Get ready to shake up your view of Balkan cinema. Sure, well serve some truly classic Balkan cinema with Tony Gatlifs Cannes hit and a brand new Macedonian/Greek comedy about alternative medications impact on the older generation! But you surely have never seen anything like the gay love story set in a Roma ghetto in Bucharest, a wedding gone nuts in a Kosovar/Albanian cinema, or the slow-burning mental breakdown of a father who loses track of his daughter. There are still echoes of war in the Balkan filmmakers; work, but they are filtered through artistic minds, many debuting directors and womens voices, with a focus on and hope for the new generations.
The special Best of section was created on the occasion of the 25 th anniversary of the
festival, which was established in 1993. We present a selection of the greatest audience hits
that have been introduced to the Czech viewers for the first time at the festival during its
twenty-five years. One of this sections main criteria is, alongside quality and program
diversity, the audience ranking at the csfd.cz website where the overall rating of the selected
film must exceed 80%. Come and enjoy the best audience-approved pictures of world
cinema and savor your favorite film hits, whether you saw them at Febiofest for the first
time, or they reached you later through regular cinema distribution or on TV thanks to their
Early theatrical releases, Czech premieres, comedies, historical dramas, melodramas, road
movies, and star actors in leading roles. Simply put, a great number of quality pictures with
audience potential that constitute the section named after famous Central Park in New York.
Its here where people of all ages, professions and interests meet – families with kids,
sportsmen as well as romantic souls. Similarly, this section should be welcoming to all
viewers and capture the attention of not only the festivals regular visitors, but also those
who might stop by at Febiofest for the very first time.
We are preparing the fourth edition of the exceptional culinary and film experience Culinary Cinema – film screenings accompanied by exclusive dinners. Each evening will include a screening in the Cinestar Praha – Anděl cinema, with a dinner subsequently served in the Restaurant delight in the nearby hotel andels by Vienna House Prague. Guests will thus first see a carefully selected film and then taste a menu inspired by the given film and prepared by a top chef. The section will introduce three new films – an American-style road movie transplanted to the French countryside, action-packed Asian film Cook Up a Storm, and a Danish documentary that peeks behind the scenes of the most famous Michelin restaurants. This selection will be complemented by the screening of a documentary poignantly named Wasted! The Story of Food Waste.
The only section of this years Febiofest that focuses exclusively on documentary hits. These
audience pleasers offer new and interesting views of the world of animals and humans, of
jungles and endless space, and also of music stages. Fans of the art of guitar playing cannot
miss the documentary about Eric Clapton, and also the film about Marianne Faithfull,
directed by actress Sandrine Bonnaire. Fellow actress Vanessa Redgrave chose another
direction and focused on depicting the crisis of child refugees. The Docs section will take you
to Africa, watching animals watching people and the other way round, give you a nostalgic
peek into the heart of the mobile phones early days, and let you get carried away by a visual
odyssey with NASA as a counterpoint.
This years newly named Generation section introduces a selection of films for teenage
viewers as well as for families with kids. The themes center around the influence and
consequences of life in social media, how a person is perceived among their friends, what
image of themselves they create on these platforms, and how dangerous this “sharing” can
be. There are also films about becoming addicted to the world of pop-culture, about trying
to fit into a new peer group, among new friends, and also how a friendship can lead to an
unwanted pregnancy. For the youngest ones, we present a range of the latest cartoon
productions and a documentary called Wilder than Wilderness, revealing the hidden
diversity of nature behind our house.
MADE IN USA
Although Hollywood cinema is probably the most famous worldwide, numerous independent American films come to life every year as well, made outside large studios, and their freedom and emphasis on auteur cinema bring another view of contemporary America. They react to relevant issues, often with uncompromising urgency and quirky visual style. They show a landscape divided not only by the president and politics, but also social differences, sexism, prejudices and xenophobia. The diverse genres of this years selection offer the other side of the Hollywood coin, without comic book heroes saving the world with their supernatural powers, but with the real heroes of American life, who follow their dreams, passions and desire for authenticity despite disadvantaged positions and deficiencies, to save at least a single life. Their own.
There are animals that dont go to sleep at night; they wake up at dusk and head out looking for entertainment. And Febiofest has a tempting range of films for them. Bloody zombie horrors, post-apocalyptic dramas, carefully crafted action with broken arms and shot shoulders, but also politically incorrect humor. There are no limits to the genres, styles, and diagnoses. Youll laugh and youll shiver with fear, maybe feeling a bit embarrassed about both. The only certainty is that this selection of movies will always provoke excitement and emotional suspense in the night viewers , keeping them wide awake in their cinema seats.
