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Made in Prague: New Czech Cinema 2012

Now celebrating its 16th year, the Czech film festival showcases the best of contemporary Czech films. Ten award-winning features and six shorts demonstrate the vibrancy of Czech cinema departing from the gentle and understated observations of the past to provide a strong commentary on social and political issues. With eight strong feature debuts on offer, the showcase heralds the arrival of assured new filmmakers not afraid to tackle challenging subjects.

Made in Prague: New Czech Cinema 2012
The 16th Czech Film Festival

9 – 11 November 2012


Special guests:
director Vaclav Kadrnka (Eighty Letters), illustrator Jaromir 99 and musicians Jan P.Muchow, Dusan Neuwerth (Alois Nebel) and director Zuzana Liova (The House)

see www.czechcentre.org.uk for details

The tone of the festival is set by its opening film Alois Nebel, a superbly atmospheric rotoscope animation by Tomas Lunak, nominated for a 2012 European Film Award and released on DVD by Yume Pictures. This adaptation of the bestselling graphic novel by Jaromir 99 and Jaroslav Rudis mixes a revenge plot with a love story to portray a difficult period of Czech history. The artist Jaromir 99 will introduce the screening which will be followed by a music party featuring musicians and composers Jaromir 99, Jan P.Muchow and Dusan Neuwerth performing their original score live.

 

Also looking into the country´s troubled past is Radim Spacek´s chilling thriller Walking too Fast, voted the best Czech film in 2011 by the Czech Film Academy and at the Czech Film Critics’ Awards. In this Czech answer to The Lives of Others a secret agent, obsessed with the life and mistress of a leading dissident, uses all his official powers to get the woman and escape his boredom. Escape is also on the mind of a mother and her son battling the communist bureaucracy to obtain exit visas for the UK in Eighty Letters. Written and directed by Vaclav Kadrnka and inspired by letters written by his mother, this is a bequilingly poetic evocation of 80s Czechoslovakia in Romanian New Wave style. A Q&A with director Vaclav Kadrnka will follow the screening.

 

The premiere of A Night too Young at this year’s Berlinale confirmed the rising star status of director Olmo Omerzu. His highly atmospheric allegory reminiscent of Krzysztof Kieslowski’s Decalogue presents complex power and relationship games during the aftermath of a New Year’s Eve party when three adults are joined by two underage boys. Meanwhile director Robert Sedlacek, one of the most strident voices in Czech cinema, crafts a searing commentary on contemporary society in his critically acclaimed family drama Long Live the Family! in which a business executive goes on the run after being accused of laundering money, masking his escape as a family trip. The world of luxury villas is swapped for the gritty setting of small industrial town in Zdenek Jirasky’s assured debut Flower Buds.  Played out as a series of deadpan incidents, the film is an acute and darkly funny portrait of gradual family breakdown. Family relationships are also in focus in Zuzana Liova’s The House, officially selected for the 2011 Berlin Film Festival and winner of the Krzysztof Kieslowski Award at the Cannes Film Festival. Liova’s impressive debut offers an intimate and humorous portrait of generational clash strained by lack of money and prospects, built on excellent naturalistic performances. Zuzana Liova will introduce and discuss her film.

 

Documentaries are represented at the festival by Jana Poctova’s Generation Singles providing an insightful and humorous probe into human relationships and the phenomenon of ‘singles’. A documentary approach can be also detected in Made in Ash by Iveta Grofova. Recalling early Milos Forman films and drawing on her documentary background, the director uses non-actors and authentic settings to offer a striking and uncompromising portrait of a naïve young girl who leaves her family for work only to lose her dreams and face harsh reality.

 

To mark the Made in Prague: New Czech Jazz 2012 season, the film festival is complemented by a screening of Martin Fric’s silent masterpiece The Organist of St Vitus’Cathedral from 1929 accompanied by Najponk, a leading Czech jazz pianist.  Part of the Barbican Silent Film Series.

 

Organized by the Czech Centre in association with Staropramen. In collaboration with the Riverside Studios , the Barbican and the Gate Cinema.



