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FESTIVALS Czech Republic

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Finále Plzeň enters a new era

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- The annual showcase of Czech cinema has revamped its programming concept

Finále Plzeň enters a new era
I, Olga Hepnarová by Petr Kazda and Tomás Weinreb

The annual Czech showcase of domestic production, Finále Plzeň, has undergone a revamp for its upcoming 29th edition. With a concept similar to the Diagonale Austrian film showcase in Graz, Finále Plzeň presents a comprehensive summary of what has happened in Czech cinema over the last 12 months, without overlooking documentary and television projects. The main novelty this time around is the new organisational team behind the festival, led by newly elected Eva Veruňková Košarová. “We would like to draw from the best that Finále Plzeň has had to offer in the past and at the same time launch a new future for the event. Practically speaking, it means that we will keep the competition section in the programme, but the whole concept will be made more concise. We want to focus on making the event more prestigious – the place to be for both the filmmakers and the general public – and we aim to attract young visitors,”says the new director.

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The gathering has three competition sections, with a Golden Kingfisher up for grabs in each: they are for feature-length fiction and animated films, documentary films, and serial and non-serial television and internet productions. The first section of the competition features internationally acclaimed titles such as Koza [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Ivan Ostrochovský
film profile
]
, Eva Nová [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Marko Škop
film profile
]
, The Snake Brothers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jan Prušinovský
film profile
]
, Home Care [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Slávek Horák
film profile
]
and Lost in Munich [+see also:
trailer
interview: Petr Zelenka
film profile
]
, as well as domestic films that did not travel abroad, comprising mostly genre fare, such as the comedy Chasing 50, the crime-comedy Wilson City [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and Gangster Ka: African [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
. The documentary section includes Under the Sun [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Vitaly Mansky
film profile
]
by Vitaly Mansky, a Russian documentary co-produced by the Czech Republic and shot in North Korea, Petr Václav’s Confession of the Vanished [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Helena Třeštíková’s Mallory and two episodes from the investigative docu-series Czech Journal. Besides the array of 2015 productions, the new programming concept features the Riding the 2016 Wave sidebar, presenting recently premiered films like I, Olga Hepnarová [+see also:
film review
trailer
making of
film focus
interview: Tomáš Weinreb, Petr Kazda
film profile
]
, We Are Never Alone [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Petr Vaclav
film profile
]
, The Red Captain and the fairy tale Crazy Kingdom. Another novelty, Czech Traces, will spotlight projects from beyond the national borders but which have been minority co-produced by the Czech Republic, including Aferim! [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Radu Jude
film profile
]
, the Polish drama The Red Spider [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Marcin Koszalka
film profile
]
, the war drama Child 44 [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, starring Tom Hardy, Gyula NemesZero [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
and Xavier Giannoli’s Marguerite [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Xavier Giannoli
film profile
]

Besides the screenings, Finále Plzeň will dedicate a special space to domestic and international filmmakers so that they can meet and find solutions in the industry programme. Besides MIDPOINT’s workshop, which focuses on developing television projects, and the festival’s third edition of its dramaturgy workshop, a new initiative called Czech Film Springboard is set to be inaugurated after being prepared in collaboration with the Czech Film Center. The event is intended to “draw the attention of competent international experts to interesting Czech projects at various stages of development”, which will happen behind closed doors. Other gatherings for film professionals will tackle regional support for audiovisual productions and developing a film within an international lab. 

Finále Plzeň runs from 15-21 April in Pilsen, the Czech Republic.

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