Prague – The 58th Zlín Film Festival will feature 300 films from 55 countries around the world. In addition to representatives of traditional film superpowers, it will offer films from non-traditional countries, such as Swaziland, the Faroe Islands, Singapore, Venezuela, and Chile. The theme of this year's festival is the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakia, which will be presented in several film sections as well as in the supporting program. It will be supplemented with an Austrian film section and an American independent film section. The festival will start on May 25 and will run until June 2, 2018.
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 festival will kick off on Friday, May 25 with the Icelandic film The Great Football Adventure by director Bragi Þór Hinriksson, which is its international premiere. During the opening ceremony, adult audiences will be presented with the distribution premiere of the Slovak-Czech film Nina, directed by Juraj Lehotsky.
Zlín Film Festival's program directors have watched over 2000 films this year in order to select 300 films to present to festival audiences. "Just like last year, we are offering a slightly smaller number of movies than in the past, but they will have repeat screenings so that people will have a better chance to see them at the festival," says Artistic Director Markéta Pášmová, who adds, "This year's competition for children and youth has a very strong selection and will offer many international and European premieres. In particular, the selection of movies for children under the age of 12 gave us great pleasure, because we could choose from really high-quality films from around the world."
A new item this year is that we've moved the documentary film genre to the competition level. "The ECFA Doc Award will award the best of 7 European documentaries for young audiences and ZFF is working with the European Children's Film Association (ECFA) to organize this competition," says Markéta Pášmová. Audiences can again look forward to movies for children and youth, European directorial debuts, animated works, student films, and much more – in six competitive and five non-competitive sections. "This year we have 33 feature films, 62 short animated films, and 74 short student films," calculates the artistic director.
Festival film themes
The main theme of the 58th film festival with regard to the 100th anniversary of Czechoslovakia will be Czechoslovak film, which will be presented to audiences in 3 thematic sections and will contain a total of 43 films. "For example, we will screen a collection of Czech and Slovak children's films and fairy tales compiled by actors and filmmakers, accompanied by their authentic memories. Many of them will be bringing their favorite film to the festival," said Markéta Pášmová. She added that the section contains 18 films and includes the films Long Live Ghosts!, The Three Veterans, I Enjoy the World with You, Once Upon a Time, There Was a King, and the animated classic How They Met At Kolin. However, Czechs will also find less known Slovak films such as Let the Princess Stay with Us and If I Had a Gun and, of course, Mrs. Winter.
One of the sections devoted to Czech film will also highlight the phenomenon of Czechoslovak film music, and through children's films it recalls important music composers such as Jaroslav Uhlíř and some who have already been taken from us, such as Karel Svoboda, Petr Skoumal, Petr Hapka and Angelo Michajlov. "We will not forget the late 90th birthday of internationally renowned screenwriter, dramaturge of FSB Barrandov and writer Ota Hofman," adds Markéta Pášmová. His life and work will be commemorated outside the retrospective film section in a photography exhibition, a new TV documentary by Karel Smyczka, and a memoir will also be baptized that's titled Ota Hofman: Wanderer of the Fantasy World!
The festival will also focus on the 120th anniversary of the first Czech films. The National Film Archive is preparing a special commentary block of Jan Kříženecký's films from the end of the 19th century for the Zlín Film Festival. In the beautiful environment of a local park, at Biograf, Czechoslovak silent comedies from the first decades of the 20th century will be screened along with a piano accompaniment, e.g. It was May 1st, Night Terror, Heart of Gold, and The Torn Photograph.
The film festival's attention will also focus on Austria, its cinema, and culture. In a section called Austrian Journey, there will be 15 Austrian feature films for children and teenagers screened. Films will be accompanied by a number of directors and actors. The section is being held under the auspices of the Austrian Ambassador in Prague and was supported by the Austrian Cultural Forum in Prague.
A natural counterpart to traditional European cinematography will be the introduction of a new section dedicated to American independent films called American Teen, which will mix older films such as Ghost World and Napoleon Dynamite with the new films like Saturday Church and My Choice.
The complete film program will be available on May 14, 2018 at www.zlinfest.cz
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 Republic is represented by actress Anna Geislerová and she will be working with filmmakers from Germany, Austria, India and Poland to focus on films for children and youth. Editor and producer Adam Dvořák will work with other colleagues to judge first European films, and the actress, director and musician Johana Švarcová will be engaged with student competition films," says Markéta Pášmová.
The celebration of our republic's anniversary will also be reflected in the awards that extraordinary personalities will be taking from the festival. The 58th Zlín Film Festival will see the twenty-second awarding of the Golden Slipper and it will be the historical first to award two film stars – Slovak actress Magda Vašáryová and Czech actor Jaromír Hanzlík. The festival's organizers and the Drop of Hope Foundation will unveil stars on the Walk of Fame in front of the Grand cinema this year dedicated to Czech actress Ivana Andrlová and Slovak actor Maroš Kramár.
