Early days of Czech documentary film for the first time on-line
Watch a unique series of documentaries by Czech filmmaking pioneers from September 30 to October 30 for free.
In order to celebrate the 70th anniversary, the doors of the National Film Archive open to offer its gems online.
A collection of ten silent documentary films gives the audience a glimpse into the early days of the film craft. It presents the first film attempts of the cinematographic company “Kinofa”, bringing to light the almost lost footage by the pioneer of Czech film, Jan Kříženecký. The curated selection offers access to the first scientific experiment captured on camera or a footage recording one of the oldest air catastrophes. Last but not least, it reveals the lost face of Prague and its surroundings at the time of the First Republic in a series of documentaries including Old Prague, Černošice and St. John‘s Rapids. The atmosphere of the First Republic is then captured in a unique footage documenting Czechoslovakia’s founding moments in the film 28 October, 1918 in Prague.
Discover these and other gems from the film archive and watch them for free from September 30 to October 30 at Doc Alliance Films.
Films for the event
Smrtelný let aeroplánu pod pražským mostem (Orig.) / 1919 / Czech Republic / 5 min
A flight under the Prague’s Railway Bridge in July 1919 and its tragic consequences: the death of the director of YMCA in Prague and a river custodian...
Pražský kinematografický journal (Orig.) / 1914 / Czech Republic / 7 min
Film news from a farming exhibition, horse races, shooting contest, visit to the grave of František Palacký and the funeral of Bedřich Pacák, a member of parliament. It is the only completely preserved documentary news journal by ASUM. Mere fragments have survived from two other newsreels (March 1914, April 1914).
Fotbalový turnaj o Stříbrný pohár (Orig.) / 1914 / Czech Republic / 4 min
A documentary report covering a football tournament at the stadium of S. K. Viktorie Žižkov in June 1914. The film also captures interesting personalities – one of the admirers and pioneers of cinematography...
Chov husí v Libuši u Prahy (Orig.) / 1911 / Czech Republic / 6 min
Footage of goose breeding at a prospering poultry farm, the future Poultry Company Libuš (closed down in 2007).
Život zabité žáby (Orig.) / 1911 / Czech Republic / 5 min
One of the first Czech scientific documentaries, made by the Society of the Friends of Nature, containing footage of the preparation of a frog’s heart, its pulse, and the response of nerves when irritated by electric current. The film was made by the pedagogue and promoter of sciences Bohumil Bauše (1845 - 1924).
Stará Praha (Orig.) / 1912 / Czech Republic / 5 min
The oldest preserved monothematic film about Prague, capturing the city’s atmosphere at the beginning of the 20th century. Quiet nooks, historical sights, street traffic – unique footage of a tram on the Old-Town Square and traffic bustle on the Charles Bridge.
Černošice (Orig.) / 1913 / Czech Republic / 4 min
Holidaymakers at a public pool on the river at the Černošice summer resort. The film was produced by Illusion, a company established at the beginning of World War I in Prague. In addition to film news and documentary films, it also produced film dramas. Most of its production is considered lost.