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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Czech Republic

Czech cinema of the past meets films from the forthcoming season at Finále Plzeň

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- The 33rd edition of the Pilsen-based festival will offer a slew of upcoming movies as premieres, alongside the traditional round-up of domestic film and episodic output

Czech cinema of the past meets films from the forthcoming season at Finále Plzeň
Mucha: The Story of an Artist Who Created a Style by Roman Vávra

Earlier this year, the annual Finále Plzeň showcase of Czech cinema was postponed from its original dates in April to 25-30 September. Thus the 33rd edition is almost ready to take off as a physical event under today’s “new normal” circumstances, even though foreign jury members and industry professionals will have to join the event virtually. Finále Plzeň offers a deeper insight into Czech cinema, serving as a summary of the latest season. Marko Škop’s drama Let There Be Light [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marko Škop
film profile
]
, which was named Best Slovak Film at the recent Sun in a Net Awards (see the news), will vie for the Golden Kingfisher Awards in the feature-length fiction and animated film competitions, going head to head with the Czech bid for the Oscars, Václav Marhoul’s World War II drama The Painted Bird [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Václav Marhoul
film profile
]
; Martin Dušek and Ondřej Provazník’s seniors revenge drama Old-Timers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Martin Dušek, Ondřej Provaz…
film profile
]
, which was deemed Best Czech Film of 2019 by domestic critics (see the news); Jiří Havelka’s chamber comedy Owners [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, which won the Czech Lion for Best Screenplay; and Bohdan Karásek’s “mumblecore” drama Karel, Me and You – the Discovery of the Year, according to Czech critics (see the news).

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In addition to a retrospective of Czech cinema, encompassing fiction and documentary features, student films, and episodic and serialised productions, the festival will screen titles that have already been distributed in 2020, including Slávek Horák’s dramatic biopic Havel [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Petr Zelenka’s dramedy Droneman [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and Bohdan Sláma’s recently premiered drama Shadow Country [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
. Visitors will have the chance to get a sneak peek at upcoming features, as the gathering will be hosting avant-premieres and premieres of domestic films. For instance, it will introduce Adéla Jandec Sirotková’s Extraordinary Life of Josef Spejbl, a documentary on the well-known Czech puppet Josef Spejbl, which celebrates its centenary this year, and its creator, Josef Skupa. Another title, Roman Vávra’s Mucha: The Story of an Artist Who Created a Style, sketches the portrait of another reputable figure, painter Alphonse Mucha.

Recent Czech involvement in international co-productions will be spotlighted in a section that will screen Tudor Giurgiu’s Parking [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Tudor Giurgiu
film profile
]
, Matjaž Ivanišin’s Oroslan [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Matjaž Ivanišin
film profile
]
and Espen Sandberg’s biopic Amundsen [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, a large part of which was shot in the Czech Republic. Besides this, a selection of current German movies will join Czech films on the festival’s screens in order to present different views of the East and the West 30 years after the fall of the Iron Curtain. They include the documentary Once We Are Dancing by Dirk Heth and Dirk Lienig, and Teresa Hoerl’s Nothing More Perfect.

In addition, the festival retains its industry strand: on the menu are a pitching event that will present current domestic works in progress, Czech Film Springboard; a discussion on the topic of festival distribution of short films and distribution of Czech films on VoD and streaming platforms; and a lecture for film producers dedicated to integrated security on sets.

The full line-up is available here.

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