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Made in Prague: New Czech Cinema 2014

2 – 30 November 2014: Now celebrating its 18th year, the Made in Prague film festival showcases the best of contemporary Czech cinema, featuring fiction and documentary films creatively exploring the past and present of the country through stories of resistance; love and longing; social exclusion and even sport. The 25th anniversary of the Velvet Revolution looms large in the festival programme, not just through film and documentary, but also through planned debates with filmmakers, artists, thinkers and the audience.

Celebration of Czech cinema to include eight UK premieres
25th anniversary of Velvet Revolution to be a major theme of festival

“Headed by this year Oscar nominee Fair Play and Petr Vaclav´s ground breaking The Way Out, Made in Prague Festival is a lively selection of the best Czech features and documentaries from past two years.” 

Peter Hames, author of The Czechoslovak New Wave and Cinema of Jan Svankmajer.

The festival, organised annually by the Czech Centre in London, starts with an evening devoted to politics in Art and Sport featuring the UK premiere of Olga Sommerova´s documentary The Magic Voice of a Rebel (2014) and Andrea Sedlackova´s Fair Flay (2014). The award-winning documentary film-maker Sommerova tells the story of Marta Kubisova, the biggest Czech pop star turned dissident, who was banned from singing after the Soviet Occupation of Czechoslovakia and made her comeback during the Velvet Revolution.

Fair Play, the Czech Republic´s entry for Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, depicts the fallout after talented young sprinter Anna is selected for the national athletic team and a secret state doping programme. Director Andrea Sedlackova, who herself opted for artistic and personal integrity when she emigrated to France in the ‘80s, will discuss ethics in sport and art with Pat Butcher, former athletics correspondent for the Financial Times and The Times.

Running throughout the festival is the theme of the Velvet Revolution’s legacy. Celebrating the 25th anniversary of the peaceful resolution of the heady political events in November 1989, Made in Prague features a definitive portrait of the man behind it in Pavel Koutecky’s time-lapse documentary Citizen Havel (2008).  Following the playwright, dissident, revolutionary leader and president  for nearly 15 years, the filmmaker provides an intimate view of a man thrust into the spotlight, balancing public and personal life. In complete contrast, the documentary Velvet Terrorists (2013) by Peter Kerekes, Pavol Pekarcik and Ivan Ostrochovsky portrays three men who took up arms against communism and were jailed for it.


Fair Play

Velvet Terrorists

 Exploring the theme of social exclusion is the winning documentary from the Jihlava International Documentary Festival: Petr Hatle’s The Great Night (2013). A visually impressive collage presents stories of supermarket cashiers and bar regulars, people who live by night and are driven by insomnia, escapism and crime. The Great Night is complemented by The Way Out (2014), the story of a Roma woman trapped in anti-gypsy prejudice and her own community’s entrenched behaviour. The first Czech film screened at the Cannes Film Festival in 16 years it depicts the daily struggle to survive and better one’s life against the odds. The award-winning director Petr Vaclav will participate in a discussion after the screening.

The translation of theatre into film and vice versa is the focus of a theatre and film-themed double bill consisting of Jan Hrebejk’s Garbage, the City and Death (2012) and Miroslav Krobot’s debut Nowhere in Moravia (2014).  Hrebejk, a prolific director best known for his Oscar nominated Divided We Fall, captures a cult theatre production by the Prague Comedy Theatre based on Fassbinder‘s scandalous play. Miroslav Krobot, an actor (the lead in Bela Tarr’s The Man from London) and an award-winning Czech theatre director who has, under his 18-year leadership, developed the Prague Dejvice Theatre into a theatre phenomenon, will discuss his work in theatre and film following the UK premiere of his darkly humorous film. Performed by actors from his theatre, the piece captures eccentric characters living isolated lives in a forgotten place of grim beauty.


Nowhere in Moravia

The Way Out

Also part of the festival is Jan Hrebejk’s Honeymoon (2013), the final instalment of his loose trilogy on buried secrets and the possibility of forgiveness which this time comes into play when an uninvited guest gate crashes the fairy-tale wedding of Radim and Tereza and starts questioning Radim’s past. Czech film star Anna Geislerova (Tereza) will attend the Q&A after the screening. As part of the 18th UK Jewish Film Festival, Czech director Zdenek Jirasky will introduce the screening of his film In Silence (2014), a stylized docu-drama about the fate of five Jewish musicians, juxtaposing their prosperous pre-war lives with the horrors of the concentration camp alleviated by music and providing an innovative take on Holocaust themes. Family oriented audiences will have a chance to see the charming and innovative fairy tale Lucky Loser by Jiri Strach following the unlucky Filip on his journey to change his fortune.

The Made in Prague season’s special bonus is a VoD of The Good Driver Smetana (2013) by Vit Klusak and Filip Remunda of Czech Dream fame which will be streamed for free.

 “Made in Prague Festival” is our annual programme highlight and I am pleased we have put together a strong selection of films,” says Tereza Porybna, director of the Czech Centre London. “It is the first time the main part of our festival is hosted by the ICA and we look very much forward to welcoming our audience there.”

Czech Centre
The Czech Centre's mission is to actively promote the Czech Republic by showcasing Czech culture in the UK. Its programme covers visual and performing arts, film, literature, music, architecture, design and fashion. As well as hosting its own events, the Czech Centre offers support for other groups organising Czech related initiatives in the UK. It is a non-political organisation supported by the Czech Ministry of Foreign Affairs as part of a worldwide network of 21 Czech Centres. The Czech Centre is a member of EUNIC (European Union National Institutes for Culture). www.czechcentre.org.uk 

 Made in Prague Festival
Now in its 18th year, the Made in Prague Festival (17 Oct - 30 Nov 2014) is back with a month-long programme of Czech cinema, music, performance and visual arts presented across London. Cinematic highlights of the past two years are screened at the ICA throughout November, a 6 week series of documentaries reflecting topics of resistance, revolution and transformation will run at the Frontline Club. Made in Prague also features dance performances (Spitfire Company at The Place), concerts (DG307, Floex, Inner Spaces) and exhibitions (K: Kafka in Komics at the Goethe-Institut). 

 
-ENDS-
 

Note to editors
1 More information: http://bit.ly/Made-in-Prague
2 Participating venues: ICA, the Gate Cinema, Odeon Swiss Cottage
3 Special guests: filmmakers Andrea Sedlackova, Petr Vaclav, Miroslav Krobot, Zdenek Jirasky and actress Anna Geislerova

For interviews with visiting artists, images and other press enquiries please contact:
Renata Clark, Czech Centre, 116 Long Acre, WC2E 9PA clarkova@czechcentre.org.uk tel: 020 7759 0072

Twitter: https://twitter.com/CzechCentreLnd  #madeinprague  
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/londonczechcentre
Web: www.czechcentre.org.ukhttp://bit.ly/MP_brochure

 Download the press release in pdf format here:

 

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