Czech Talents. New Topics and Portraits from Prague’s FAMU
FAMU, the most prominent Czech film school showcases its documentary film production. What are the latest filmmaking trends at an institution that breeds up-and-coming Czech documentary talents? Watch our selection of films from FAMU for free.
FAMU the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague was founded in 1946. At the turn of the 1950s and 1960s FAMU became a powerhouse of the Czech New Wave – so far the most remarkable Czech contribution to world cinematography. After the revolution, its documentary branch has been widely believed to surpass the fiction production, and not only at FAMU. See the contemporary Czech documentary gems for yourself! We bring a selection of 14 documentaries from the Prague-based film school. Watch FAMU’s documentary production from Monday, August 17 to Sunday, August 30 for free on our website!
Feature-length documentary film BYEWAY by Ivo Bystřičan follows the route of the ill-famed stretch of the D8 motorway running through the protected landscape of the Central Bohemian Uplands that is still to be commissioned – after many years under construction. The film captures how this lengthy process revealed the bizarre division existing in the Czech society.
Tradition, a pleasant pastime or cold-blooded killing? The documentary essay LONG LIVE HUNTING! portrays three peculiar characters that share a passion for hunting and game-keeping. With a slight humorous detachment, Director Jaroslav Kratochvíl gives the protagonists the opportunity to present what they see as the hunting essentials.
It is not too difficult to get lost in a relationship, to stop believing in oneself, says the message of WHEN THE SUN GOES DOWN by Natálie Císařovská. It deals with the issue of freedom, identity and self-fulfilment in a partnership – looking at serious matters through witty and poetic lens.
Several films from our showcase fall within the category of portraits. BLACKFOOT is a portrait of a “professional social drop-out”, Jiří Blackfoot Šerý, a dancer in the ensemble, Vyžvejklá Bambule, directed by Jan Kačena. Director Pavla Sobotová chose the same documentary form. Her TRUE LOVE CHILD brings a portrait of a childless woman in her forties who has given up her search for a lifelong partner in favour of sperm donors. In his film SOFIE, Jan Rendl also follows the story of a protagonist who is seeking to turn the page and write a new chapter in her life. Its eponymous protagonist used to be one of the femmes fatales of the Czech drug scene, whose marriage is now on rocks and she is trying to find a new start in life.
“In one village garden, I saw an elderly man who was drilling holes into snail shells,” said Adéla Komrzýová describing her source of inspiration for her film MORATORIUM VONDREJS. Her portrayal of the co-founder of gene engineering explores the limits of manipulation in the sphere of genetics and in life in general. The author’s second film employs expressive photography to disclose dark and absurd visions emerging from the memory of a person suffering from cerebral palsy and his communication with the doctors. It is called EVERY PALSY HAS ITS SILVER LINING.
Jakub Wagner’s FAMILY BUSINESS also employs elements of a documentary (family) portrait, composed mainly of private video dairies. What topics, disputes and stories are hidden in the closet of one artistic family?
Miroslav Brož’s quixotic struggle to improve the status of the Roma in the Czech Republic has found expression in protests for the removal of a pig farm. Martina Malinová depicts it in LETS BLOCK.
Is it right to interfere with the privacy of someone who is not asking for your help? asks the short film THE AIR SHAFT reflecting on privacy vs. neighbourly relations directed by Alžběta Kovandová. TRANSITION by Barbora Chalupová is fifteen-minute film contemplation on the topic of striving, ego drives and life needs.
Discover new Czech talents and watch their films for free until August 30!
Films for the event
Dál nic (Orig.) / 2014 / Czech Republic / 72 min
Seven years on, builders are unable to complete the last few kilometres of the D8 motorway that leads through the protected area of the Bohemian Uplands to Germany. The construction is blocked by a series of actions by the Children of the Earth civic association, which draws attention to illegality surrounding the course of the project. But locals see the situation differently...
Dítě pravé lásky (Orig.) / 2014 / Czech Republic / 13 min
A portrait of a childless forty-year-old as she re-evaluates her life to date. Not even the disillusionment from romantic ideals is capable of dimming her desire for a child. The film is accompanied by the cynical yet pragmatic commentary of a woman who has given up on finding a life partner in favour of a sperm donor.
Lovu zdar! (Orig.) / 2014 / Czech Republic / 66 min
Three real hunters lure viewers on an exotic safari, on their search for trophies, and to their deer stands in the woods. With a brisk polka tempo, the film presents various hunting techniques and the protagonists’ varied personal relationships to hunting...
Rodinné záležitosti (Orig.) / 2014 / Czech Republic / 56 min
Found footage, film collage, composed in layers comprised of old photographs, 8mm, 16mm, VHS footage, films and tapes from a family archive. The documentary follows the extraordinary fate of a “famous” artistic family living in a dilapidated Art Nouveau house in a region with a strong tradition of stonemasons and sculptors...
Světlík (Orig.) / 2014 / Czech Republic / 9 min
A small house within a larger house. A small flat with only one window. A window to an air shaft. How can we affect what happens behind the wall and how does it affect us? Should we try to help someone who doesn’t want to be helped?