- Hans Weber
- June 6, 2023
A year in Czech cinema to be condensed into a single, annual showcase at Finále Plzeň
Recent Czech cinema and audiovisual production traditionally gets an aggregated annual showcase at the Finále Plzeň Film Festival. The 35th edition (23-28 September) will reflect the films that were created during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The past year, despite the fact that it was still affected by the pandemic, was very fruitful, and I am glad that we can show festival visitors the best that has been born in Czech cinema. Czech films dominated domestic cinema distribution, and many titles even crossed a threshold that they would not have been ashamed of even in pre-pandemic times. We have also witnessed the screenings of Czech and Czech co-produced films at prestigious world-class festivals in Berlin, Locarno, Venice and others,” says artistic director Peter Badač.
The Czech submission for the Oscars race, Petr Václav’s Il Boemo [+], will open proceedings, followed by a recent crop of titles that will be competing for the Best Feature-length Fiction and Best Animated Film Awards. The line-up includes Peter Kerekes’ award-winning docudrama 107 Mothers [+]; the Slovak candidate for the Oscars, Victim [+] by Michal Blaško, which was co-produced with the Czech Republic; Tomasz Winski’s radical and provocative Borders of Love [+]; Beata Parkanová’s period family drama The Word [+]; and the biggest Czech stop-motion animated film to date, Even Mice Belong in Heaven [+]. The non-competitive In the Nets of 2021-2022 section takes a deep dive into domestic cinema, presenting the many different faces of Czech production. The section will showcase the formalistic oddity Arved by Vojtěch Mašek; the mainstream romance Madame President by Rudolf Havlík; the most expensive Czech film to date, Medieval by Petr Jákl, starring an international cast; the gross-out teen comedy Párty Hárder: Summer Massacre; the horror-thriller Repulse by Emil Křižka; a fairy tale by Mariana Čengel Solčanská, The Enchanted Cave; and the animal documentary Wild Prague by Jan Hošek, among others.
Recent Czech cinema will also be represented by various international co-productions, including Maksym Nakonechnyi’s Butterfly Vision [+], Guðmundur Arnar Guðmundsson’s Beautiful Beings [+] and Florence Miailhe’s unique animation The Crossing [+]. More European countries will be in the spotlight in the Finále Plzeň showcase, as the programmers have prepared special sections focused on German and Hungarian cinema. This edition’s batch of domestic avant-premieres includes Erhart, the debut by newcomer Jan Březina; Šimon Holý’s sophomore feature, And Then There Was Love… [+]; the Venice-premiered Ordinary Failures [+] by Cristina Grosan; the Locarno-winning Nightsiren [+] by Tereza Nvotová; and Olga Sommerová’s documentary about a luminary of modern Czech history, Michael Kocáb – Rocker vs Politician.
The industry sidebar will, as usual, introduce domestic works in progress by promising local talents, all at the early stage of development, to international professionals at the Czech Film Springboard. In addition to organising local tours, the Czech Film Commission will hold a meeting attended by its regional film offices.
The full programme of the 35th Finále Plzeň Film Festival is available here.
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