The Febiofest film festival, in its 20th year, began on Thursday evening; this year the festival promises 200 film screenings and the attendance of internationally-recognised stars like Geraldine Chaplin (perhaps best known for her work with Carlos Saura) and Giancarlo Giannini many fans will recognise from films like Casino Royale.
Orania, which has been shown at this year’s One World film festival of human rights documentaries, is a fascinating portrait of a controversial purely white town founded in 1991 by a group of Afrikaners averse to post-apartheid South Africa’s “rainbow nation”. Two decades later, Orania now has a population of around 1,000, and even its own currency.
Beyond Wriezen, a gripping portrayal of three troubled young men as they attempt – with varying degrees of success – to build new lives after being released from a prison near Berlin, is among the 14 films in competition at the One World festival of human rights documentaries, which is currently running in Prague. I discussed the idea behind Beyond Wriezen with its Dutch director Daniel Abma, who in the past was a counsellor at Wriezen.
Helle Faber’s production company Made in Copenhagen has been behind a string of documentary films that have made an impact far beyond the borders of her native Denmark. The producer has just been in Prague for the One World festival of human rights documentaries, giving workshops for local filmmakers at the East Doc Forum sidebar and introducing her company’s Putin’s Kiss, an excellent documentary that maps the fate of a leading member of Russia’s pro-Kremlin youth group Nashi.
Today in Mailbox: The Czech singing duo Petr and Pavel and their song "Láska" - a mystery solved after ten years. We also reveal the answer to last month's listeners' quiz question, and there is a brand new mystery person for the coming four weeks. Listeners/readers quoted: Neil Critchley, Alan Blaikley, Ian Morrison, Hans Verner Lollike, Bob Boundy, Mary Lou Krenek.
South Korea’s National Museum of Contemporary Art is currently putting on a large-scale showcase of Czech modern art. The exhibit 'Memory of Landscape I have never seen’ is a result of three years of collaboration between Prague and Seoul and presents works of Czech painters from the Czech National Gallery, ranging from 1895 until 1943. I spoke to the National Gallery’s director Vladimir Rösel and asked him how the cooperation with the Korean museum developed.
At the start of The Invisible Men, which is being shown at the One World festival of human rights documentaries in Prague, a gay Palestinian named Louie describes how his father – on discovering his sexual orientation – brutally attacked him, slashing his face open with a knife. Louie has moved to Israel where he is relatively safe (and even wears a Star of David to blend in), but he faces great uncertainty every day. Prior to a screening, the film’s Israeli director Yariv Mozer outlined the predicament of such “invisible men”.
The award-winning film Sofia’s Last Ambulance, which is now screening at the One World festival of human rights documentaries, records the experiences of an ambulance crew in the Bulgarian capital over two years, capturing moments of high human drama against the backdrop of a barely functioning system. Travelling with the medics were two filmmakers, director Ilian Melev and soundman Tom Kirk. The latter, who is a guest at the festival, told me it had often been an intense experience.