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Czech animation director and recent Athens Animfest winner Jan Balej received a record 10 million crown (370,000) grant for his new film, Little Fishergirl.

Director Alice Nellis's Lidice, a 1942 big-budget Czech war drama, will begin shooting in autumn.

At the age of 22, Jiri Madl has become of the most promising and talented Czech actors of the young generation.

TV Nova (www.nova.cz) and Prima TV (www.iprima.cz) , the two leading commercial broadcasters in the Czech Republic, have finally signed up to the country's digitalisation plan.

Prague´s Barrandov Studio a.s. (www.barrandov.cz ) announced on Monday a $170 million film based on the action commando toy and comic-book hero G.I. Joe will be shot starting in May. Production of the large, elaborate sets has already started, said company spokeswoman Dušana Chreneková.

Solomon Kane, an adventure-fantasy film by director Michael J. Bassett set in the 16th Century, is shooting at Barrandov Studios in Prague. The film is budgeted at more than $45 million, the Barrandov Studio company (www.barrandov.cz) said in a statement on Wednesday.

Secrets by director Alice Nellis and Empties by Jan Svěrák split this year´s top awards at the Czech Lions ceremony, the Czech version of the Oscars. Secrets won Lions for best film and best cinematography, while Empties picked up awards for best director and best screenplay, plus a third Lion for best domestic audience.

DVD sales in the Czech Republic are rising at a record pace. In 2007, nearly 2.5 million DVDs were sold, 13% more than the previous year, according to figures provided by the distributors association DVD Group.cz (www.dvdgroupcz.com).

The film Secrets by director Alice Nellis leads this year‘s nominations for the Czech Lion awards (www.ceskylev.cz ), the domestic equivalent of the Oscars organised by the Czech Film and Television Academy (www.cfta.cz). Secrets was named in 10 categories at the nomination ceremony in Prague on Feb. 9.

A Prague city court has rejected a motion to declare bankrupt the production company owned by Juraj Jakubisko and his wife Deanna Jakubisková, after the couple presented evidence they had paid all the disputed bills.

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