Catherine Deneuve coming to Febiofest

The 25th edition of the film festival starts March 15

The 25th edition of the Prague International Film Festival – Febiofest starts March 15 and will run to March 22, with most screenings at CineStar Anděl.

The biggest star announced as a guest is the French actress Catherine Deneuve, who will receive the Kristián lifetime achievement award at the opening ceremony. She can be seen in two films in a retrospective of French director Arnaud Desplechin, who will also be receiving a Kristián award later in the festival.

Catherine Deneuve will introduce the 2008 film A Christmas Tale on March 16, the only event with her that is open to the general public.

Czech cinema legend Daniela Kolářová and French director Leos Carax will also get the same award and have some of their films screened.

Both Carax and Desplechin will lead master classes at Ponrepo.

This festival will be launched at the Municipal House (Obecní dům) with The Party by UK director Sally Potter. The British drama features Kristin Scott Thomas, Timothy Spall, Patricia Clarkson, Emily Mortimer and Cillian Murphy.

The festival closes at CineStar Anděl with the US movie Battle of the Sexes, based on a real 1973 tennis match between Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs. It stars Emma Stone and Steve Carell. Riggs claimed that men were superior to women and that the match would prove it.

Between the opening and closing, there will be a large program with 15 categories and many visiting stars and filmmakers. “Since it began, the festival has grown tenfold and today viewers come from all age and social groups. Further growth is likely to come in quality, I think,” said the festival president and founder Fero Fenič.

The actor and comedian Mark Gatiss, who played Sherlock Holmes’ brother Mycroft in the series Sherlock, is coming to Prague for the first days of Febiofest and will present the eight-part series Queers at the festival on March 16.

One section that is of particular interest in Central Park, which presents significant new releases. Todd Haynes’ new film Wonderstruck and Richard Linklater’s Last Flag Flying are two films from US cult directors. Roman J Israel, Esq, starring Denzel Washington, is also featured. The actor had an Oscar nomination for the film but did not win.

The new film The Interpreter, starring Jiří Menzel and Peter Simonischek, will be shown with English subtitles. Most screenings later in Czech theaters will only have Czech titles since the film is in Slovak and German.

The Made in USA section has recent independent American films in a number of genres. Suspense and horror fans will want to check out the Night Circus section.

There will be a section of culinary cinema, with films at CineStar Anděl paired with a thematic meal at a nearby restaurant.

A jury of 33 film fans, headed by singer Marta Kubišová, will select the winner of the festival’s Grand Prix and accompanying € 5,000 award, which will be awarded at the closing. The jury will judge films in the New Europe section, which is open to emerging filmmakers showing their first or second works.

Febiofest also bestows the Amnesty International Febiofest Award. At the festival, AI will be promoting a petition for the release of Tibetan teacher Tashi Wangchuk, who is facing 15 years in prison for advocating for the teaching of Tibetan at Tibetan schools.

There are also prizes in the You’re the Filmmaker competition for amateur filmmakers. The theme of the contest was the festival’s motto Let yourself be carried away.

New at this year’s edition are festival passes, which are available for three, five or nine days. Alongside cheaper tickets, festival passes also deliver free or discounted entrance to the festival’s accompanying program. Festival passes can be purchased at the festival’s website. Holders will be able to buy tickets online from noon on March 8; regular advance sales do not begin until midnight that day.

This year’s festival offers more films and screenings than ever before. During 25 years, it has been attended by several hundred thousand viewers who have seen almost 4,400 films from 186 countries.

Febiofest is also growing in terms of regional versions of the Prague festival. This year it will visit 16 other cities and towns throughout the Czech Republic, presenting a program of over 170 feature films in 15 sections in more than 430 public screenings.

In Prague, aside from CineStar Anděl and Ponrepo, films will be shown at CineStar at Černý Most and the Municipal Library.

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