip hop camps to folk music gatherings.
In just over two weeks' time, one of the biggest annual cultural events in the Czech Republic will kick off. The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the most important A-category film festival in central and eastern Europe, being held for the 41st time, will once again welcome hundreds of filmmakers and thousands of visitors to the picturesque spa town of Karlovy Vary - a unique location which no doubt contributes greatly to the festival's special atmosphere.
Jan Sibik has long been considered one of the Czech Republic's most important photojournalists, a photographer who has worked in some of the world's most tortured areas. Futility, pain, loss and injustice all come to the forefront in Sibik's work - whether his focus is on the human actors and victims in war-torn parts of Africa or the former Soviet bloc. The subject matter - at times - is shocking. As Prague's Lord Mayor Pavel Bem said at the opening of Sibik's newest exhibit "Stories" at the Old Town Hall this week, the photographer allows us to
"I perceive everything as a game and maybe that is the reason why I am not a writer but a screenwriter," said Jaroslav Dietl about his life and work. 'The father of the Czech serial' as he has been labeled was often criticized because of his uncritical attitude towards the communist regime. At the same time he won the affection of viewers who loved his great skill in developing a story. No other Czech screenwriter has ever matched him.
The Karlovy Vary International Film Festival may attract the most glamour and media attention but it is far from being the only film festival here in the Czech Republic. Indeed, while this year's Karlovy Vary will be the 41st, the Zlin International Film Festival for Children and Youth - which got underway on Sunday - is being held for the 46th time. Coilin O'Connor is in the south Moravian town for the festival. He told me all about it.