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FESTIVALS Czech Republic

Finále Plzeň celebrates its three-decade anniversary

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- The 30th edition of the Czech showcase of domestic offerings marks its second year under new leadership

Finále Plzeň celebrates its three-decade anniversary
We Are Never Alone by Petr Václav

Finále Plzeň, the annual showcase spotlighting Czech audiovisual production, will be celebrating its 30th anniversary this year (20-26 April) after undergoing a makeover under new management last year. “We wanted to make the event more attractive for film professionals as well as the general public,” says festival director Eva Veruňková Košarová about the overhaul, which comprised an image transformation along with programming changes. “We tried to better arrange the whole general programming concept of the festival, which is aimed primarily at Czech and Slovakian films, and we added brand-new sections consisting of foreign productions that are nevertheless still related to Czech film or Czech film professionals,” adds the festival director. The first edition under the new leadership recorded a 20% hike in attendance levels, which the new management considers to be a seal of approval.

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The strengthening of the industry programme is just one of the perks of the renewed festival, along with the “collaboration with the Midpoint training programme as well as an emphasis on the television section, complete with preview screenings and premieres of new television formats”, says programming director Peter Badač. Regarding the gathering’s attempt to reach out to foreign productions, Badač also highlights the Festival ZOOM section, “a collaboration with partner festivals of the same type from Slovenia or Croatia”, which allows “viewers to compare domestic movies with films coming from industries of the same size”.

The festival has four competition sections, where Czech and Slovak films will compete for the Golden Kingfisher Awards and which provide a crash course in Czech cinema from the previous year. Among the feature-length live-action and animated films being showcased are Petr Oukropec’s coming-of-age title In Your Dreams! [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, the celebrated biopic I, Olga Hepnarová [+see also:
film review
trailer
making of
interview: Tomáš Weinreb, Petr Kazda
film profile
]
, the psychological/social horror The Noonday Witch [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jiří Sádek
film profile
]
, the thriller The Red Captain [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Petr Václav’s harrowing parable We Are Never Alone [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Petr Vaclav
film profile
]
and Jan Němec’s last film, The Wolf from Royal Vineyard Street [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Tomáš Klein
film profile
]
. The documentary section will introduce Martin Kollár’s “road essay” 5 October [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(read the news), the award-winning Normal Autistic Film [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, Robert Kirchhoff's documentary about the Romani Holocaust, A Hole in the Head [+see also:
trailer
interview: Robert Kirchhoff
film profile
]
, and two episodes from the television docu-series Czech Journal.

The television section is divided into two categories: non-serial productions, with the fairy tales Magical Nose by Stanislav Párnický and The Right Knight by Martin Dolenský, among others; and serial productions, including Viktor Tauš’ much-lauded crime series Blue Shadows, the sci-fi sitcom Cosmo, HBO’s Wasteland (read the news) and the webseries Semester, revered by critics and public alike.  

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