Five Czech films share twelve Czech Lions
by Viktor Palák
05/03/2012 - While Leaving by the late Czech president Vaclav Havel began the evening with a nomination in each category, it left with two awards including one for best screenplay. Havel's widow Dagmar accepted the glass lion statuette, but herself lost in the acting category to Anna Geislerova, who won her fifth Lion and is currently in Bohdan Slama's Sundance competition title Four Suns.
But it was the social drama Poupata by Zdenek Jirasky (pictured) that left the evening as the big winner, scoring four times, including the main categories. Veteran cinematographer Vladimir Smutny won his sixth Lion for his work on the film.
Rotoscope animation Alois nebel [trailer], which will soon be on French screens and is scheduled to be released in Germany this summer, won three times. The Czech Film And TV Academy and the Czech Critics, who introduced their own awards last year, agreed that the best music was composed for this film.
While the Academy has come in for criticism for not noticing the 'smaller films' in recent years, it was observant enough this time to reward actress Tatijana Medvecka for her role of a mother in The House [trailer] by Zuzana Liova. The film premiered at the Berlinale in 2011, as did Eighty Letters by Vaclav Kadrnka. Nevertheless, his film was omitted from the nominations.
Robert Sedlacek's Long Live the Family!, which was named best film at the recent Czech Film Critics' Awards, also left without a single win, despite being nominated six times. Sedlacek has previously stated that it is the Critics' Awards that he considers more valuable, which may have hurt him in the eyes of the Academy, which has previously nominated his films but often does not reward them.