Archive of films One Night in a City / Jedné noci v jednom městě

Czech Republic
2007, 75 min

Section: Czech Films 2006-2007
Year: 2007

Not all animated films are aimed at children and not every night is spent sleeping. Artist and director Jan Balej offers a highly original stylised mosaic of puppet stories, whose heroes aren’t just inhabitants of a single city, but also characters such as a lamplighter’s faithful dog, a magic genie and an old apple tree which makes friends with a carp.


What could happen in one city during a single night? You’ll find people caring more for their weird pets than their partners or neighbours, and a tale of the strange friendship between an old apple tree and a fish which assumes a myriad forms with the changing seasons. You’ll see an accordion player who has no ear for music who decides to resolve his awkward situation once and for all, an infatuated man who, waiting in a café for his lover to arrive, encounters the ghosts of previous customers, and two drunks who come across a magic genie who makes his wishes come true. And let’s not forget the lamplighter and her faithful little dog… A mosaic of stories which director and artist Jan Balej and his crew filmed over a period of six years. These highly individual stories treating all kinds of themes conjure up an image of our own gloomy and bizarre world. Balej’s puppet microcosm isn’t a classic film for children: in its design and motifs, it’s more of an original spectacle for adults in the style of Jan Švankmajer.

About the director

Jan Balej (b. 1958, Prague) studied at the School of Applied Arts in Prague and, since graduating as an artist and director, he has continued making animated films. He worked as an artist for the Jiří Trnka Studio and, as director and artist, he was involved in feature-length projects with the Italian company Irone Cinematografica Roma. In 1990 he co-founded the animated film studio Hafan Film Praha, which makes both TV programmes and films. Here he also made his four-part puppet fairy tale Tom Thumb (1994). As an animator he worked on the film by the Caban brothers Don Gio (1992). He also filmed the animated series Doings of the Hippopotamus Family (2003). He was involved with directors Aurel Klimt, Vlasta Pospíšilová and Břetislav Pojar on the animated film based on the book by Jan Werich Fimfárum 2 (2006), to which, as screenwriter, director and animator, he contributed with the segment Why Is the Sea Salty, Uncle? He wrote and directed his feature film debut One Night in a City in 2007.


MAUR Film s.r.o.
Konviktská 1055/7, 110 00, Praha 1
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 775 900 029

Falcon a.s.
Radlická 1c/3185, 150 00, Praha 5
Czech Republic
Tel: +420 224 422 244
Fax: +420 224 422 240

About the film

Color, 35 mm

Section: Czech Films 2006-2007
Director: Jan Balej
Screenplay: Jan Balej, Ivan Arsenjev
Dir. of Photography: Miloslav Špála
Music: Tadeáš Věrčák
Editor: Magda Sandersová
Producer: Martin Vandas
Production: MAUR Film, s. r. o.
Contact: MAUR Film s.r.o., Falcon a.s.
Distributor: Falcon a.s.


Jan Balej

Film Director

Martin Vandas


Ivan Arsenjev

Screenwriter, Screenwriter

Jan Bradáč

Distributor, Cinema Representative, Producer

Svatava Peschková



© 2020 FILM SERVIS FESTIVAL KARLOVY VARY, a.s. +420 221 411 011 All contacts

CinemasCinemas PartnersPartners
ProgramProgram About the projectAbout the project
HistoryHistory GalleryGallery
Festival DailyFestival Daily
HistoryHistory ContactsContacts
Archive of filmsArchive of films KVIFF TalksKVIFF Talks
Industry Days July 5 - July 8Industry Days July 5 - July 8 ContactsContacts
VideogalleryVideogallery GalleryGallery
HistoryHistory Festival GuideFestival Guide