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OSCARS 2008 Czech Republic

I Served the King of England in the running

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The Czech Republic late Friday weighed in with its candidate for the Oscar race. Director Jiří Menzel's new film I Served the King of England [+see also:
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has been submitted to the American Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences for nomination in the category of Best Foreign Language Film.

I Served the King of England, based on the famous novel by Czech author Bohumil Hrabal, has been hugely successful both at international film events such as Cannes, Montreal and Moscow and in cinemas – in the Czech Republic it garnered over 800,000 admissions.

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The film follows the life of a young man who rises from busboy to hotel owner in wartime Prague, and whose life is shaped by the fate of his country. It was budgeted at 85 million crowns (€3 million) and won the FIPRESCI Prize at this year's Berlin International Film Festival.

"While situated in World War II and the Communist era, I Served the King of England has the potential to interest members of Academy,” Petr Vachler, president of the Czech Film and Television Academy, said on national television. Menzel already holds one Oscar statuette, for Best Foreign Film, won in 1966 for Closely Watched Trains, based on another novel by Hrabal.

The ČFTA had three major candidates to choose from, according to Academy representative Martin Šprinc. The other two were the smash comedy hit Empties [+see also:
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by Jan Svěrák and Alice Nellis’ Secrets.

The Oscar nominations will be announced on January 22, 2008, and the awards ceremony will take place February 24.

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