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FINÁLE PLZEŇ 2019

Finále Plzeň offers a crash course in recent Czech cinema

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- The gathering, set to unspool from 11-16 April, provides the most comprehensive overview of domestic cinema from both the past and the upcoming season

Finále Plzeň offers a crash course in recent Czech cinema
My Century by Theodora Remundová

In the wake of the Czech Film Critics’ Awards (see the news) and the Czech Lions (see the news), the annual showcase of domestic cinema known as Finále Plzeň (11-16 April) will not only serve to round off the film world’s appreciation of the oeuvres of the past year (in this case acknowledged by an array of international professionals), but it will also kick off a new season by introducing a number of pre-premieres. This intense focus on Czech cinema in one single location makes Finále Plzeň the most comprehensive overview of domestic production. 

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The Golden Kingfisher competition section for fiction features will once again see the award-winning films Domestique [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Adam Sedlák
film profile
]
The HastrmanBear with Us [+see also:
trailer
interview: Tomáš Pavlíček
film profile
]
Jan Palach [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 and Winter Flies [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Olmo Omerzu
film profile
]
 go head to head for one more award. The same scenario will unfold in the documentary section, with a battle raging between Putin’s Witnesses [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Vitaly Mansky
film profile
]
King Skate [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 and When the War Comes [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. In addition to feature films (live action, animated and documentary) and student shorts, Finále Plzeň will also spotlight local television production, most notably Petr Zelenka’s comedy series Dubbing Street and the comedy series Most! by Jan Prušinovský, which recently emerged as Czech Television’s most-watched series of the last few years, both on TV screens and online. They will be joined by other local television productions, in both serial and film formats, with crime fare being particularly prevalent.

A special section is being dedicated to two episodic projects: one is the most recent project by the most prolific Slovakian director working today, Peter Bebjak, a dystopian web series called The Spot, about a mysterious disease that has wiped out the adult population. The other one is another project by Czech Television, The Ruination of Dejvice Theater, a comedy series about how difficult it is for one particular Prague theatre to stay afloat, written and directed by its former artistic director Miroslav Krobot, with the theatre’s actual troupe and crew starring as on-screen versions of themselves.

The First Catch programming section will introduce audiences to the newest films for the very first time. The raft of upcoming movies includes Tereza Kopáčová’s comedy When Cows Fly, about fat shaming, body image and burlesque; Slovakian director Peter Kerekes’ documentary about the capitalistic tendencies of Czech entrepreneur Tomáš Baťa, BATAstories [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
; and Theodora Remundová’s collective portrait of centenarians, My Century [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
. Also among the most eagerly awaited domestic films are those directed by non-Czech filmmakers but staged as international co-productions, such as Edmond [+see also:
trailer
interview: Alexis Michalik
film profile
]
, a drama about the creation of Cyrano de Bergerac, by French director Alexis Michalik; and the Romanian-Czech drama Heads and Tails by Nicolae Constantin Tănase.

The Czech Republic has been participating enthusiastically in many international projects, which will be reflected in a section with a somewhat self-explanatory title, Czech Traces in International Co-productions. One of the most successful projects of the last season is Adina Pintilie’s Touch Me Not [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Adina Pintilie
film profile
]
 (as well as Radu Jude’s “I Do Not Care If We Go Down in History as Barbarians” [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, which is competing for the Golden Kingfisher Award in the fiction feature section), which will be accompanied by Jan Jakub Kolski’s retelling of his grandparents’ story Pardon [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
Igor Voloshin’s thriller Cellar [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 and Michail Idov’s biopic of a Soviet stand-up comedian, The Humorist.

Finále Plzeň will run from 11-16 April in Pilsen, Czech Republic, and the full programme is available here.

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