Archive of films Champions / Mistři

Czech Republic
2004, 83 min

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Year: 2004

The protagonists of this harshly black comedy about the greatness of hockey and the pettiness of humans are the inhabitants of a devastated village somewhere near the Czech border. The world hockey championship provides them with a fresh excuse to drink at the local pub, as well as an opportunity to find meaning in their pathetic lives. But what if they get rich thanks only to the prophetic hockey visions which come to druggie Bohouš during a binge? 


For many Czechs ice hockey is a sacred space where they realise their own longing
for perfection, victory, admiration and power. A handful of protagonists living in a devastated village somewhere on the Czech border turn into such fans. In the course of the world championships they gather in front of a fading TV screen in the local pub, whose owner Karel, heavily in debt, no longer has the courage to ask them to pay for their orders. The lonely invalid Jarda, who hates the Roma, frequents the place, as do the honest Josef, whose main worry is that no one take him for a Roma, the neurotic Pavel from Prague, and the publican’s wife Zdena, who’s being eyed up by Jarda’s adolescent son and who loves the worldly driver whose bus forms the only link with the outside world… The filmmakers offer a bitter black comedy about emotional emptiness and human pettiness.

About the director

Marek Najbrt (b. 1969, Prague) made a number of successful short films as a student of documentary film at Prague’s Film Academy (FAMU), together with Pavel Klusák and Robert Geisler. He drew attention to himself as the co-author of the theatrical-musical-film performances Balconies (1995) and Seven Fulfilled Dreams (1998). As director, script-writer and actor he won recognition with a cycle of short features The Kinetic Encyclopedia of the Universe (1998-2000). Filmography: a short documentary about a concert by the group Šum svistu Just a Moment (1993), the short mystification The Invention of Beauty (1994, Main Prize at the Brno festival Brněnská šestnáctka), a short acted documentary Action Man (1995), the episodes White Mountain and Ruzyně from the documentary cycle Wretched Prague (1999), a short film about Petr Zelenka’s film The Year of the Devil (2001). Like his older brother the designer Aleš Najbrt, he is on occasion an actor (e.g. Girlie - 2002, The Devil Knows Why - 2003).


Negativ s.r.o.
Ostrovní 30, 110 00, Praha 1
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 224 933 755
Fax: +420 224 933 472

CinemArt, a.s.
Národní 60/28, 111 21, Praha 1
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 224 949 110, +420 221 105 230
Fax: +420 221 105 220

About the film

Color, 35 mm
International premiere

Section: Official Selection - Competition
Director: Marek Najbrt
Screenplay: Robert Geisler, Benjamin Tuček, Marek Najbrt
Dir. of Photography: Miloslav Holman
Music: Petr Marek
Editor: Pavel Hrdlička
Producer: Milan Kuchynka, Pavel Strnad
Production: Negativ s.r.o.
Cast: Klára Melíšková, Jiří Ornest, Jan Budař, Leoš Noha, Tomáš Matonoha, Josef Polášek, Will Spoor, Cyril Drozda, Jan Řehák
Contact: Negativ s.r.o., CinemArt, a.s.


Marek Najbrt

Film Director

Pavel Strnad


Robert Geisler


Milan Kuchynka


Miloslav Holman

Director of Photography

Jiří Ornest


Benjamin Tuček

Film Director, Film Director

Helena Uldrichová


Josef Polášek


Andrea Králová

Leoš Noha


Kristián Suda


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