Czech Film Archives Celebrates 70th Anniversary


    PRAGUE: Michal Bregant, General Director of the newly revitalized Czech National Film Archives (NFA) presided over a 70th anniversary celebration that attracted some of the top film industry heads.

    The Czech NFA, one of the ten oldest film archives in the world, was founded in 1943 in an effort to save and protect the rich Czech film heritage during the darkest days of WWII. Bregant introduced a screening of the earliest commercials shot in the Czech Republic, including one almost surreal and sly masterpiece co-directed by Oscar-winning director Elmar Klos (The Shop on Main Street) and experimental pioneer Alexander Hackenschmied (aka Alexander Hammid) for the Czech shoe company Bata.

    Attending the festivities were Peter Dubecky, General Director of the Slovak Film Institute, Czech MEDIA Desk director Daniela Stanikova, Czech Film Commission head Ludmila Clausova, founder and CEO of Film Europe media company Ivan Hronec, FAMU dean Pavel Jech, and Helena Frankova, director of the Czech Cinematography Fund. Frankova, who agreed to head up the fund temporarily, told FNE she expects she will have to stay at the fund until January 2014 due to upcoming elections and an anticipated change of government.

    Bregant oversaw major changes in the year leading up to the anniversary celebrations, including incorporating the Czech Film Center under the umbrella of the NFA, making him one of the most important voices in the Czech film industry.