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Czech Velvet: Made in Prague Film Festival

8 – 17 November 2019: The 23rd edition of the not-to-be-missed Made in Prague Festival returns with an exciting range of new films mapping contemporary Czech society 30 years after the dramatic changes brought about by the 1989 Velvet Revolution. Opening with the comedy mini-series Most!, an exhilarating and provocative portrayal of a local community and the biggest cultural and social phenomenon since 1989, and closing with The Nagano Tapes, the stirring underdog story of the Czech ice hockey team’s surprising victory at the 1998 Olympics and a source of national pride, the programme is jam-packed with features, documentaries and shorts that inspire, entertain and provoke discussion while showcasing the diverse landscape of Czech cinema.

The 23rdMADE IN PRAGUE festival, one of the UK's oldest national film showcases, boasts an impressive array of seven UK premieres hosted by the Regent Street Cinema and the ICA, all exploring Czech society today. "The Made in Prague film festival is one of the highlights of the upcoming Czech Velvet 1989 – 2019 Festival in London. It presents and confronts film work of generation of film directors impacted by socialist regime in Eastern Europe prior 1989 as well as the new and provocative work of younger film makers, " says Premysl Pela, the Director of Czech Centre.

The festival will open with Most! (2019), an exhilarating and provocative portrayal of a local Czech community in the city of Most, packed with politically incorrect humour, crude language and taboo topics which has won the hearts of the Czech audience and became the most talked-about show of 2019. Director Jan Prušinovský and screenwriter Petr Kolečko will discuss the phenomenon of Most! after the screening.

Lead actor Jiří Schmitzer and directors Martin Dušek and Ondřej Provazník will introduce and discuss the UK premiere of their comedy/revenge thriller Old Timers (2019) in which two ageing WWII veterans set out on their last mission to murder the communist prosecutor who once jailed them, while in the compelling drama by Marek Škop, Let There Be Light (2019), a father attempts to stop his son’s slide towards the extreme right wing.

An authentic portrayal of the world of thirty-somethings, who seek, find and sometime also lose their friends and life partners is provided by Bohdan Karásek’s debut Karel, Me and You (2019), a dialogue-based film full of humorous, spontaneous conversations and acutely observed situations.

The youngest generation of filmmakers, students of the acclaimed Prague film school FAMU, is showcased in The Best of Czech Animation 2015 – 2019 featuring among others the winner of the 2019 Student Academy Awards, the puppet drama Daughter about a strained father–daughter relationship and the limits of mutual understanding. Packed with wit and sharp observations the animated shorts oscillate between hilarious and contemplative, morbid and touching.

Also amongst the highlights is The Nagano Tapes (2018), an Olympic Channel documentary directed by the Sundance award-winning Ondřej Hudeček featuring the inspiring story of the Czech Republic men’s ice hockey team’s shock victory at the 1998 Winter Olympic Games in Nagano. Drawing on extensive interviews with some of the world’s best ice hockey players and archive footage, the director links defining sporting events with key moments of modern Czech history. Ondřej Hudeček and Olympic Gold Medalist ice-hockey player Martin Procházka will discuss the 1998 Nagano win as a defining moment in post 1989 Czech history and a source of national pride at the time of the country’s resurgence.

The Made in Prague festival also features the work of director Helena Třeštíková whose impressive film career spans over 40 years and features more than 50 documentaries. Třeštíková’s time-lapse documentaries successfully capture their protagonists against the backdrop of political and social change. Her longest lasting project, A Marriage Story (2017) follows 35 years of the ups and downs of a married couple first living in a cramped socialist-era flat in 1980 and after 1989 establishing a successful business and building a family house to match. In Mallory (2015), the director provides a mesmerising portrait of a woman's life on the fringes of society and a true testament to human resilience. Mallory, a former drug addict, battles through toxic relationships and endless knock-backs from the bureaucracy of social services to get off the street and help others around her. Helena Třeštíková will personally introduce and discuss Forman vs. Forman (2019), her latest film which premiered at the 2019 Cannes International Film Festival. In this revelatory collage of rare private and official archives, the Oscar-winning film director Miloš Forman muses on his love of film and freedom, revealing a courageous artist unafraid to question himself.

