The wartime drama The Painted Bird took eight prizes including Best Film at the 27th annual Czech Lion awards, held March 7 at the Rudolfinum in Prague. The Czech Lions are considered the local equivalent of the Oscars. The Painted Bird had a total of 11 nominations. Owners, which had 12 nominations, took three prizes, and Old-Timers, with 10 nominations, earned two.
Václav Marhoul earned a Czech Lion (Český lev) for Best Director for The Painted Bird. Marhoul also won a special prize for Extraordinary Achievement in the Audiovisual Field for “his long-term preparation and realization of the exceptional film work Painted Bird.”
The Extraordinary Achievement award was the first given out during the televised award show an had not been previously announced. “I thank you so much with all my heart, I was expecting everything possible tonight, but I didn’t expect this,” Marhoul said.
He thanked the Czech Film and Television Academy (ČFTA) again when he accepted the Best Director Award. “It happened that I started directing, and I want to confess a love of film directing; it is absolutely amazing beautiful work,” he added. The Painted Bird is his third feature, following Tobruk (2008) and Smart Philip (Mazaný Filip, 2003).
Vladimír Smutný won Best Cinematography for The Painted Bird. “Being a cameraman on this movie wasn’t easy. I thank the Academy for the favorable crop. I would like to thank all the people who worked with me on camera,” Smutný said. “Black-and-white film is beautiful, and I would like to see more of them, because our world can often be black and white.” he added.
The film also won for Best Editing, Sound, Production Design, Costumes, and Makeup. When the nominations were announced, The Painted Bird won a non-statutory prize for Best Poster.
Owners (Vlastníci) took prizes for acting, with Tereza Ramba getting Best Actress and Klára Melíšková taking Best Supporting Actress, as well as Best Screenplay, accepted by Jiří Havelka.
Melíšková said she “collapsed a little” when she heard she won, and that she was a big fan of the Czech Lion awards. “I am very pleased and I really appreciate it,” she said. Ramba said she had wanted to win a Czech Lion since she was 15 years old, and thanked the ensemble cast.
Havelka said he was kind of embarrassed to take the screenplay awards because a lot of people were involved. “I must thank my neighbors and, of course, the lady who lives on the ground floor, who killed all the artistic hyperbole of reality,” Havelka said.
Best Actor went to Jiří Schmitzer and Best Supporting Actor went to Ladislav Mrkvička, both forOld-Timers.
Daria Kashcheeva won a non-statutory prize for Best Student Film for Daughter (Dcera). The film had previously been nominated for an Oscar. ““I’m glad that animated film is taken seriously. Recently, there has been a lot of talk about Czech animated film flourishing, and I am honored to be a part of it,” Kashcheeva said.
The nominations were chosen from 64 feature, animated and documentary films released in 2019. In total 17 films competed in 15 categories.
Czech Lion winners:
Best Film: The Painted Bird (Nabarvené ptáče) – producer Václav Marhoul
Best Documentary: Dálava – director Martin Mareček; producers Petr Oukropec, Tereza Polachová, Hanka Kastelicová
Best Director: The Painted Bird – Václav Marhoul
Best Actress: Owners (Vlastníci) – Tereza Ramba
Best Actor: Old-Timers (Staříci) – Jiří Schmitzer
Best Supporting Actress: Owners – Klára Melíšková
Best Supporting Actor: Old-Timers – Ladislav Mrkvička
Best Screenplay: Owners – Jiří Havelka
Best Cinematography: The Painted Bird – Vladimír Smutný
Best Editing: The Painted Bird – Luděk Hudec
Best Sound: The Painted Bird – Pavel Rejholec
Best Music: Watchmaker’s Apprentice (Hodinářův učeň) – Ivan Acher, Michal Novinski
Best Production Design: The Painted Bird – Jan Vlasák
Best Costumes: The Painted Bird – Helena Rovná
Best Makeup: The Painted Bird – Ivo Strangmüller
Best Television Film or Miniseries: Vodník (Czech Television), directed by: Viktor Tauš, screenplay by Petr Jarchovský, producers Jan Štern and Jan Lekeš
The Best Dramatic Television Series: Most! (Czech Television), director: Jan Prušinovský, script: Petr Kolečko, producer: Michal Reitler
Extraordinary Achievement in the Audiovisual Field: Václav Marhoul for his long-term preparation and realization of the exceptional film work The Painted Bird
Extraordinary Contribution to Czech Cinematography: Jaromír Kallista
Magnesia Award for Best Student Film – non-statutory prize: Daughter (Dcera) – Daria Kashcheeva
Best Film Poster– non-statutory prize: The Painted Bird – Roman Mrázek
Film Fan Award – non-statutory prize: Women on the Run (Ženy v běhu) – director Martin Horský
Overview of winners:
The Painted Bird – 8 Czech Lions (plus Best Poster and Extraordinary Achievement)
Owners – 3 Czech Lions
Old-Timers – 2 Czech Lions
Dálava – 1 Czech Lion
Watchmaker’s Apprentice – 1 Czech Lion
Czech Television: 2 Czech Lions