In a recent edition of Czech Books, we spoke to the Romany writer, Irena Eliášová. She mentioned that her novel, November, had been published earlier this year by an internet publisher. This inspired David Vaughan to find out more about Romany writing in the digital age, and he discovered that Czech Roma have embraced the social media in a big way.
This week saw the opening of a new exhibition in Prague by respected Czech photographer and filmmaker Martin Froyda entitled “New York Walker in Blizzard”. As the title suggests, the show (and accompanying book) features a collection of photographs of New York snowed under – arguably the only time life in the Big Apple slows down. The exhibition is on at the US Embassy’s cultural centre in Prague.
Look at some of the small town exhibitions currently underway and you can’t miss the trend – they all show vintage objects very often made up of stuff people find in their attics. The “out with the old and in with the new” fervor with which people cleaned out their attics just a few decades ago is long gone and families now treasure old family coffee grinders, foreign label-covered suitcases that belonged to seasoned family travelers or wooden weaving looms used by great grandmothers.
A new film sharing project that has just been launched in the Czech Republic hopes to become a game-changer in distributing movies on the internet. The project, entitled 31s, works in a way similar to illegal file sharing – but offers film fans a chance to pay for the content they download from the web. The start-up project has been backed by some players in the film industry – but others, including anti-piracy campaigners, remain highly sceptical.
The 17th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival has just taken place in the capital of the central Vysočina region. Far and away the most important event of its kind in the country, it draws scores of directors from home and abroad and plays a key role in the thriving Czech documentary scene.
David Mrazek, is an award winning American writer and film producer. David, whose grandfather was a Czech American émigré, made an award winning documentary film in 1990 called ‘My Prague Spring’, which documented the lives of some of his Czech relatives in the heady months after the Velvet Revolution. In an interview for Radio Prague he talked about how the documentary was made and what inspired him to document this heady period of Czech modern history.
The award-winning composer and conductor, Carl Davis has made his name around the world as a composer of musical scores for films and television series. Mr. Davis is also a regular visitor to Prague, appearing often at the popular Prague Proms festival and recording many of his albums with Czech orchestras. Last Monday, he conducted the season opener for the Czech National Symphony Orchestra, which features his own piece ‘Last Train to Tomorrow’.
The 17th Made in Prague Film Festival is due to kick off in London this Saturday. In the course of the next five weeks film buffs and music lovers will be able to take their pick from a dozen Czech and Slovak contemporary films and classics as well as six concerts. I spoke to the festival’s organizer, the head of the Czech centre in London, Tereza Porybná about the festival’s agenda and why this year is a celebration of Czech-Slovak dialogue.