Czech Lion award has a new design

The trophies for the best Czech films take three days each to make by hand

There will be something new at the 25th Czech Lion (Český lev) film awards this year, The statuette given to the winners will have a new design.

The Czech Film and Television Academy (ČFTA) will again cooperate with the glass factory Rückl in Central Bohemia. The factory has been a longtime partner of the Czech Lion. The statuettes were cast in the Rückl factory between 2001 and 2012, and then made by different designers at other glassworks. Unlike the Oscar statue in the US, the Czech Lion’s look changes very often.

“To mark the 25th anniversary of the Czech Lion, we present a new award statue. It consists of two parts; the upper part in the form of the lion and the lower part forming the pedestal. Thanks to the handmade production of the pedestal, each piece of the statuette is original,” ČFTA president Ivo Mathé, said in a press release.

The designer and artistic director of the glass factory is Rony Plesl, who wanted to create a more down-to-earth statue.

“The lion's mane adorns the tip, and the stem and base have stars. … It carries elements that are typical of the Rückl Czech glass collection. I was inspired by the poetry of Josef Lada and the morphology of Czech Cubism, I wanted to create a friendly and kind lion,” Plesl said.

One crystal lion weighs exactly two kilograms and is nearly 28 centimeters tall with the pedestal. The production of one statuette from molding to gluing can take three days. However, the total production time depends on the number of pieces produced, so production of 30 statues can take up to a month.

The trophy is produced with a different technology than previous versions. In a metallic, several-piece mold, the lion is formed under pressure. After the molding is complete, the statuette is cooled for about one day and then sanded and polished. The pedestal is produced by glass blowing and manually molded. Then the pedestal is hand-polished. The lion and the pedestal are glued together with a special adhesive.

The family glass factory Rückl has made cut crystal since 1846. The tradition of melting glass, however, has been passed on from generation to generation for 300 years. The factory specializes in handmade production and uses centuries-old proven techniques.

Some 25 live-action and animated films and 26 documentaries that had been distributed in 2017 were considered Czech Lion nominations.

The leader in nomination is the film Ice Mother (Bába z ledu) by director Bohdan Sláma with 15. Altogether 13 nominations were received by the film Barefoot (Po strništi bos) by director Jan Svěrák. The third-highest number of nominations, 10, went to the biopic Milada by David Mrnka.

The Czech Lion has been given out since 1993, and is considered the local equivalent of the Academy Awards. Films are voted for by members of the Czech Film and Television Academy. Currently, ČFTA has 297 members.

The ceremony will take place on Saturday, March 10, 2018, at the Dvořák Hall of the Prague Rudolfinum, and will be broadcast live by Czech Television on ČT1 from 8 pm.

Related article:
Czech Lion (Český lev) nominations announced - Prague.TV, 17.01.2018

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