The Czech Centres have prepared hundreds of events for the duration of the Czech Republic’s Presidency of the Council of the EU. The main theme that is represented in programs of all 24 Czech Centres in 21 countries around the world is the link between tradition and the present. Jaroslav Kantůrek, Director General of the Czech Centres, commented: “We want to show that the Czech Republic is a modern and creative European country with a rich cultural heritage as well as vibrant contemporary art scene.”
One of the most important focuses of the Czech Centres is the presentation and promotion of Czech cinematography. Made in Prague: The New Czech Cinema UK Tour co-organized by the Czech Centre London presents a selection of the best Czech feature films and documentaries introducing the diversity of Czech culture and cinema. The UK audience will be introduced to eight new Czech films. This two-month tour with 61 screenings in 13 locations from London to the Scottish Aberdeen makes it the largest showcase of Czech cinema in Great Britain.
The Czech Center New York launched The New Generation of Czech Animation in the newly reconstructed National Hall in January. The exhibition presents the work of young Czech directors, designers and animators Michael Žabka, Vaclav Švankmajer, Noro Držiak, John and David Sukup Bubeníček. All were students at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts’ (FAMU) Department of Animation that was opened in 1990. The New Generation of Czech Animation was initiated and produced by Czech Center under the auspices of Václav Jehlička, the Minister of Culture. The exhibition is accompanied with a six-language catalogue. After New York, it will be exhibited at the Czech Centres in Berlin, Budapest, Bucharest, Košice, London, Paris, Sofia, Stockholm and Tokyo. Czechs can see this exhibition at the Czech Centre Prague at the end of April.
The Czech Centres will continue the previously successful collaboration with the human rights film festival One World. We will offer the best of the festival to viewers in many countries. During the time of our Presidency, it will be shown in Bucharest, New York, and Sofia. By the end of the year the selection will move on to the Czech Centres Berlin, Bratislava, Budapest, Warsaw and Vienna.
Another great achievement of Czech cinematography includes the Prize for Best Documentary for Helena Třeštíková at the Sofia Film Festival. Since she was not present Michael W. Pospisil, Director of the Czech Centre Sofia accepted the prize. Pavel Štingl, another Czech documentary filmmaker and a member of the international jury presented four-day showcase of his films. Thanks to the cooperation of the Festival with the Czech Centre the audience was also able to see Karamazovi, a new award winning film by Petr Zelenka.
Other important film events supported by the Czech Centres include the participation at the prestigious festivals such as the Pantalla Pinamar and the Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente (International Independent Film Festival in Buenos Aires BAFICI) in Argentina, the EU XXL Forum and Festival of European Film in Krems or during programs such as the Fresh Film Fest Echoes in Vienna, the FAMUFEST Echoes in Kosice and Czech contemporary film presentation in Paris.
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