Ignored at theaters, ‘Pouta’ may pounce on Lions

Unlucky at the box office, the Czech thriller ‘Walking Too Fast’ belatedly gets some recognition

Arts & Leisure
Guest Writer | 03.03.2011
Oldřich Kaiser (left) and Ondřej Malý both earned nominations for acting in ‘Walking Too Fast’

A record 13 nominations for the Czech Lion (Český lev) awards is a victory in itself, both for “Walking Too Fast” (Pouta) and for Czech art house cinematography.

The Czech Lion, given out by the Czech Film and Television Academy (ČFTA), is the top film prize in the Czech Republic. But it is unlike the Oscars, where a mere nomination will be forever after affixed to recipient’s poster.

In this case, though, the nominations themselves are a sort of victory for “Walking Too Fast.” Even if the film goes home empty-handed, it can still boast that it received more nominations than any film in the Czech Lion’s 18-year history. There are, after all, only 12 categories for fiction films (two of the film’s male supporting actors will be vying for that award). The only category it missed out on was Best Documentary. ‘Walking Too Fast’ has received more nominations than any film in the Czech Lion’s 18-year history.

What’s more, “Walking Too Fast” is neither a big-budget production nor a blockbuster success. The tense thriller, about a Czechoslovak secret police agent on the verge of a dangerous psychological collapse, is more an artistic than a commercial offering. This was evident at the box office, with only around 22,000 tickets being sold since the film was released over a year ago. The trailer can be seen online here. 

All the more reason for producer Vratislav Šlajer, who spoke to Czech Position, to revel in what should be called an art house coup d'état. The Czech Lion awards will be presented at Lucerna Palace in Prague on March 5, starting at 8 p.m. The ceremony will be broadcast live on public television channel ČT1.

Q: I suppose 13 nominations must have been far beyond your expectations.

A: Oh yes, yes. Well actually, when I was on my way to the ceremony, I was thinking — while not having any expectations — of how nice it would be to have a nomination in every category because it sort of says that everybody did good work. And when we actually had a nomination in each category plus one

it was great.

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