Prague – The 57th Zlín Film Festival will present 326 movies. Besides representatives of the traditional film superpowers, audiences will see films from non-traditional countries, such as Burkina Faso, Cyprus, the Bahamas, Costa Rica, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria– a total of 62 countries. The festival's main themes this year will be the 20th anniversary of the Clapperboard Salon, Switzerland, Sweden, and also the 110th anniversary of the birth of the famous author Astrid Lindgren. As a symbol of a happy childhood, her Pippi has become an inspiration for this year's festival visual design.
The oldest and largest film festival of its kind in the world will start in three weeks in Zlín and other satellite towns. The film screenings will kick off on Friday, June 26 with a documentary about Hermína Týrlová. The festival will run until June 3 and, in addition to the rich film program, it will offer a host of supporting activities.Zlín Film Festival's program directors have watched 2331 pictures this year in order to select 326 films to present to festival audiences. "Year after year, interest among filmmakers is growing. We are getting more and more applications and we are carefully choosing, "says artistic director Markéta Pášmová and adds: "We decided to include a smaller number of films this year in the program offering, and we want to make the festival more transparent. We're offering more repeats of festival films and people will have a greater chance to watch them at the festival."
Audiences can again look forward to movies for children and youth, European directorial debuts, animated work, student films, and many more – in five competitive and nine non-competitive sections. "This year we have 26 feature films, 60 short animated films and 66 short student films," says Markéta Pášmová.
The main theme will be Sweden and the work of Astrid Lindgren. "The special Swedish section will contain only 37 feature films for children and teenagers," says Markéta Pášmová. This special section crosses over into non-film activities as well and will also include theatrical adaptations and literary works of the famous Swedish author. Her most famous character, Pippi, artistically inspired the artist Petr Nikl years ago and has now become the subject of the festival's visual theme. "We would also like to welcome interesting personalities from Swedish cinema to Zlín. We therefore approached the one who played the famous Pippi, actress Inger Nilsson. The son of the famous Swedish director Ingmar Bergman, Daniel, who is also a director, has confirmed his participation," says Markéta Pášmová, adding: "For example, director Catti Edfeldt is sitting in the main jury. This exceptional woman of many film professions will also introduce other Swedish films, especially in the Astrid Lindgren section. She worked as an assistant director on the movie Ronia, the Robber's Daughter and was an actress in the film The Children of Noisy Village."
The 57th Zlín Film Festival will also focus on Switzerland, its cinema and culture. In the section of the film program called "Welcome to Switzerland", named after the Swiss film of the same name, 16 feature films will be screened in addition to a number of animated and student films. The notional cherry on the cake for this section will be the introduction of a Swiss documentary by director Robert Kolinsky: To Make a Comedy Is No Fun: Jirí Menzel, which will be premiered in the Czech Republic with the participation of both the director and the protagonist Jiří Menzel.
In conjunction with the celebration of the 20th anniversary of the Clapperboard Salon, the organizers have included a special section in which they will present the films of famous graduates of Film School Zlin, which has received support from the auction of the clapperboards for many years. “The screening of these films will take place for the very first time in the authentic atmosphere of the big film studio in Kudlov, where film events are returning to after many years," says the artistic director.
Juries and other famous festival stars
This year, competitive films will again be judged by experts and child judges from different countries from around the world. "The Czech and Slovak Republics are represented, for example, by actresses Klára Issová, Vica Kerekes and Petra Nesvačilová, Karel Zeman's daughter Ludmila Zemanová, the Zlín native director Slávek Horák, and Slovak director Juraj Nvota." Markéta Pášmová adds: "Our children's juries are also international, and like each year they are made up of 13 representatives; this year they are from Norway, Canada, Spain, Slovakia, Slovenia, Polandand the Czech Republic."This year, some important personalities of Czech cinema are coming to Zlín, such as Eliška Balzerová, Jiří Menzel, Ivan Trojan, Miroslav Donutil, as well as the opera singer Magdalena Kožená. Costume designer Theodor Pištěk will take the award for lifetime contribution to filmmaking for children and youth at the end of the festival. The festival organizers and the Drop of Hope Foundation will unveil stars on the Walk of Fame in front of the Grand Cinema this year for actress Pavlína Mourková and the actor and director Karel Smyczka.
In addition to going to the cinema, festival guests can also enjoy many other film related activities. For example, they will have the opportunity to see some filmmakers under the spotlight. In the rectors' building of Tomáš Baťa University, the Film Lab will again be opened and will present the latest technology of television and on-line streaming studios. The world of Virtual Reality will be introduced here for the first time.
The Film Industry project is designed for both film professionals and the public; every day will bring interesting presentations, lectures, conferences, meetings and discussions. There will be a traditional international meeting of festivals, a new section called Work in Progress, which will entail the presentation of Czech films being made for children and youth, which is being organized by the festival together with the Czech Film Center. In cooperation with the Creative Europe Office, the Czech Film Commission and the State Cinematography Fund, a conference has been prepared on the topic of Regional Film Offices and Local Film Festivals. This year there will again be an offering of interesting social topics such as at the Czech Television conference, which will focus on "The importance of linking formal and informal education - The role of CT: D in this process." An essential spot in the Film Industry program is held by The Rainbow Marble – a film marketing conference organized together with the Faculty of Multimedia Communications of TBU. (The complete Film Industry program will be published at www.zlinfest.cz on May 10th.)
The film program is also traditionally complemented by a varied supporting program. It consists of a number of theater performances, concerts, workshops, professional lectures, exhibitions, interactive and benefit programs, as well as sports and social events. This year, we will also pay special attention to the project of creative workshops organized in cooperation with our partners ABB, Koma Modular and to projects related to the continuous support of the festival by TBU, the city of Zlín, and the Zlín Region.
In addition to traditional evening concerts at the Open Air Zone (XindlX, Aneta Langerová, Slza, ABBA and Roxette tribute bands), the festival will provide another interesting program. "In the Theater Zone we will hold the premiere of the screening of old slapstick films accompanied by a live piano entitled Film Piano. The Gastro Zone will be newly opened at the Zlín Chateau, as will the special discussion forum the Festival Café on the main square," says Čestmír Vančura, president of the festival, adding: "The last festival day, Saturday, June 3, will be the 2nd year of the festival half-marathon - the MONET + Zlín 2017."
Zlín Film Festival is not only in Zlín