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FESTIVALS Czech Republic

A glimpse into Czech audiovisual production at Finále Plzeň

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- The gathering is readying its annual showcase of domestic production, both past and future

A glimpse into Czech audiovisual production at Finále Plzeň
Insect by Jan Švankmajer

As always, this year’s Finále Plzeň domestic showcase will offer a compact insight into Czech audiovisual production. The 31st edition will group together fiction, documentary and animated films alongside television and web series and student films from the past year, in four competition sections. Besides the home-turf screenings of films such as Ice Mother [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
The Line [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Andrey Yermak
interview: Peter Bebjak
film profile
]
Little Crusader [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Václav Kadrnka
film profile
]
Out [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: György Kristóf
film profile
]
 and Little Harbour [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Iveta Grófová
film profile
]
, visitors will have the chance to enjoy the past year’s crop of documentary offerings, which discuss topics such as family structures outside the norm ((Non)Parent [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Jana Počtová), domestic YouTube “celebrities” (Following by Jiří Sádek), an undercover probe into underpaid jobs (The Limits of Work by Apolena Rychlíková) and the portrait of a “gentle neo-Nazi” (Vít Klusák’s The White World According to Daliborek [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Vít Klusák
film profile
]
). More fiction and documentary films abound in the non-competitive sections In the Nets of 2017 and Documentary Dimensions 2017, whereas student films will be on show in At the Source.

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Finále Plzeň provides a very comprehensive overview, as the past year’s cinematic output is rounded off by offerings completed in 2018. Besides titles already released in Czech theatres, such as Jan Švankmajer’s Insect [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jan Švankmajer
film profile
]
Martin Šulík’s The Interpreter [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Martin Šulík
film profile
]
and the political satire Prezident Blaník [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Marek Najbrt, a number of upcoming films will be introduced at pre-premiere and premiere screenings, such as Ondrej Havelka’s romantic thriller HastrmanSaša Dlouhý’s investigation into the reality of the immigrant crisis in the Czech Republic, God Forsaken, and Jan Gebert’s observation of a paramilitary group in When the War Comes [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, all gathered together under the First Catch umbrella. Besides the usual co-production efforts, mostly with Slovakia, Finále Plzeň also spotlights collaborations with countries further afield, this year including a Ron Howard-directed episode of National Geographic’s live-action biography series Genius, about Albert Einstein; Tereza Kotyk’s feature debut, Home Is Here [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Tereza Kotyk
film profile
]
, made as an Austrian-Czech co-production; and Pavo Marinković’s Croatian comedy Ministry of Love [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
.

After the festival’s makeover last year (see the news), a new initiative sprang up within the Czech Film Springboard industry sidebar (see the 2016 and 2017 reports) to introduce projects at the development stage, thus foretelling what can be expected to arrive in two to three years’ time. The rising demand by foreign professionals – mostly sales agents and festival programmers – for more Czech projects in the making encouraged the organisers to add a new presentation section, Work in Progress, where five feature-length films in the post-production phase will be unveiled, ripe for release. During the industry programme, the executive producer of Drama Development at HBO EuropeSteve Matthews, will discuss the entire process from pitching a series to production, Joanna Solecka from Alphapanda will hold a lecture on film marketing in the digital era, and Jacqueline de Goelj will talk about looking for partners in the world of television. 

Finále Plzeň runs from 19-24 April in the city of Pilsen.

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