A battle between a mineral water company Karlovarské Minerální Vody (KMV) and conservationists over the fate of a local spa complex moved from the periphery right onto the center stage when a documentary director denounced the company on live television at the Czech film industry’s main prize giving gala night. It was a biter mouthtful for KMV, the main sponsor of the Český Lev (Czech Lion) film awards.
Known as “the father of Czech cinema,” Otakar Vávra directed over 50 films in his lifetime — under both the Nazi occupation and Communist regime — and helped found Prague’s famous academy FAMU, where he taught the craft to generations of filmmakers, including “Czech New Wave” masters like Věra Chytilová, Miloš Forman and Jiří Menzel (both Oscar winners), and a decade later, Serbian filmmaker Emir Kusturica.
Zlín Film Festival has a long history of showing the best from children films as one of the world’s oldest and biggest festivals. This year, apart from the latest Czech cinema, kids can look forward to Disney classics while adults can admire masterpieces of Italian directors like Fellini and Leone on the big screen; the best of recent Italian cinema for children and youth will also be showcased.
A record 13 nominations for the Czech Lion (Český lev) awards is a victory in itself for “Walking Too Fast” (Pouta). The moderately budgeted thriller had only a brief run in theaters and sold a mere 22,000 tickets. Producer Vratislav Šlajer tells Czech Position that the current situation for art films isn’t promising, but he doesn’t want to bend to popular audience-driven trends.
Vít Klusák’s new documentary follows the impact of the construction of a Hyundai Motor Company plant in Nošovice. “All for the Good of the World and Nošovice!” is not just about a former cabbage field that now yields cars, it is also the first Czech documentary to criticize an international corporation. The film looks into the tactics used to get the land before the plant was built, and the working conditions there now. And, of course, there is the famous Nošovice sauerkraut.