Made in Prague is part of the month long Czech Velvet 1989 – 2019 Festival of Arts, Film, Music & Theatre organised by the Czech Centre London and showcased at venues across London, including the Regent Street Cinema, ICA, UCL, Rich Mix, Czech Embassy, Old Truman Brewery  and others.

For details and full listings, please see www.czechcentre.org.uk


Press enquiries for screening links, images and interview requests

Tereza Matysova, comms@czechcentre.org.uk, tel 07768935361
Twitter: https://twitter.com/CzechCentreLnd  #MadeInPrague      
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/londonczechcentre
Web: www.czechcentre.org.uk | http://bit.ly/Made-in-Prague-Film-Festival


Friday 8 Nov 2019, 6.30 pm, Regent Street Cinema
Most! They Love Each Other but They Do Not Know It Yet (15) + Q&A with director Jan Prusinovsky and screenwriter Petr Kolecko
Jan Prusinovsky, CZ 2019, 4 x 47 mins, English subtitles
Smash hit TV series about politically incorrect Ludan and his mates who hang out in the pub. Packed with irreverent dark humour. 

Saturday 9 Nov, 4 pm, Regent Street Cinema
Jiří Suchý - Tackling Life with Ease (12)
Olga Sommerova, CZ 2019, 104’, English subtitles
A celebration of the life and work of Jiri Suchy, performer, singer-songwriter, composer, poet and Czech national icon.

Saturday 9 Nov, 6.10 pm, Regent Street Cinema
Let There Be Light (15)
Marko Skop, SK / CZ 2019, 93´, English subtitles
A father questions his faith and traditions when fighting to stop his son’s slide towards the extreme right wing in this compelling drama about the strength and fragility of family ties.  Slovakia’s entry for the Oscars.

Saturday 9 Nov, 8 pm, Regent Street Cinema
Old-Timers (15) + Q&A with actor Jiri Schmitzer and directors Martin Dusek and Ondrej Provaznik
Martin Dusek, Ondrej Provaznik, CZ/SK 2019, 85 mins, English subtitles
A revenge comedy with a pair of ageing WWII veterans on their last mission to murder the communist prosecutor who once jailed them.

Sunday 10 Nov, 2 pm, Regent Street Cinema
Great Adventure of the Lucky Four (PG) + children’s art workshop
Michal Zabka, CZ 2019, 72 mins, English subtitles
Four Lucky Four stories inspired by famous Czech childrens’ comics.

Sunday 10 Nov, 4 pm, Regent Street Cinema
The Best of Czech Animation 2015 – 2019 (12)
Various, CZ - FAMU, 2015 – 2019, 85‘
Selected from international film festivals these animations include the winner of the 2019 Student Academy Awards and showcase the FAMU film school at its best.

Sunday 10 November, 6 pm, Regent Street Cinema
Karel, Me and You (15)
Bohdan Karasek, CZ 2018, 111’, English subtitles
A dialogue-based film revolving around the love lives of thirty-somethings Sasa, Karel and Dusan.

Sunday 10 Nov, 8.15 pm, Regent Street Cinema
 The Nagano Tapes (12) + Q&A with director Ondrej Hudecek
Ondrej Hudecek, Olympic Channel – USA, CA 2018, 73´
The uplifting story of how the Czech Republic shocked the world by winning gold at the 1998 Nagano Olympic games.

Sunday 17 Nov, 6.30 pm, ICA
Forman vs Forman (12) + Q&A with director Helena Trestikova
A portrait of Milos Forman (1932–2018), Oscar-winning director of One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) and Amadeus (1984)

Sunday 17 Nov, 8.40 pm, ICA
Mallory (15) + Introduction by Helena Trestikova
Helena Třeštíková / 2015 / Czech Republic / 101′
A mesmerising portrait of a woman's life on the fringes of society and a true testament to human resilience.

Tuesday 19 Nov, 7 pm, Czech Embassy Cinema
A Marriage Story (Strnadovi) (12)
Helena Třeštíková / CZ / 2017 / 108 min.English subtitles
35 years of the ups and downs of the married life of Václav and Ivana Strnad set against the dramatic backdrop of political and social change.

You can download the press release in pdf format here: