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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Czech Republic

Charlatan charms at the annual Czech Lion ceremony

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- Agnieszka Holland’s biopic has won the Best Film Award, while the period drama flick Shadow Country was honoured with the most trophies

Charlatan charms at the annual Czech Lion ceremony
Producers Kevan van Thompson (left) and Šárka Cimbalová (centre) receiving the Award for Best Film for Charlatan (© Czech Film and Television Academy)

On the heels of the Czech Film Critics’ Awards comes the annual Czech Lion ceremony, which sees members of the Czech Film and Television Academy casting their votes to celebrate the domestic cinema of 2020. The Czech Film Critics’ Awards (see the news) had already singled out Agnieszka Holland’s period biopic Charlatan [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Agnieszka Holland
film profile
]
and Bohdan Sláma’s period drama Shadow Country [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
as two of the strongest hopefuls, and indeed, Shadow Country had been leading the nominations here. Sláma’s first foray into period film, a collective portrait of a Czech village near the German border during the events of the 1930s, 1940s and 1950s, won a total of six awards, including Best Actress (for both the leading and supporting roles), Best Screenplay and Best Editing.

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Producers Šárka Cimbalová and Kevan Van Thompson received the Award for Best Film in person, with Agnieszka Holland accepting it online, after the Czech Film and Television Academy voted Charlatan, a period biopic about a healer, as the Best Film of 2020. Martin Štrba received the accolade for Best Cinematography, while actor Ivan Trojan was lauded for the leading role of Jan Mikolášek. Charlatan had been nominated in 14 categories along with the biopic about the last president of Czechoslovakia and the first president of the Czech Republic, Havel [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Slávek Horák. Havel managed to net one award, for Best Make-up and Hairstyling. It came as no surprise when the record-breaking documentary (see the news) Caught in the Net [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
was named Best Documentary of 2020.

Emerging director Adam Martinec returned to the spotlight after he netted Best Short Film at the Czech Film Critics’ Awards for the Hanekesque drama Anatomy of a Czech Afternoon, receiving a trophy in the same category from the Czech academy members as well – a prize that has been added to the roster of Czech Lion gongs for the first time. In addition, Martinec also received the Magnesia Award for Best Student Film. For the first time in the history of the Czech Lions, animated film also secured its own category. Love Is Just a Death Away by Bára Anna Stejskalová, a short film about a parasite, and Hungry Bear Tales by Alexandra Májová and Kateřina Karhánková picked up nominations in the new category, in which Jan Balej’s feature-length adventure film A Colourful Dream came out on top.

The Czech Film and Television Academy has also been recognising the greatest achievements on the small screen. After last year’s win, producer-director Viktor Tauš took home another accolade for the television project Rats, this time in the Best Television Drama Series category. The miniseries directed by Slovak filmmaker Peter Bebjak Actor (see the news) won in the Best Television Film or Miniseries category. In a curious turn of events, all three projects nominated for Extraordinary Audiovisual Achievement actually received the award. They include the Emmy-winning webseries #martyisdead (see the news), and the innovative projects Film Naživo (Cinema Live) and Televize Naživo (Television Live), which emerged as alternative channels for culture in the age of COVID-19. Indeed, the National Film Museum (NaFilM) opened two years ago in Prague as the first of its kind in the Czech Republic.

Here is the complete list of winners at the 28th edition of the Czech Lion Awards:

Best Film
Charlatan [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Agnieszka Holland
film profile
]
– Agnieszka Holland (Czech Republic/Slovakia/Poland/Ireland)

Best Documentary
Caught in the Net [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
– Barbora Chalupová, Vít Klusák (Czech Republic/Slovakia)

Best Director
Agnieszka Holland - Charlatan

Best Actress
Magdaléna Borová – Shadow Country [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Czech Republic/Slovakia)

Best Actor
Ivan Trojan – Charlatan

Best Supporting Actress
Petra Špalková – Shadow Country

Best Supporting Actor
Jiří Mádl – Droneman [+see also:
trailer
interview: Petr Zelenka
film profile
]
(Czech Republic/Slovakia/Slovenia)

Best Screenplay
Ivan Arsenjev – Shadow Country

Best Cinematography
Martin Štrba - Charlatan

Best Editing
Jan Daňhel – Shadow Country

Best Sound
Radim Hladík Jr - Charlatan

Best Music
Jakub Kudláč – Shadow Country

Best Stage Design
Martin Kurel – Maria Theresa II (Austria/Czech Republic/Slovakia/Hungary)

Best Costume Design
Zuzana Bambušek Krejzková – Shadow Country

Best Make-up and Hairstyling
Adriana Bartošová, René Stejskal – Havel [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]

Best Television Film or Miniseries
Actor – Peter Bebjak

Best Television Drama Series
Rats - Viktor Tauš

Best Animated Film
A Colourful Dream – Jan Balej

Best Short Film
Anatomy of a Czech Afternoon – Adam Martinec

Extraordinary Audiovisual Achievement
#martyisdead (webseries) - Pavel Soukup
Film Naživo and Televize Naživo projects, NaFilM film museum

Honorary Award for Extraordinary Contribution to Czech Cinema
Hynek Bočan

Non-statutory awards

Magnesia Award for Best Student Film
Anatomy of a Czech Afternoon – Adam Martinec

Best Film Poster
Shadow Country - Bohdan Sláma

Film Fans’ Award
Caught in the Net – Barbora Chalupová, Vít Klusák

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