Monday at Karlovy Vary International Film Festival saw the world premiere of ‘Night Owls’ – one of the two Czech films in this year’s competition. The movie was directed by Oscar-nominated animator, Michaela Pavlátová, and stars the young Czech talents Martha Issová and Jiří Mádl. In the run up to the big screening, Rosie Johnston caught up with Michaela Pavlátová on the terrace at the spa town’s Hotel Thermal.
One of the most anticipated stars to appear at this year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival was Robert De Niro. Thousands turned out on Friday to catch a glimpse of the actor as he walked up the red carpet at a downtown hotel. De Niro’s star turn marked the opening of the film festival and, as Rosie Johnston reports, there’s more on its way.
Peter Sís was born in Brno in 1949 but has been living in the US for over a quarter of a century. He won a Golden Bear for best animated film at the West Berlin Film Festival in 1980, before later launching an extremely successful career as a children’s author and illustrator. Indeed, he is a seven-time winner of the New York Times Book Review award for best illustrated work of the year. His most recent book is The Wall: Growing Up Behind the Iron Curtain. We spoke at his studio in Soho in New York.
It’s lights, camera, action in Karlovy Vary, with the town’s 43rd annual film festival kicking off on Friday. Over the next eight days, festival-goers will be treated to screenings of over 220 films, and around 60 premieres. Each year, the population of the picturesque and otherwise tranquil West Bohemian spa town swells to over three times its normal size - as industry bigwigs, stars, and film-lovers flock to Karlovy Vary from all over the world.
For the next three months visitors will have an unparalleled opportunity to view work by famous 20th century Czech photographer Václav Chochola, at Prague Castle. Part of the Maximum Photography series, the show features large scan prints of some of the late artist’s best known photographs – from moody industrial landscapes to portraits to more experimental work.
Czech Muslims are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the first mosque ever built in the Czech Republic which opened in 1998 in the city of Brno. While ten years ago, the Islamic Foundation in Brno had to face protests and their mosque had to do without a minaret, today the community is thriving and even planning to build a new, greater mosque in the Moravian capital.
Katka Garcia, as her name suggests, is half Czech and half Spanish, with a bit of Russian thrown in. In addition to that she sings traditional music from Ireland and Scotland. She currently lives in Dublin and teaches Spanish at Trinity College and occasionally comes to Prague to perform with her fellow musicians. I caught up with her during her last visit.
Prague has lost one of its best-known and best-loved literary figures. The writer Lenka Reinerová died on Friday at the age of 92. Her novels and stories, which drew richly from her adventurous life, were written in her native German, and she was often described as Prague’s last German writer. Lenka Reinerová was one of few surviving witnesses of the rich German speaking literary world of Prague between the wars, and she knew many of its best known figures, including Max Brod and the famous „roving reporter“, Egon Erwin Kisch. David Vaughan looks
The Old Royal Palace at Prague Castle is currently hosting an exhibition of photographs by Jiří Všetečka, a photographer who is best known for his pictures of the Czech capital. The exhibition entitled Pražský chodec or Prague Walker takes place on the occasion of the photographer’s 70th birthday. It looks back at his career, spanning more than 50 years.