News Dancing Couriers, winner of Cannes and Sundance and a colourful Czech competition. Pragueshorts Festival presents its programme.
Published: February 15, 2023| 01:56 PM
The 17th edition of the Pragueshorts Festival, organised by the Karlovy Vary IFF team, will take place from 1 to 5 March in Prague cinemas and from 5 to 18 March online at KVIFF.TV. The core of its programme consists of the traditional trio of competition sections – international, national and LABO, dedicated to experimental films. In addition, viewers can look forward to the live moderated Brutal Relax Show, thematic programmes or the Pragueshorts block for children. The main cinemas of the 17th edition are Bio Oko, Kino Světozor and Kino Pilotů, while a part of the programme will také place in the Aero, Ponrepo, Kavalírka and Přítomnost cinemas. On Sunday, 5 March, the festival will move to KVIFF.TV. The online part of the festival will run until Saturday 18 March and will present more than forty films from this year's programme.
Pre-sale tickets are already available on the websites of the individual cinemas.
National competition with the Czech Lion candidates and the winner of the Czech Film Critics Award
The National Competition will present eight films that showcase Czech short film in its thematic and stylistic diversity. Among them are two films nominated for the Czech Lion – Vinland by director Martin Kuba and Rituals by Damián Vondrášek, author of the award-winning series Five Years. The programme also includes the recent winner of the Czech Film Critics' Prize and Magnesia Award nominee for Best Student Film, Petr Januschka's Island of Freedom. The film, starring Jiří Mádl and Judit Bárdos is set in 1981 on board a plane bound for Cuba.
Another film in the Czech competition, Jan Hecht's Credentialing, is also nominated for the Magnesia Award. Marek Čermák (Everything Will Be OK), Jakub Jirásek (Love, 9 to 5), Elvira Dulskaia (Ice Break) and Hana Neničková (The Other Side of the Farmland) will also present their films.
The prize for the best Czech film, which comes with a financial reward of 2000 Euro, and one special mention, will be awarded by the International jury. The jury will include, among others, Polish editor Jaroslaw Kamiński, who has worked on the internationally successful films Quo Vadis, Aida, Cold War and Ida, and director Cristina Grosan, whose feature film Ordinary Failure won the directing prize for filmmakers under 40 at the Venice Film Festival last year.
International competition with Cannes and Locarno winner
The International Competition will present a total of twenty-six films from five continents in five blocks. The eclectic selection includes the winner of the Palme d'Or for Best Short Film at Cannes, The Water Murmurs, a tender sci-fi by Chinese director Story Chen that follows a young woman walking through her hometown for the last time as it slowly sinks due to the impact of an asteroid. Latin America is represented in the competition by two strong Brazilian films. Locarno's Golden Leopard award-winning comedy drama Big Bang tells the story of a marginalised man who rebels against society. Fantasma Neon, a music and dance ride about a courier who longs for his own motorbike, is one of the biggest hits of the last festival season. It has been honored with more than fifty awards from festivals around the world. The Headhunter's Daughter is heading to Pragueshorts from the Philippines. The subtle story of a girl who wants to break through in a country singing competition is set in an Igorot community and was awarded Best Short Film at Sundance.
The award for the best film of the international competition, coupled with a cash prize of 3,000 Euros, as well as two special mentions, will be awarded by a jury of three, including cinematographer Dušan Husár (Arvéd, BANGER.) and musician and composer David Boulter (Tindersticks).
Experimental section LABO
The LABO section regularly presents novel and innovative approaches to form and narrative. A jury of local art scene personalities will award one of the six films with the prize for the best experimental film. The audience can look forward to the Icelandic film The Nest by one of Europe's most prominent directors Hlynur Pálmason (White White Day, Godland), and the section will also present two Czech films - Francesco Montagner's Asterion and Marina Hendrychová's Lycaeon. Films from all three competition sections will also compete for the Audience Award.
Brutal Relax Show, a block of films about the forms of work, and a screening for children
The opening programme of the festival will take place on Wednesday 1 March at 8.30pm at Bio Oko. A selection of films from the current programme across all sections will be screened to encourage the audience to attend other festival screenings. Thursday evening at Bio Oko will be dedicated to the popular Brutal Relax Show – a brutally relaxing selection of films for those who like to end their weeks with a cocktail of bizarre, wacky jokes and unserious suspense. Jakub Žáček will host the evening. The Jobs for All section will offer a reflection on what work actually looks like today.
The popular screening of short films dedicated to children from 2 to 5 years of age will take place on Saturday 4 March at Bio Oko and on Sunday 5 March at the Aero cinema. The screening will be followed by an art workshop under the auspices of the Aeroskola. A program dedicated to children in the first grade will take place on Sunday at Ponrepo cinema. A varied selection of animated and live-action films, which playfully and seriously touch on themes that children encounter, will be accompanied by live dubbing by Gabriela Heclová and Martin Vévoda.
High school students who consider attending a film school can attend a presentation of film schools for applicants, which will take place on Wednesday 1 March at 4pm in the Přitomnost cinema. Representatives of five universities (FAMU, UMPRUM, UTB Zlín, FAMO in Písek and Silesian University in Opava) and the Television Institute Brno will present their study programmes.
The physical part of the Pragueshorts Film Festival will culminate on Saturday 4 March at Biu Oko with the Long Night with Short Film, which will take place from 6pm to 10.30pm. The audience will have the opportunity to see ten films in competition, plus the winners of the international competition and the audience prize, all in one unusual evening. From 5 March, Pragueshorts will move to KVIFF.TV. The online part of the festival will run until Saturday 18 March and will present more than forty films from this year's programme.