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The Czech Republic late Friday weighed in with its candidate for the Academy Awards competition. Director Jiří Menzel's new film, I Served the King of England, will be recommended to the American Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences (AMPAS) for nomination in the category of Best Foreign Language Film (www.oscars.org, www.oscar.com).

A second Czech faces charges of copyright infringement as Czech authorities start clamping down on film piracy. Only a month after a 19-year-old student was charged with pirating The Simpsons Movie, a 35-year-old man from Prague was formally charged on Saturday with illegally copying and distributing the domestic smash hit Vratné Lahve (Empties).

Prague's Barrandov Studio (www.barrandovstudio.cz), one of the largest and oldest film companies in Central Europe, has announced it will split in two different companies.

Česká televize (Czech television) has unveiled plans to invest more than 100 million crowns (€3.6 million) in about 10 new films in 2008.

A 19-year-old Czech student was formally charged on Monday with illegally recording The Simpsons Movie and posting it on the Internet, marking the first such prosecution in a country plagued by piracy. Prosecutors said the youth could face up to five years in prison and a fine up to 5 million crowns (€180,500).

Authorities are preparing to put the Czech Republic on a par with its Central European neighbors by establishing tax exemptions for foreign films - but not before 2009. The so-called "Film Industry Support Code" will be prepared by the Czech government this fall and winter.

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