The great star of this year's Zlín Film Festival will be Maestro Andrea Morricone, one of the greatest contemporary Italian composers and conductors, the son of the phenomenal composer Ennio Morricone. Andrea Morricone has composed the musical composition for the film 72 Hours in Bangkok, a film by Czech director and producer Lubomir Haltmar, which will have its world premiere at the festival. The film deals with a lost two-year-old boy in Bangkok and points to the theme of lost children. The screening will be preceded by Andrea Morricone's concert performance, and aside from the score of the film, there will also be film melodies from his father and their joint composition, which they made for the film Cinema Paradiso.
This year, the Zlín Festival will also host young, talented actors from around the world. Sixteen-year-old Irish actor Art Parkinson will be accompanying the film Zoo; he's well-known from the the cult TV series Game of Thrones. There will also be 19-year-old Texas native, Josh Wiggins, who has played in the films The Bachelors and Hellion. He's coming to the festival to present the competition film Walking Out.
Film Industry program
Zlin will also host many film professionals during the festival, for which a rich program has been prepared. Several events will take place this year that will touch on topics like regional film incentives (prepared in cooperation with the ZLÍN FILM OFFICE), the resonating theme of "working with films for children and youth in Czech cinemas", which will be introduced under the title for the educational project "New cinema." New Czech films for children and youth will be presented to foreign film professionals. There will also be a discussion on the pitfalls of creating an animated feature film at the first regular round table organized by the Animated Film Association. An integral part of the Industry program is a meeting of representatives of international and domestic festivals called Festival Community. Several special programs will be designated for students of the film industry, such as the first annual "Film Exchange" to connect film professionals creating projects in the Zlín Region and students of local film schools.
Five years of broadcasting by the children's channel of Czech Television will be presented under the title Déčko Celebrates Five Years of Fun and, together with the Executive Director of the Czech Television:D Petr Koliha, the creators and actors of children's programs of this channel will also celebrate this channel’s fifth birthday. The Industry program will also be devoted to a segment called film literacy and for the third time there will also be an RRTV conference called Media for Children, Media with Children. Particular attention will be paid to the preventive and educational part of the Industry program, which will focus on the prevention of risky Internet communication. Together with the National Center Against Organized Crime and the Service of Criminal Police and Investigation of the Police of the Czech Republic we will launch the Say No! campaign. / Řekni Ne! – online sexual coercion and blackmailing of children.
The complete Film Industry program will be released on May 10, 2018 at www.zlinfest.cz and many events will be open to those interested from the general public.
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.
One of them, which is connected to the main festival theme – film scores the Czechoslovak film – is a concert talk show about music, film and memories. The best of the works of Karel Svoboda, Petr Hapka, Jaroslav Uhlíř, Petr Skoumal, Angela Michajlova and Jan Hammer will be played during this time. "The composition evening Sing Me a Movie won't be just about listening to famous film songs. Audiences can actively get involved; they can also enjoy musical improvisation as well as new and unconventional musical arrangements, "says Jarmila Záhorová, executive director of the film festival. The special guest of the evening will be the composer, pianist, singer and actor Ondřej Gregor Brzobohatý, who is the author of film melodies. However, film music will resonate throughout the whole festival and visitors will have the opportunity to encounter it in various places in Zlín.
A traditional part of the Zlín Film Festival is the auction of artistically rendered film clapperboards. This year's collection of the Clapperboard Salon will be made up of 145 original pieces by leading Czech artists, some of whom have been involved in the project since its very beginning. The 21st Clapperboard Salon has six stops this year, including a foreign exposition in the European Parliament in Brussels. It will culminate again with the traditional auction, which will take place on 27 May at the Congress Center in Zlín.
The last festival day, Saturday, June 2, will again belong to a run in the streets of Zlín. This will be the 3rd year of the Festival MONET + Zlín 2018 half-marathon.
About the Zlín Film Festival
The Zlín Film Festival – International Film Festival for Children and Youth is the oldest and, currently, largest film festival of its kind in the world. "The festival's mission is to present international film productions for children and teenagers, to make them accessible to the child audiences, and offer a high-quality alternative to commonly available audiovisual content," says the president of Zlín Film Festival Čestmír Vančura. He also adds, "An important aspect of the festival is to educate young audiences through the medium of film, expand their awareness of the outside world, and develop their aesthetic, social, and moral feelings. The aim of the program is to contribute to the development of Czech cinema for children and youth."
There are hundreds of events and screenings in the festival program this year which will take place in more than two dozen places – not only in Zlín. "Since mid-February, the festival has been running throughout the Czech Republic through projects such as the Clapperboard Salon and the Cinema Train, which starts on May 15 in Zlín," says Čestmír Vančura, adding, "We will bring the film screenings to Mikulov from 8th to 12th June, where we will present 20 films as part of the festival Echoes."
This year's 58th ZLÍN FILM FESTIVAL will be held from May 25 to June 2, 2018 in Zlín and in many other cities in the Czech Republic. The organizer of the festival is the company FILMFEST, s.r.o..
You can find out more at www.zlinfest.cz.