Made in Prague: New Czech Cinema 2012
9 – 11 November 2012, Riverside Studios, www.riversidestudios.co.uk

 

Fri 9 November 6.30 pm GENERATION SINGLES (15)
+ animated short TUMORROW NEVER KNOWS (4’)

Jana Poctova, Czech Republic, 2011, 77’, subtitles
They are unmarried, flexible, financially independent...and single. The honest testimony of six ‘singles’ over the course of a year.

 

Fri 9 November 8.15 pm ALOIS NEBEL OPENING GALA SCREENING (15)
Tomas Lunak, Czech Republic / Germany, 2011, 87´, subtitles
This superbly atmospheric rotoscope animation brings to life a bestselling graphic novel about a lonely stationmaster burdened by the dark aftermath of WWII. Introduced by the artist Jaromir 99.

+
ALOIS NEBEL MUSIC PARTY
with Jaromir 99, Jan P.Muchow, Dusan Neuwerth

 

Sat 10 November, 3.30 pm MADE IN ASH (18)
+ animated short
DESSERT (4‘)
Iveta Grofova, Slovakia / Czech Republic, 2012, 80´, subtitles
In this drama, reminiscent of Milos Forman’s films, a young naïve girl leaves her family in Slovakia for work in a Czech factory.

 

Sat 10 November, 5.45 pm A NIGHT TOO YOUNG (15)
+ short THE SECOND ACT (23’)

Olmo Omerzu, Czech Republic, Slovenia, 2012, 65 min
Complex power and relationship games unfold when three adults are joined for a belated New Year’s Eve party by two underage boys.

 

Sat 10 November 8 pm WALKING TOO FAST (18)
+ animated shortTRAM

Radim Spacek, Czech Republic, 2010, 146’, subtitles
A leading dissident and his mistress are under the surveillance of a secret agent, who becomes obsessed with them and uses all his official powers to get the woman and escape his life.

 

Sun 11 November, 1.30 pm KITTY MAMA PG
Vit Karas, CZ, 2011, 89’, subtitles
A Czech boy worries about his dog while a three-headed dragon claims princess Karolina who has no prince to defend her. Czech traditional fairy tale.

 

Sun 11 November, 3.30 pm EIGHTY LETTERS GALA SCREENING (15)
Vaclav Kadrnka, Czech Republic, 2011, 75´,subtitles
A day in the life of a Czech mother who battles the communist bureaucracy to obtain exit visas for the UK where her husband has emigrated. + Introduction and Q&A with director and screenwriter Vaclav Kadrnka.

 

Sun 11 November, 6 pm LONG LIVE THE FAMILY! (15)
+ animated short
COSMIC SONGS (12‘)
Robert Sedlacek, Czech Republic, 2011, 106’, subtitles
A business executive goes on the run after being accused of laundering money, masking his escape as a family trip. The road-trip turns into a police hunt and family relationships are exposed. 

 

Sun 11 November, 8.20 pm FLOWER BUDS (15)
+ documentary
5 CZK (14‘)
Zdenek Jirasky, Czech Republic, 2011, 93‘, subtitles
Set around Christmas in a small industrial town, the Hrdina family struggle to get by. With each of their dreams coming crashing down, this is darkly funny story of family dissolution.

 

Additional screenings:

Friday 2 November, 6 pm THE ORGANIST OF ST VITUS’CATHEDRAL
+ live music accompaniment by NAJPONK

Martin Fric, Czechoslovakia, 1929, 78’, surtitles                                       
BARBICAN, Silk Street, London EC2Y 8DS
The leading Czech pianist Najponk will accompany the film considered the apex of Czech silent-era cinema.

 

Thursday 29 November, 6.30 pm THE HOUSE GALA SCREENING with Zuzana Liova
Zuzana Liova, Slovakia-Czech Republic, 2011, 97’, subtitles                     
THE GATE CINEMA, 87 Notting Hill Gate, W11 3JZ
An intimate and humorous portrait of generational clash strained by a lask of money a prospects, built on excellent naturalistic performances. Introduction and Q&A with director Zuzana Liova.

 

You can download the press release here:

 

Information and images: Renata Clark
Tel. 020 73075182
clarkova@czechcentre.org.uk