Czech President Václav Klaus this week vetoed a bill which would enhance state support for Czech filmmakers and increase tax incentives for foreign film productions. The president argued there was no reason why the film industry, a business like any other, should receive public funding. The bill may yet come into force, if the veto is overturned by MPs. For now, however, the industry cannot expect any public support in future. RP spoke to Matthew Stillman who is the head of Stillking Films, the country’s largest production company for foreign movies.
In this week’s Sunday Music Show we listen to music by the soulful a capella group Yellow Sisters and speak with one of its four members Bára Vaculíková (and her young daughter). Antonia, Bára, Hawa and Leňa have been singing together since 2005, using their versatile voices to create full, rhythmical and often playful music.
We have featured plenty of contemporary Czech novelists in this programme over the last decade, but we should spare a thought for their translators, patiently working at home alone, struggling at a craft every bit as challenging as alchemy. In Czech Books this week, David Vaughan talks to a translator who has done more than any other to bring the middle and younger generation of Czech novelists to English-speaking readers.
Part of Prague’s City Gallery, one of the city’s best-known venues, has been turned inside out, recently launching an exhibition of work not usually restricted by gallery walls. Entitled Stuck on the City, the show brings together work of top international street art and graffiti artists, names like Swoon, Zedz, the Czech Republic’s Pasta Oner and others.
This year’s Mezipatra Queer Film Festival gets underway on Thursday night with a ceremony at Prague’s Lucerna cinema. The event, now in its 13th year, is bringing more than 100 films with gay, lesbian and transgender themes to the Czech capital, before moving on, in smaller form, to a number of other cities in the regions. Just ahead of its opening, I asked the head of Mezipatra, Aleš Rumpel, what the main theme was this time out.
Prague’s Rudolfinum concert hall is one of Europe’s most prestigious classical music venues – it kicks off the Prague Spring International Music Festival each year, among other things. Certainly its hallowed halls aren’t open to just anyone. So an appearance at the weekend by an orchestra made up of Roma or gypsy musicians was a rare event.
Aleš Březina, is a journalist, author and also editor and publisher of the Canadian-based Czech and Slovak bi-weekly newsletter “Satellite 1-416”. Mr Březina was born in Prague in 1948 and left Czechoslovakia in 1980 after spending more than two years in jail as a conscientious objector, rejecting mandatory conscription in the army. Since then, he has lived in Canada and has just published a new book called Řetěz Bláznů – or Chain of Fools – filled with short stories written between the 1960s and early 1980s, reflecting on life in communist Czechoslovakia
This week’s Sunday Music Show profiles chanson singer, guitarist and composer Lenka Filipová. The singer, who started out as a classical guitar player and developed into a successful chanson singer has enchanted audiences in Prague and Paris and recorded more than two dozen albums in a career spanning more than 30 years.
A film about the breakaway region of Transnistria won the best Czech documentary award at the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival 2012. The movie Fortress, by Lukáš Kokeš and Klára Tasovská, follows last year’s presidential elections which ousted Transnistria’s leader of 20 years, Igor Smirnov. At the same time, it offers an insight into the lives of ordinary people in the internationally unrecognized country located on a strip of land east of the river Dniester between Moldova and Ukraine.
A painting depicting the most famous fratricide in Czech history – the murder of prince Vaclav by his own brother Boleslav in 935 has emerged to see the light of day after gathering dust in an attic for close to 170 years. In this edition of Panorama we look at why the monumental work spent so many decades hidden from the eyes of the world.