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28 Mar 2016

Celebrating Zdeněk Svěrák´s 80th Birthday – The Elementary School

Celebrating the 80th birthday of his father, Czech actor, screenwriter and much loved Czech cultural icon Zdeněk Svěrák, film director Jan Svěrák and Zdeněk Svěrák’s fans are organising a worldwide birthday celebration with the premiere of digitally remastered, Academy Award Nominee for the Best Foreign Language Film, The Elementary School. Set in the world of short trousers and long homework, this was the first creative collaboration by the father-and-son team which in 1997 was awarded an Oscar for their next collaborative project, Kolya. Join the celebration by coming to see The Elementary School with us and singing the birthday song written by Jaroslav Uhlíř.

Premiere of a digital restoration in 80 cinemas worldwide.


8 pm 
Deptford Cinema, 39 Deptford Broadway, London SE8 4PQ

8.30 pm
Gate Picturehouse,  87 Notting Hill Gate, London W11 3JZ

Facebook event


The Elementary School (12)
Director Jan Svěrák, Script by Zdeněk Svěrák, Czech Republic, 1991, 100’
With Jan Tříska, Zdeněk Svěrák, Libuše Šafránková, Rudolf Hrušínský
WWII has just ended and Eda and his mates are back in a single-sex school in the Prague suburbs where they have given their teacher a nervous breakdown. New teacher Igor is half-dictator, half-hero and quickly gets both their attention and an undying admiration which is not altered by his philandering with the female population. Eda can’t help comparing Igor with his own unheroic father. Zdenek Sverak has created an autobiographical mosaic of his childhood memories, recalling the time when boys are still children but already perceive the adult world with great intensity.  Directed by the 1997 Oscar winner for the Best Foreign Language film, Jan ‘Kolya’ Sverak, this is a film full of humour, secrets and compassion for human weakness, well deserving its Academy Award Nomination for Best Foreign Film.

Zdeněk Svěrák (28 March 1936)
Zdeněk Svěrák, who made his film debut in the late 1960s, is best known as one of the leading figures in the Jára Cimrman theatre, which has been entertaining Czech audiences with its comic, absurd, and mystifying productions for nearly 40 years.  The theatre was the brainchild of Svěrák and his colleague, Ladislav Smoljak, who together made a number of their screenplays into films in the 1980s. A popular playwright, scriptwriter, actor and lyricist, Svěrák is one of the most respected Czech cultural celebrities. He has worked with director Jiří Menzel, writing the screenplays for his films My Sweet Little Village (1998, Oscar-nominated) and The Life and Extraordinary Adventures of Private Ivan Chonkin (1994). Since the 90s he has worked with his son, the director Jan Svěrák, providing scripts for The Elementary School (1991), which was based on Svěrák’s childhood memories, and Academy Award winnerKolya (1996), while their highly successful comedy Empties (2007) completes a trilogy and a personal history of the Czech experience embodied in Svěrák’s scripts and central performances. Their highly successful partnership continues with the Czech – UK co-production Dark Blue World (2001), Kooky (2010), a mix of animation and live action, and their most recent domestic box office hit, the musical fairy tale Three Brothers (2014). 

Write your personal birthday congratulation to Zdeněk Svěrák on: www.zdeneksverak.cz 

Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/ObecnaSkolaZdenkovi/  

Organised by the Czech Centre London, Anglo-Czechoslovak Trust and Czech and Slovak Stories in collaboration with Jan Svěrák and Artinii.

Zdeněk Svěrák

Zdeněk Svěrák and Jan Svěrák

The Elementary School - trailer

The Elementary School



Deptford Cinema (8pm), The Gate Cinema (8.30pm)


28 Mar 2016


Czech Center is a coorganizer of the event

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