Debutants dominate Czech Critics' Awards nominations
by Viktor Palák
Robert Sedlacek's witty family road-movie Rodina je zaklad statu and debutant Zdenek Jirasky's social drama Poupata [+see also:
film profile] gained most nominations for the Czech Film Critics' Awards which were announced on Monday. Both films received eight nominations and will compete in the categories of Best Film, Best Screenplay and Best Director.
Another debut – the rotoscope animation Alois Nebel [+see also:
film profile] by Tomas Lunak, who attended the premiere of the film in Venice a few months ago – gained five nominations, as did Innocence [+see also:
interview: Jan Hrebejk
film profile], a new feature by Academy-Award nominee Jan Hrebejk. Eighty letters (Osmdesat dopisu) and The House [+see also:
interview: Zuzana Liová
film profile] (Dum) are also debut films and both premiered at the Forum sidebar of this year's Berlinale, gaining three and two nominations respectively.
The WW2 epic drama Lidice was completely absent from the nominations, as are the major commercial hits of the season. Robert Sedlacek and Jan Hrebejk are the most experienced directors on the list, but while Hrebejk is still considered to be a hit-maker, Sedlacek's uncompromising depictions of contemporary Czech society, often produced by 2011's Producer on the Move Radim Prochazka, tend to have a hard time at the box office.
The awards were founded last year to supplement the annual Czech Lions awards. The Film and TV Academy, which votes for the Lions, has been under criticism for not seeing all films of the season and routinely selecting the obvious names without paying attention to the undercurrents.
Fifty one film journalists voted in the first round - the winner of the Czech Film Critics' Awards will be announced January 14 at a ceremony hosted by actor Ondrej Vetchy. All votes will then be made public.
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