26-01-2012

Czech Short Films on DVD

Prague, 25 January 2012 The grand unveiling of the new DVD representing the best of Czech short works in 2011 will take place in the Oko cinema on Thursday, January 26th from 8 p.m. The DVD Czech Short Films 2012, Vol. III is being issued by the Czech Film Center and it contains a selection of 12 films from Czech film schools – Prague’s Film and TV School of Performing Arts (FAMU), the Film Academy of Miroslav Ondříček in Písek (FAMO) and Tomáš Bata University in Zlín (TBU), and 1 film created as an independent production.

The films on the DVD were chosen by a professional commission comprised of Kateřina Fričová, who worked for a long time in television and now is involved in media consulting and educational activities, film journalist Vojtěch Rynda, the Program Director of the Prague International Short Film Festival Karel Spěšný, Czech Television dramaturge Kristián Suda and Petr Horák, the creator of the iShorts Nights project. This time around the jury had 160 films to choose from. The thirteen best include feature, animated and documentary films. The idea behind this collection is primarily to draw attention to young film personalities and to help them find their way to the international film market. This will be the third DVD with short films to be released (the first coming out in 2010). Both of the previous DVD collections were presented at several international festivals and film markets and were an important part of the continuous promotion of Czech short films that the Czech Film Center is systematically involved in.

“There is a huge tradition of animated film in Czech cinematography. Some computer animation appears here, though the overwhelming majority are classic techniques - marionettes, drawn animation. I think that the ratio of animation is far greater among Czech short films compared to film schools abroad. And then there is the humour, the best being a refined, Czech, slightly subversive humour. Czechs are afraid of being completely serious, so they always sneak humour into their films,” stated journalist Vojtěch Rynda, one of the jury members, in an attempt to characterise the specific qualities of current Czech short films.

“As far as feature short films are concerned, this year’s production seemed to me to be somewhat more interesting than last year,” added the Director of the Prague International Short Film Festival, Karel Spěšný. “This can ultimately be seen in the fact that this year our festival finally, after some time, also chose a Czech film for the international competition. And it should be added that we were choosing between two right up to the last minute.”

The Czech Film Centre has also begun cooperation with the Czech Lion awards with the Magnesia Award for the best student film – apart from the films for the DVD, the jury also chose 20 student short films for the short list for the Magnesia Award, from which the Academy chose five films for the nomination, one of which will then obtain the Magnesia Award for the best student film along with a prize of one hundred thousand crowns.

The films included on the DVD Czech Short Films 2012, Vol. III

A Small Circle of Attention (FAMU, dir. Josef Tuka) feature, 25 minutes

An intimate story of a man who has to decide between his feelings and his own moral imperatives. Přemek, an actor, falls suddenly in love with a younger colleague from the theatre. He is, of course, married, and his wife of many years is seriously ill. Přemek fights against this love he feels and tries to recall moments of happiness with his wife in an illusive attempt to enhance their once strong feelings. Jut when Přemek actually does overcome his affections, there is an unexpected turn of events.

TUMOURrow Never Knows (Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, dir. Pavel Soukup) animation, 6 minutes

An animated film about a lonely old lady who paradoxically sees a tragic illness as her “close” and only friend…

Meat Jihad (FAMU, dir. Natálie Císařovská) documentary, 15 minutes

The film looks at Czech people’s relationship to Muslims, juxtaposing Valentin Kusák, President of the Anti-Mosque association, with Muneeb Hassan Alrawi, Chairman of the Main Office of Muslim Associations in the Czech Republic. The fight over a mosque in Hradec Králové would be a slapstick comedy if it didn’t reflect the difficult co-existence between a Christian-atheist society and other religions.

Shining Tony (Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, dir. Filip Posivač) animation, 3 minutes

A short animated tale of a boy with an unusual trait. Tonda shines, and because he is entirely different from other children he gets bullied around. But Tonda is ultimately not the only one who is different

Non-Swimmers (FAMU, dir. Jakub Šmíd) feature, 23 minutes

A student film that tells the story of Vendula, a sixteen-year-old girl who finds herself spending the holidays at her grandmother’s in an abandoned holiday resort as punishment. Nothing ever happens in this village in the middle of nowhere, just a clique of local teenagers drinks and kills time in the empty pool. Wendy experiences a bittersweet summer love affair while waiting for the moment when the pool is finally filled with water.

The Last of the Dodos (TBU Zlín, dir. Jiří Novák) animation, 10minutes

An animated adventure about the inglorious fate of a castaway, some cute dodos, greedy monks and divine punishment for human greed.

Cosmic Songs (FAMU, dir. Katarína Dědičová) feature, 10 minutes

Despite its routine appearance, Adam's and Mr. Reisz's mission is much more important than it seems. The film captures the desire to answer the question of whether life actually exists in the universe, yet poetically portrays universal human feelings of love and friendship and shows that fiction is rooted in the contemporary reality that surrounds us.

Helga L-520 (dir. Miloš Zvěřina) animated documentary – production: Via Lucis, Jiří P. Miška, Nelly D. Jenčíková, Miracle film, 20 minutes

The artistic animated documentary film “Helga L-520” is inspired by the true story of Helga Weiss-Hošková during her interment in the Terezín ghetto. This “Terezin Diary” is dedicated to the memory of many thousands of children murdered in the concentration camps during the Second World War. The film is the second in the planned “Terezín Triptych“ project, and is a sequel to the M. Zvěřina’s award-winning student film “Imprisoned Dreams.”

Dessert (Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague, dir. Anna Mastníková) animation, 4 minutes

A short animated film about three forms of love, where the partners limit each other, play with each other or eat each other up.

5 CZK (FAMO, dir. Marek Ciccotti) documentary, 14 minutes

A documentary film as a probe into the world of public WCs near a Prague metro and the people we regularly overlook and do not consider to be important. But who is that person we give the money to? Who is hidden behind the window through which we can hear “Pay up! Five crowns!” Three women tell us their life stories.

Mr. Late (FAMO, dir. Jiří Sádek) feature, 15 minutes

Aneta's beloved partner has a rare disease which prevents him from leaving their home. But the authorities try to seize the house and plan to throw the young pair out of the building. Aneta is faced with a choice. She and her partner must and simultaneously cannot leave the house. What will win out? Common sense? Chance? Compassion?

Evolution? (FAMO, dir. Michal Dubnický) animation, 12 minutes

Wasmy estranged great-grandfather a humanor fish?

Pit-Hole – (TBU Zlín, dir. Jiří Stejskal) documentary, 23 minutes

A documentary depicting the life of a Ukrainian family that refuses a contemporary lifestyle. There, where the old clashes with the new, where something unique is being transformed, conflict arises. The film focuses on the family and the difficult living conditions caused by a Kiev construction project.

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