Febiofest will feature ten films with Czech participation

Fero Fenič, the president of Febiofest, named an honorary citizen of Prague

There will be two more films with Czech participation at the upcoming 23rd Prague IFF - Febiofest in addition to the eight previously announced ones. The additions are the recently completed Czech/Austrian film Menandros & Thaïs directed by Antonín Šilar and Ondřej Cikán, and the Czech distribution preview We Are Never Alone directed by Petr Václav. The complete Febiofest programme was published on March 2nd on the festival website and tickets will go on sale beginning on March 9th. Until March 9th, the only tickets available for purchase are Culinary Cinema tickets.

Ardent film lovers adore Miguel Gomes, the Portuguese director and creator of the three-part film Arabian Nights, and that is why it is brilliant to have some Czech filmmakers, who are also able to capture bold and inventive film poetics combining history and mythology with the present. These fearless filmmakers are choosing to experiment over attempting to shoot another “nice Czech” film for the masses, as has sadly become a habit around here,” says Hana Cielová in regard to Menandros & Thaïs. This experimental adventure film is based on the novel of the same name by Ondřej Cikán, who calls it the wildest classical romance novel of all time. A group of pirates kidnap Thaïs during her wedding, her fiancé Menandros becomes a bloodthirsty avenger, and sets out to search for his beloved in the surreal world of Scythian cowboys, drugged dwarfs and underwater monsters. The directors merge the motifs of ancient Greek adventure novels with the vices of contemporary society and create a powerful stylized Odyssey – a classical road movie. “It is apparent that this film was created on a minimal budget but with maximal effort and enthusiasm. Where there are ideas, an excessive budget is not necessary, and this film proves this saying,” says Štefan Uhrík. This film was made by the Austrian/Czech group of artists Die Gruppe, co-produced by FAMU and Nutprodukce, and the company of Burning Bush creators.

Another interesting endeavour by Czech filmmakers’ is Petr Václav’s new film We Are Never Alone, which has, so far, been only featured at the Berlinale, where it also received the Tagesspiegel Readers' Award in its Forum section. In this new contemporary drama set in the Czech borderlands, Václav develops themes from his previous films, and collaborates with such actors as Karel Roden, Lenka Vlasáková and Klaudia Dudová from his successful film The Way Out. Febiofest will feature ten films with Czech participation: beside We Are Never Alone and Menandros & Thaïs, they are I, Olga Hepnarová, Eva Nová, Siska Deluxe,
Murderous Tales, Honey Night, Dust of the Ground, The Red Spider and Road-Movie.

After last year’s exhibition of Kim Novak’s paintings at the Strahov monastery, Febiofest organises an exhibition of Andrzej Wajda’s drawing reproductions in CineStar Anděl in Prague. The versatile Polish artist was awarded the Kristán Award for Contribution to the World Cinema in 2014. Andrzej Wajda originally studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow and went on to the National Film School in Łódź 3 years later. Wajda’s love for the arts endured as evidenced both by his films and his life-long interest in drawing – be it scenic designs for film and theatre, portraits of his friends, or the places he visited. Wajda directed the award-winning films Ashes and Diamonds, The Promised Land, Man of Marble or Katyn. Wajda is one of the most prominent Polish filmmakers and was awarded an honorary Academy Award in 2000. The drawings were provided by the Manggha Museum of Japanese Art and Technology in Krakow, which manages Wajda’s collection archive.

On March 1st, Fero Fenič, the film and television director, producer, and the founder and president of the Prague International Film Festival – Febiofest, received the highest recognition awarded by the capital of the Czech Republic – honorary citizenship of Prague. Prague has been awarding this status since 1920 and Fero Fenič will become the first filmmaker ever to receive it. Fenič is also the only citizen of Slovakia to receive it in the last forty years. In the past, honorary citizenship of Prague has been awarded to Sir Nicholas Winton, conductor Rafael Kubelík, writer Josef Škvorecký and Václav Havel.

The 23rd Prague IFF – Febiofest will take place from March 17th to 25th and the festival will then continue in all regions of the Czech Republic as Echoes of Febiofest.

For more information please visit www.febiofest.cz or www.facebook.com/febiofest

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