The Czech Republic will send the film Il Boemo by Petr Václav to fight for the Oscar

    Il Boemo by Petr Václav Il Boemo by Petr Václav credit: Mimesis Film

    In Prague, 12th Sept 2022 – The Czech Film and Television Academy (CFTA), which presents the Czech Lion Awards to Czech films, also chooses the candidate for the Oscar in the category Best International Feature Film every year. This year the academics decided by voting to send the film Il Boemo directed and written by Petr Václav to fight for the Czech Republic. The historical epic movie introduces the most famous Czech composer of the 18th century Josef Mysliveček and the leading actor representing the composer is Vojtěch Dyk. The movie will be premiered in the main competition of the San Sebastian film festival, which starts this Friday. It will be officially released in Czech cinemas on 20th October 2022.

    The voting about the candidate for the Oscar took place from 29th August to 9th September and the academics were choosing from 15 Czech feature films and documentary features submitted by their producers. Just behind the film by Petr Václav were the films Nightsiren directed by Tereza Nvotová and Victim directed by Michal Blaško (in alphabetical order). The Oscar shortlist of the 15 international feature films will be published on 21st December 2022 and the nominations will be announced on 24th January 2023. The ceremonial gala evening of the 95th annual awards of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will take place on 12th March 2023.

    The director Petr Václav has been working on the film Il Boemo for more than ten years and is also the author of the screenplay. The film depicts the life of one of the most famous Czech composers Josef Mysliveček, who managed to break through among his great Italian rivals during his lifetime. Apart from Vojtěch Dyk, the other main roles are played by the actresses Barbara Ronchi, Elena Radonicich or Lana Vlady. The operatic arias written by Mysliveček were performed authentically by prominent world-famous opera soloists such as Philippe Jaroussky, Simona Šaturová, Raffaella Milanesi or Emőke Baráth, who were accompanied by the leading Czech baroque orchestra Collegium 1704 under the baton of the conductor Václav Luks. The film was shot in the Czech Republic as well as in Italy and it was created as a Czech-Italian-Slovak coproduction.

    The director and screenwriter Petr Václav is the graduate of FAMU in Prague. Even his feature film debut Marian in 1996 won many awards abroad, e.g. Silver Leopard at the IFF in Locarno, the award for the director in Angers, Belfort, Teheran, Bratislava and it was nominated for the Czech Lion as well. In 2001 it was followed by the film Parallel Worlds, which made it to the final of the screenplay competition of the Sundance Institute/NHK Award and it was screened in the competition section of the San Sebastian film festival. His next movie was called The Way Out and it was presented at the film festival in Cannes in 2014, in the ACID section and thus it became the first Czech premiere at this most important film festival after 23 years. The film has obtained seven Czech Lions, including the categories of the best feature film, screenplay and director. The drama We Are Never Alone (2016) won the audience award Tagesspiegel at the Berlinale festival and the award for the artistic contribution at the IFF in Cairo. His last film that had been presented in Czech cinemas is the road movie The Jumper from the year of 2017.

    Last year it was the film called Zátopek directed by David Ondříček which went to fight for the Oscar. So far only two Czechoslovak and one Czech film have managed to get the award for the Best International Feature Film. In 1965 it was The Shop on Main Street by Ján Kádár and Elmar Klos. Two years later the film Closely Watched Trains by Jiří Menzel won the prize and in 1996 it was Kolya by Jan Svěrák. Six more films have managed to get among the nominees: The Loves of a Blond (1966) and The Firemen’s Ball (1968) by Miloš Forman, My Sweet Little Village (1986) by Jiří Menzel, The Elementary School (1991) by Jan Svěrák, Divided We Fall (2000) by Jan Hřebejk and the last time Želary (2003) by Ondřej Trojan.

    About the Czech Film and Television Academy:

    The Czech Film and Television Academy was founded in 1995 and in 2013 it was transformed into a registered association. Its main aim is to support and promote Czech cinematographic art in the Czech Republic as well as abroad and create conditions for the development of Czech film. The academy presents the most prestigious Czech film award – the Czech Lion and nominates the Czech candidate for the awards of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. At the moment the CFTA consists of 367 members.