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KARLOVY VARY: Barrandov film studio will return to its roots as a producer of original production with a biopic on Milos Havel, the founder of Barrandov and the uncle of the Czech President Vaclav Havel. The film is the first original Barrandov production in seven years.

KARLOVY VARY: Connecting Cottbus, the East-West coproduction platform, is “bringing in a fresh, new team ,” programme director Rebekka Garrido told FNE, and moving the pitching forum to the historic Stadthaus building in Cottbus’s historic old town.

KARLOVY VARY: The heavy hitters from four leading training programmes available to CEE filmmakers and professionals unveiled an array of new opportunities in a presentation held on 4 July 2016 at the Karlovy Vary IFF

KARLOVY VARY: Frantisek Daniel, aka Frank Daniel, arguably the most influential and one of the least known Czech filmmakers of all time, will finally get the recognition his many acolytes feel is his due, with the announcement of the launch of the Frank Daniel Institute at Utah Valley University, not far from the Sundance Institute – one of the many film training programmes Daniel headed after leaving his post as Dean of FAMU, where he taught the Czech New Wave generation.

PLZEN: Matthieu Darras of TorinoFilmLab was in Plzen to participate in the Finale Plzen’s industry section. FNE asked Darras about the position of CEE filmmakers at the TorinoFilmLab.

PLZEN: The MIDPOINT script development programme is expanding and rebranding during its sixth year in operation. The addition of a TV series development programme saw a tripling of applications in 2016.

PRAGUE: The focus was squarely on increasing audiences for European films at the 19th Europa Cinemas Network Conference in Prague 27-29 November 2015.

PRAGUE: In the spirit of “the show must go on,” on 18 November 2015 the French ambassador to the Czech Republic opened the 18th Festival of French Film with a moment of silence for the victims of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris.

BRATISLAVA: The Colombian film Land and Shade directed by Cesar Augusto Acevedo won the Best Film and the FIPRESCI prizes at the 17th Bratislava IFF closing ceremony on 16 November 2015.

COTTBUS: In the heart of the only remaining Slavic region of Germany lies Cottbus, where for 25 years the Cottbus Film Festival has been keeping its Soviet-era ties alive, much as the city holds on to its Slavic past. This year, after forays into the concept of a “global East,” the festival returned to its Central European roots, with a bevy of award-winners that reflected both the cinematic diversity and the growing cooperation throughout the region.