The traditional competition section featuring the first films of new European filmmakers presents pictures brimming with ambitious and daring ideas and forms. Films that provoke, reflect, and bring auteur views of the Europe we live in today, and of the relationships we experience. Some head to the foreign countries for their contemplations and themes, others wander into pure fantasy, some observe others with a documentary approach. However, the topic of family seemed to pervade all the films. But theres no doubt that each of the selected filmmakers – although theyre just at the beginning of their careers – offers a distinctive and valuable piece of work. Some have already been discovered and awarded by other festivals while others are still waiting for their first celebrations.
The Panorama section introduces a selection of the most interesting films that had their world premieres at some of the prestigious international festivals last year. Whether they are established or new filmmakers, it;s their progressive approach to film production, innovative form and content, and originality that connect them. This years pick includes not only the traditional festival star countries such as France and Italy, but also films from other continents. Three films represent South African cinema, but the greatest surprise might be the two films from Iran, each of them commenting on the present social situation in the country in their own way.
The genre diversity in the selection of the crème de la crème of contemporary queer cinema brings one of last years most acclaimed films, Call Me By Your Name. Rachel Weisz experiences forbidden love in an Orthodox Jewish community, Isabelle Huppert guides Marvin in Paris, and an Argentinean actor tries to find his luck in New York. Queer history is illustrated by the scandalous birth of the comic-book super-heroine Wonder Woman, and by the fight for decriminalization of homosexuality in the UK. The diversity of identities, stories, and film approaches is shown also in a chilling Icelandic horror, a bitter-sweet romance from Mexico, a German drama about women coming of age, and an art debut presented in Cannes, which depicts the non-binary gender identity of teenagers with great sensitivity.
The cinematic light of the North is shining brighter than ever, and the diversity in genres is evident across the Nordic and Baltic countries. The importance of family however seems to override any other subject. From a snowballing war between neighbors in the Icelandic suburbs, to a moving father-son drama from the Swedish countryside in the 70s, to a breathless gambling story from the Copenhagen underground; sisters riding on the edge of the law in a Finnish road movie, and hybrid films that search for loved ones – to a surprisingly surrealistic portrait of a mothers alternative choices in life in a Georgian- Estonian co-production. Did somebody say dysfunctional?
Profile: Arnaud Desplechin
The French director and scriptwriter graduated from the IDHEC film school and made his name as a cameraman and scriptwriter working on short films by other directors (Eric Rochant, Eric Barbier, Patrick Grandperret). He caught the attention of film critics with his first mid-length film, The Life of the Dead, and his first feature, The Sentinell, placed him among significant contemporary French filmmakers. Most of his subsequent films, such as Esther Kahn, Kings & Queen, A Christmas Tale, Jimmy P., won festival awards all over the world. Arnaud Desplechins work is characterized by the genre of an intimate drama with a detailed psychological analysis of the protagonists; inner world, especially as they often undergo some form of existential crisis.
Daniela Kolářová is one of the most popular Czech actresses. She first appeared on a theater stage at the age of nine in Karlovy Vary, where she grew up. After graduating from the Theater Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, she started in the Divadlo S. K. Neumanna theater, and she has been a permanent member of the Vinohrady Theater since the early 1970s. In 2004, she won the Alfréd Radok Award for the Best Theater Actress for her role as a tyrannical mother in Destination. Daniela Kolářová is a prominent film actress as well; she has appeared in numerous films and television series of diverse genres. In the 1970s and 1980s, she was one of the most frequently cast Czech film and TV actresses; she has cooperated with Zdeněk and Jan Svěrák for a long time. She has been nominated for the Czech Lion award three times, and she won the award for Best Supporting Actress for her role in Kawasaki Rose. Apart from acting, she also works for Czech Radio, where she has voiced characters in over eighty productions.
Profile: Leos Carax
The controversial French director captivated film critics with his short film, Strangulation
Blues, the winner of the Hyères festival, in the early 1980s. In 1984, at the age of just
twenty-four, he made his feature debut named Boy Meets Girl and immediately established
his place among the most talented young directors of that time. Carax found his specific and
unmistakable directing style even without any formal education. His films are visually refined
to the smallest detail. He builds the atmosphere through spectacular visual style, and
significantly loosens the traditional logic of a narrative. A frequent theme appearing in his
work is to show the relationship between a man and a woman on an intellectual and
emotional rather than physical level. Most of his films are to some extent provocative and
playful, with a melancholically romantic worldview. Leos Carax has made only five feature
films in the thirty years of his career.
Profile: Charles Aznavour
The French-Armenian singer, actor and composer Charles Aznavour will be a special guest at the opening ceremony of the 25th Prague International Film Festival – Febiofest and will receive a Kristián award for lifetime contribution to world cinema. The 1960 François Truffaut film Shoot the Piano Player, in which he stars, will be screened at the festival. While Charles Aznavour achieved worldwide fame as a singer and musician, he has also enjoyed a notable screen career.
MEZINÁRODNÍ FILMOVÝ FESTIVAL PRAHA - FEBIOFEST s.r.o.
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