Bille August coming to Febiofest

The biggest film festival in Prague has announced some of its schedule

The Prague International Film Festival – Febiofest will deliver contemporary world cinema and some retrospectives, and bring several noteworthy filmmakers to Prague.

The 26th edition of the festival will run March 21–29 with most screenings at CineStar Anděl plus additional films at CineStar Černý Most, Ponrepo and Municipal Library cinemas. The invitational gala opening will be held at Prague’s Obecní dům. Over nine days the festival in Prague will show over 150 films in 16 sections.

Highlights announced so far include Peter Jackson’s World War I documentary They Shall Not Grow Old, which adds sound and color to old footage to look at the war from a soldier’s point of view.

The makers drew on over 100 hours of material.

There will also be a screening of If Beale Street Could Talk, by director Barry Jenkins. The award-winning film is based on a James Baldwin novel. Jenkins’ Oscar-winning Moonlight was shown at the festival in the past.

Two recipients of the Kristián award have been announced. Czech actress Jiřina Bohdalová will get one and Oscar recipient and winner of the Cannes Palme d’Or, Danish director Bille August, will get another.

Throughout the entire existence of the Cannes film festival, only eight directors have received its Palme d’Or prize twice. One of them is Bille August.

The Danish director, who recently turned 70, shot Les Misérables with Liam Neeson and Uma Thurman in Prague in 1997, so he is no stranger to the city.

In 1989 he earned an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language film for Pelle the Conqueror, which had earned a Palme d’Or the previous year. In 1992 he again took a Palme d’Or, this time for The Best Intentions.

Last year at Febiofest audiences had a chance to catch his 55 Steps, starring Helena Bonham Carter and Hilary Swank. August will receive a Kristián award for outstanding artistic contribution to world cinema at Febiofest’s closing ceremony.

The festival will present his films Pelle the Conqueror, Silent Heart, The House of the Spirits and his latest work, A Fortunate Man.

The Central Park section – for premieres, comedies, historical dramas and star actors – in addition to If Beale Street Could Talk, will have actor-turned-director Ralph Fiennes’ The White Crow, a biopic of dancer and choreographer Rudolf Nureyev focused on his 1961 defection from the USSR, and the German-Italian thriller Never Look Away by Oscar-winning director Florian Henckel von Donnesmarsk.

After the success of the jubilee Best Of section last year, this year a permanent forum has been created for newly restored and digitized world cinema classics. Viewers will be able to enjoy The Swimming Pool with Alain Delon and Romy Schneider, which is 50 years old, Wings of Desire by Wim Wenders and David Lynch’s Wild at Heart. The director’s cut of William Friedkin’s horror classic The Exorcist, and Daisies, by Czech director Věra Chytilová and cinematographer Jaroslav Kučera, will also be presented.

Aside from Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old, other noteworthy documentaries will include Westwood: Punk, Icon, Activist about the famous UK fashion designer Vivienne Westwood and Friedkin Uncut about William Friedkin, director of cult films The French Connection and The Exorcist. There is also the world premiere of Jaroslav Kučera Up Close, about Czech cinematographer Jaroslav Kučera.

The festival’s highly popular culinary section this year offering is three experiences over three evenings. On March 22, Morocco meets France in Jean-Philippe Guad’s Tazzeka, a debut feature about love and migration. Afterwards, viewers will have a special menu created for the film by master chef Lukáš Čížek. March 23 will see a screening of Marco Ferreri’s La Grande Bouffe, an opulent gastro orgy headed in one direction. Chefs Filip Sajler, Martin Staněk and Lukáš Čížek have prepared a menu in a similar spirit. March 24 will offer Constructing Albert, a documentary by Jimi Loomis and Laura Collado about the road to Michelin stars. A dinner inspired by that film will be produced by Filip Sajler.

Admission to individual screenings is Kč 99. Festival passes cost Kč 699 for three days, Kč 999 for five days and Kč 1,699 for nine days.

Admission to films including the dinners within Culinary Cinema is Kč 1,190.

Advance sales for festival passes and Culinary Cinema events are already underway at www.febiofest.cz.

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