Update: Due to government restrictions on gatherings of over 100 people, Febiofest has been postponed. It will now take place September 18–25, 2020.
More guests and films have been announced for this year’s edition of Febiofest, which runs in Prague from March 19 to 27, with most screenings at CineStar Anděl.
The top star at Prague International Film Festival – Febiofest will be Woody Harrelson. He and director Oren Moverman will introduce the 2011 drama Rampart, based on a police scandal in Los Angeles. Moverman will receive a Kristián award for his career at the opening of the festival.
Harrelson and Moverman were both nominated for Oscars for the 2009 war drama The Messenger. Harrelson was also nominated for his work in Miloš Forman‘s biopic The People vs. Larry Flynt.
Also receiving the Kristián award are Slovak actor Milan Lasica, known for the film The Three Veterans (Tri veteráni), Japanese director Hirokazu Kore-eda, and the previously announced Iva Janžurová. Canadian director Atom Egoyan will also attend the festival.
The festival will open with an invitational screening at Obecní dům of Agnieszka Holland’s new film Charlatan, starring Ivan and Josef Trojan in a biopic about a controversial Czech herbal practitioner in the communist era. The film premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival.
Nine films by Hirokazu Kore-eda will be shown at the festival, including his most recent, The Truth, which will close the festival. The film stars Catherine Deneuve, Juliette Binoche, and Ethan Hawke. The director is best-known for Shoplifters, which won the Palme d’Or at Cannes in 2018.
Atom Egoyan will introduce three of his films: Exotica, from 1994, set in a nightclub where a grieving father becomes obsessed with a performer, The Sweet Hereafter, from 1997, looking at how a bus accident has a lasing impact on a small town, and Guest of Honor, from 2019, about a teacher accused of abusing her position of authority over a student.
The main competition has seven films, three of which premiered at Berlin: Servants, Hope, and Kill It and Leave This Town. Servants addresses religion in the communist era in Czechoslovakia. The Swedish-Norwegian film Hope, with Andrea Bræin Hovig and Stellan Skarsgård, sees a couple’s life upended by a medical issue. Kill It and Leave This Town is an animated film about a man trapped in a fantasy land of his own creation.
Also notable in the competition is Honey Boy, from an autobiographical script by actor Shia LaBeouf, who confronts abuse in his past.
The new comedy competition has seven art-house films that will be judged by a jury of 33 people. The opening will be All About Yves, a French film by Benoît Forgeard involving a wanna-be rapper who takes a trial period with a smart refrigerator that offers perhaps too much help. The director will present the screening.
The Macedonian film God Exists, Her Name Is Petrunya takes place during Epiphany, when a man is supposed to fish a cross out of a local river. But when a woman gets it first, traditions are drawn into question. Director Teona Strugar Mitevska will attend the festival.
The Argentinean film Heroic Losers has people trying to get back money they were swindled out of.From India, Eeb Allay Ooo! offers social commentary centered on a government office that is inundated with wild monkeys.
Eight films will compete for an Amnesty International Award as well. The festival will support the National Film Museum (NaFilM), and five films will have an increased admission of 139 CZK, part of which will support the museum. These films are An Officer and a Spy, Corpus Christi, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood, Two of Us, and Nobody Knows.
These are just a handful of the films in the schedule, and several other actors and directors are expected to discuss their films. Atom Egoyan, Hirokazu Kore-eda, and Teona Strugar Mitevska will lead master classes. There will also be the previously announced culinary cinema and a side program.
A music stage will be on the plaza in front of CineStar Anděl with free concerts. There will be two bands a day, at 4:30 pm and 6:30 pm, from March 20 to 23, and then one a day at 6:30 pm to March 26. The plaza will also have a Stella Artois Village with a bar and chillout zone. A food truck zone will be in front od the cinema on March 20–22. Daily afterparties will be at Back Doors Club from 9 pm to at least 1 pm.
For more information, visit the festival website.