The 44th annual of the international festival of popular-scientific films, which belongs among the most renowned events of its kind in Europe, takes place in Olomouc from the 14th to the 19th of April, 2009.

    Academia Film Olomouc - the unique platform where science and art meet - is, again, organized by Palacky University in Olomouc.

    Following the pattern of the former annuals, the festival programme will be divided into several traditional blocks. Besides the CZECH and INTERNATIONAL competition, which aims to award the best popular-scientific films of the last year, there is the section, HOMAGE, that is devoted to Mark Rissi, one of the pioneer artists who deal with the issues of animal rights. An important component of this block is the selection of his latest films shot in China, as well as his older pieces which handle several congenial themes through narrative film. Mark Rissi will personally introduce his choice of foreign documentaries which he considers make the most influential contribution to discussions about environmental issues.

    Are we standing at the threshhold of knowledge about the universe, or is it still a Spanish village for us? This question may characterize one of the 44th AFO annual central themes titled SECRETS OF THE UNIVERSE. The guarantor is the Czechoslovakian physics magazine (Československý časopis pro fyziku).

    The highlight of this year's Academia Film Olomouc festival is the section called HOUSE M.D. - TRUTH OR MYTH? The problems with the depiction of current medical trends in fictional audiovisual shows will be discussed by prestigious American journalist, CNN corespondent and Emmy Award winner, Andrew Holtz who is also the author of the bestselling book: "The Medical Science of House, M.D."

    The diversity of the 44th AFO programme will be complete thanks to other exceptional thematic areas. One of the brand new sections is called GENDERRR and its long-range vistas aim to introduce the problems of emancipatory thinking and the field of gender.

    The issues of gender socialization as a part of everyday life of both adults and kids is the main point of departure of this year's pilot block. It deals with the processes of "repetitive learning of being man or woman" which we all experience from our early childhood without even realizing. Another social-scientific block is called SOCIAL EXPERIMENT - EXPERIMENTS ON HUMANS and focuses on the history and morality of experiments on human beings. The initiative is the unique penitentiary experiment in Stanford in 1971, when a group of volunteers was placed into an artificial environment, taking on the roles of convicts and wardens.

    History is the aim of a preview from one of the most influential American popular-scientific projects of the thirties and the forties - Popular Science. It is an invitation to the next annual where the theme will be dealt with in detail thanks to Czech and foreign historians.

    Even this year, the AFO organizers provide both the visitors and the wider public with several other options besides the pupular-scientific audiovisual shows; discussions, film screenings at the Upper Square in Olomouc, exhibitions and a student film competition.

    A traditional part of every Academia Film Olomouc annual is also the accompanying music programme. This year, we have the Czech electronic music classic - Ohm Square from Prague; the holders of several Popular Music Academy awards - indie rock band Sunshine; a new generation folk singer Niceland and an original hip-hop duo Čoko Voko.

    For those how won't be able to come and experience the 44th Academia Film Olomouc annual, they will have the chance to watch the news daily with aFokus on the Czech Television. The festival events will also be reflected on a day-to-day basis through the festival magazine Afohled which will extend its paperback presentation to the blog on AFO website. After the end of this year's annual AFO in region will also provide other towns within the Olomouc region with a portion of the AFO programme. Even several other chosen cities (Vienna, Paris, Brussels) will be given the chance to see the Festival Echoes.

    "There are more than two hundred films from around the world registered for the Academia Film competition. Academia Film Olomouc provides the audience with films and programme blocks that can be found exclusively here, and its range and variety makes it the leading European festival of its kind. I believe that the audience will once again enjoy the great atmosphere, the films and the accompanying programme," invites AFO 2009 director Petr Bilík.

    Besides the support of more than one hundred UP students, the AFO organizational team is enjoying its third year of partnership with the International Documentary Festival Jihlava.

    Accreditation/admission to Academia Film Olomouc is entirely FREE! In addition, those who will manage to accredit through afo.cz website until March 31st, 2009 are provided with free accomodation.