The vital role played by Prague cafés in intellectual history goes beyond the sphere of the Czech capital and nation to a truly global prominence. The most notable figure in this respect is Franz Kafka, though the city’s café-goers have included a wide variety of artists, philosophers, novelists and the Czech Republic’s first president, Václav Havel.
Transferring the comic “Alois Nebel” onto the big screen required a tremendous investment of time, money and cooperation. Made for around Kč 80 million, the film’s animation took exactly two years and two months to complete. At a press screening a sample clip was shown that had required 170 drawings and 15 hours of work to complete. It passed in the blink of an eye.
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.
Prague’s FAMU (Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts) has been named the world’s seventh best film school and tops in Europe by the US magazine The Hollywood Reporter in its annual ranking. Founded in 1947/1948, FAMU is the world’s fifth-oldest film school after those in Moscow, Berlin, Rome and Paris; among its most famous graduates are Miloš Forman, Ivan Passer, Agnieszka Holland, Emir Kusturica and Jiří Menzel.
The three-day open-air Prague Food Festival gets 33 of the city’s top eateries together in one place — this time the Royal Gardens of Prague Castle. The variety of international cuisine has expanded this year as well. And while many festivals have promoted food and wine, this year the festival also takes a serious look at the role of “beer sommeliership” in gastronomy.
Cultural organizations in Denver including Opera Colorado, the Denver Art Museum, various symphonies and universities have teamed up to put on a festival of Czech music, theater, film and culture that will give the city’s inhabitants a chance to be exposed to the wide range of contributions that have come from this small country over 8,000 kilometers away.