News The Karlovy Vary festival to commemorate Miloš Fikejz’s photographic work

Published: April 16, 2019| 12:34 PM

Miloš Fikejz – respected Czech film expert in Czech, Slovak, and world cinema, columnist, librarian, encyclopedist, and photographer – lost the fight against leukemia this January. He was 59.

From the start of his professional career, he was inextricably linked to the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival where he worked as a photographer, specialized editor, and text writer on individual films and filmmakers. From 1996 on, he was an editorial staff member for the festival’s Catalogue, and he helped edit Eva Zaoralová’s The Story of a Festival (2015), which charts the history of the Karlovy Vary IFF.

Also fundamental to his output are the monumental two-volume work Dictionary of Late 20th Century Foreign Film Actors (2003) and the three-volume dictionary Czech Film: Actors and Actresses (2006-2008). Fikejz was also a noted photographer.

“International cinema lost a great friend, passionate ally and most of all a trained, discerning eye for the soul of the film industry’s leading figures,” wrote Steven Gaydos in his impressions piece for Variety magazine.

His extensive portfolio contains unique photographs of world personalities, including snapshots of Václav Havel in 1987-1989 and photographs from 1994 when he immortalized the as-yet-unknown Leonardo DiCaprio at the Karlovy Vary IFF.

“Thanks to Fikejz and his camera, there’s a record of a very special, human moment in the life of a young actor who went on to become an Oscar winner, tireless environmental advocate and one of international cinema’s most important artists. But 25 years ago, Fikejz showed us that once upon a time, he was just a boy, enjoying the Bohemian summer of his youth,” recalls Steven Gaydos.

His camera captured such renowned stars as Gregory Peck, Alan Alda, Mia Farrow, Sharon Stone, Robert Redford, Miloš Forman, Whoopi Goldberg, Keira Knightley, Michael Douglas, and many others.

His documentary portraits were not exclusively about film but also took in theater, literature, and music. Beginning in the 1990s he received independent exhibitions at home and abroad, including Prague, Paris, Moscow, and Budapest. His pictures were published in numerous foreign and domestic periodicals and books.

Miloš Fikejz, originally educated as a librarian, was the embodiment of perfectionism and of systematic and highly professional work. In 1981-2018 he was a specialist at the National Film Archive in Prague where he added his writing talents to the NFA publications Czech Feature Film I-VI 1898-1993, Czech Animated Film I 1920-1945, and Motion Picture Yearbook 1993-2012.

This year the Karlovy Vary IFF will organize an exhibition on the first floor of Hotel Thermal featuring 40 black-and-white documentary portraits of prominent artistic personalities that Miloš Fikejz captured over the years at KVIFF.

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