Here in Prague, local film festivals like the recent Eiga-Sai or Festival of Bollywood Film bring movies from selected regions around the world to an audience that may not otherwise get a chance to see them.
Over in the states, meanwhile, a multi-city film festival will be showcasing Czech films in a number of major cities over the next month. It’s billed as “it is the largest Czech cultural event in the United States” on the fest website.
The festival will bring eight Czech movies to 18 cities across North America including Los Angeles, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Dallas, Denver, Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake City, Washington, Phoenix, Austin, Iowa City, Columbus, Little Rock, Minneapolis, San Juan and Ottawa at selected dates throughout April and May.
The films include Domácí péče (Home Care), a comedy-drama starring Alena Mihulová and Bolek Polívka that was the Czech Republic’s official submission to the 2016 Academy Awards.
Other 2015 films playing the fest include the German-Czech production Schmitke, Gangster Ka, a fictionalized riff on the life of notorious Czech criminal Radovan Krejčíř, and Padesátka (Chasing Fifty), a popular comedy starring Ondřej Pavelka, Marek Taclík, and Jiří Mádl.
Radek Beran’s wonderful puppet movie Malý pán (The Little Man), my favorite Czech film from last year, is also playing the fest.
As is Petr Václav’s excellent Cesta ven (The Way Out), a no-holds-barred look at the life of Roma in the Czech Republic that swept the Czech Lion awards back in 2014.
Meanwhile, Václav’s latest film, We Are Never Alone, has just been released in local cinemas. Catch it with English subtitles at Kino Světozor.
Rounding out the Czech That Film slate are Karel Zeman’s 1958 Jules Verne classic Vynález zkázy (Invention for Destruction) and the 2014 documentary Život podle Václava Havla (Václav Havel – A Life in Freedom).
The Czech That Film festival is an initiative of the cultural organization Czech Centres, which was founded to promote Czech culture abroad.
Not in the US? Create your own Czech film fest: most of the above titles are available on DVD with English subtitles from local retailers (Padesátka and Gangster Ka will be released later this month).