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FESTIVALS / AWARDS Czech Republic

Shadow Country crowned Best Czech Film of 2020 by domestic film critics

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- Agnieszka Holland has been hailed as Best Director for the biopic drama Charlatan, the Czech submission for the Oscars race

Shadow Country crowned Best Czech Film of 2020 by domestic film critics
The gala ceremony for the 2021 Czech Film Critics' Awards

Czech film critics have been celebrating domestic cinema and audiovisual production from 2020 at the annual ceremony of the Czech Film Critics’ Awards. The critics voted the black-and-white period drama Shadow Country [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Bohdan Sláma as the top domestic movie. The story, penned by Ivan Arsenjev, is based on actual events during a massacre in a Czech village, Tušť, shortly after the end of World War II. Magdaléna Borová received the Award for Best Actress for her role as Marie Veberová in Shadow Country, a strong female character who suffers a harsh fate. Another period film based on true events, the biopic Charlatan [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Agnieszka Holland
film profile
]
the Czech submission for the Oscars race – netted two prizes: Agnieszka Holland received the Award for Best Director, while Ivan Trojan won in the Best Actor category for the lead performance.

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EFP hot docs

A story of political activism veering into terrorism, Droneman [+see also:
trailer
interview: Petr Zelenka
film profile
]
, won Petr Zelenka the gong for Best Screenplay. A documentary by Barbora Chalupová and Vít Klusák that maps the modus operandi of online sexual predators, Caught in the Net [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, was hailed as Best Documentary. Caught in the Net in fact made history when it became the first documentary to appear among the finalists in the category of Best Film, where it is usually only fiction features that are nominated.

The cinematography by Viera Čákanyová and Tomáš Klein in the Czech-Slovak experimental doc FREM [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Viera Čakányová
film profile
]
was feted as Best Audiovisual Achievement. Emerging documentarian Jindřich Andrš was Discovery of the Year for his first feature-length outing, A New Shift [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, which has already garnered laurels at Ji.hlava IDFF and DOK Leipzig. The Beyond Cinema category, which honours achievements beyond the big screen, went to Viktor Tauš, Matěj Chlupáček and Miro Šifra, the creators of the TV miniseries Rats, about the drug mafia.

For the first time, the official category of Best Short Film was added to the roster of awardees this year. The film critics were reacting to the increase in local production of short films, which have also been racking up considerable success on the festival circuit. Daria Kaschcheeva’s The Daughter (last year’s Beyond Cinema winner – see the news) made it as the nominee for the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. Meanwhile, the inaugural gong went to young director Adam Martinec for Anatomy of a Czech Afternoon, a parent’s nightmare on a summer’s day, set by a lake and exacerbated by the bystander effect (and inspired by a real-life accident).

Here is the complete list of winners at the Czech Film Critics’ Awards:

Best Film
Shadow Country [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
- Bohdan Sláma (Czech Republic/Slovakia)

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

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

Best Actress
Magdaléna Borová - Shadow Country

Best Actor
Ivan Trojan - Charlatan

Best Audiovisual Achievement
Viera Čákanyová, Tomáš Klein (cinematographers) – FREM [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Viera Čakányová
film profile
]
(Czech Republic/Slovakia)

Innogy Award for Discovery of the Year
Jindřich Andrš – A New Shift [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]

Beyond Cinema Award
Rats – Viktor Tauš, Matěj Chlupáček, Miro Šifra

Best Short Film
Anatomy of a Czech Afternoon – Adam Martinec

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