FEBIOFEST 2008

Prague's largest film fest returns 28.3-4.4

FEBIOFEST 2008
15th International Film Festival

PRESS RELEASE

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♣ The 15th year of the Febiofest will take place from 27th March to 4th April in Prague, to continue later in other 8 towns in the Czech lands and Moravia. The Czech audience will have 26 cinema halls altogether where to see the festival films. (The Slovak part of the festival will be set in 8 major Slovak towns – see www.asfk.sk.) 

♣ The festival will introduce 249 films from 64 countries in 569 projections; they will include works by Paul Thomas Anderson, Sean Penn, Ben Affleck, Julie Delpy, Richard Attenborough, Volker Schlöndorff, Takeshi Kitano, Mohsen Makhmalbaf, Fridrik Thór Fridrikson, and others. The festival will be honoured by the presence of ALAN PARKER, ROY ANDERSSON, JOS STELLING, ISILD LE BESCO, NAE CARANFIL, RAJKO GRLIĆ, JIM STARK, PETER NAESS and others.

♣ The new programme directors are Štefan Uhrík and Hana Cielová, authors of the TV magazine Filmopolis, formerly also programmers of the section Forum of Independents at the IFF in Karlovy Vary; Hana Cielová known also as a screenwriter.

The screenings will be set in the multiplex Village Cinemas in Prague 5 Anděl, in the archive cinema hall Konvikt – Ponrepo, which commonly serves for projections of rare film copies. As before, the fourteenth projection place will be set up at an unusual place, somehow linked with the theme of the presented films. This year, the section Law and Injustice in the Courtroom will be accommodated in one of the halls of the City Court in Prague, Spálená street; this programme section will be continued in the Town Hall Cellar in Liberec (the admission is free in both cases).

♣ The film programme will be further accompanied by the Febiofest Music Festival; all 48 music projects and bands will appear during the festival days from Friday, 28th March to Friday, 4th March, at traditional locations: the underground garages  -3 and the Small Stage in the pizza restaurant Mediterane. Czech performers (Roe Deer, Nana Zorin, Hypnotix and others.) will be joined by, for instance, the band Mango Gadzi from southern France.

♣ The general partner of Febiofest 2008 is, as traditionally, the CZECHOSLOVAK BUSINESS BANK, which supports not only the Czech part of the festival, but has been a long-run general partner of the festival in Slovakia as well.  

Main partners are the companies British American Tobacco and Zentiva.

♣ Further financial support for the festival was provided by the Capital Prague, Prague 5 City Quarter, Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, State Fund for Support and Development of Czech Cinematography, and other partners, either providing financial support or co-operate with the event on the f barter.

Further partners include Forests of the Czech Republic, Veolia, Panasonic, Graffitti Networks, hotel Anděls, Volný, TNT and others.

The main media partner is the Czech Television; the festival is further supported by the daily newspaper Lidové noviny, the weekly magazines Instinkt  and Týden, and by Rádio Impuls.

OFFICIAL OPENING NIGHT:

♣ The opening ceremony on 27th March will belong to three films. The most significant guest of the night will be the legend of world cinematography, director Sir ALAN PARKER, who will introduce his well-known film THE COMMITMENTS, which belongs to the best music films of the world cinema (Hall 11; after that, Alan Parker will  greet the audience in the Hall No. 10, too).  For his contribution to world cinematography, Alan Parker will be given the Czech Audience Award “Kristián 2007”. 

The other two opening films are THERE WILL BE BLOOD and FAR NORTH. The long-awaited film There Will Be Blood was awarded at this year´s IFF in Berlin and the lead actor Daniel Day-Lewis received the Oscar.  The third opening film Far North is a chamber drama from the country of snow and ice –  and will be personally introduced by the director Asif Kapadia.

The film programme will be followed by a banquet in the Municipal House, featuring, among others, ANETA LANGEROVÁ, the Gipsy band BENGAS, or the Cuban band SANTY Y SU MARABÚ, and many other artists from the Czech lands as well as from abroad.     

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION OF YOUNG EUROPEAN FILM – FEBIO FEST MAIN AWARD:

♣ The 15th year of the Febiofest includes, for the first time, an international competition, within which the Febiofest Main Award will be presented. The first year of the international competition will feature 15 films (mostly from the section New Europe; see the programme sections for further details) shot during the last year (2007 – 2008) in various countries of Europe. The films will be assessed by a special 33-member jury, representing a small sociological profile of Czech film audience.  The architect Jan Kaplický accepted the honorary post of the jury chairman; he will also present the Main Award to the winning film during the closing ceremony of the festival. More details about the jury are included in the attached materials.
           
ADMISSION FEES FOR THE FESTIVAL EVENTS:

♣ The admission fee at the Village Cinemas is 79 CZK.
♣ The admission for the video-hall of the multiplex (No. 7 – Panasonic – Cinema of New Directions) and for Febiofest Junior is only 39 CZK. 
♣ The concerts of the Febiofest Music Festival (both stages) and the projections in the hall of the City Court in Prague (Spálená street) are admission free again. 
♣ The admission fees for the Febiofest in the regions are the same or even lower than in the preceding years.

OPENING HOURS OF THE TICKET OFFICES:
                                                     
Village Cinemas: daily at 13:00 – 22:30, during the festival week at 10:00 – 24:00!           
Ponrepo, projection hall of the National Film Archive: 15:30 – 20:15

The admission for the screenings in the hall of Grand Jury of the City Court in Prague, Prague 2, Spálená street (projections at 18:00 and 20:30) is free up to the maximum seating capacity of the room, and there are no tickets given out.

♣ During the festival days (from 27th March, 00:01), the Village Cinemas will put into operation a novelty – ONLINE TICKET SALE on www.villagecinemas.cz/febio.

(No reservations are possible in the course of the festival.)

♣ The information stand in the foyer of the Village Cinemas Anděl will sell (apart from the festival catalogue for 99 CZK) the Febiofest T-shirts, book of travels „Cestománie“ and films by Fero Fenič on DVDs, including the latest Zvláštní bytosti (Strange Creatures). At the close of the festival, the audience should have the opportunity to buy a new book: 500-page-long publication FENOMÉN FEBIO (Febio Phenomenon), offering a closer look at the history and full production of this independent studio and of the Febiofest festival as well.

INTERNET:

♣ The official festival website www.febiofest.cz will offer detailed information (festival catalogue and programme), discussion forum, photo gallery, as well as the news section. As usually, journalists can take advantage of the loaded pressroom with much material available for downloading. 

PROGRAMME SECTIONS OF FEBIOFEST 2008:

During the 8 festival days in Prague, the Febiofest will offer up to 57 screenings a day! The total number of film projections will amount to 458 screenings in Prague and 111 in the regions, that is, the total of 569 screenings within the Czech Republic! This year´s film list embraces 249 films altogether; out of these, there are 227 feature films and 22 short-footage films from 64 countries of the world.

♣ NEW EUROPE AND THE MAIN AWARD OF THE FEBIOFEST:

For many years, there has been this prevailing idea that European cinema were dead. Nevertheless, Europe has recently bread a large number of new authors of great talent who, through their debuts and second films, have managed to bring back to life the image of cinematography of the old continent. For the Febiofest Main Award competition, we have chosen 15 films shot this year so far and in the previous year – they all are entering the festival in their Czech premiere. Out of these, ten films belong into the section New Europe,” the programme directors Hana Cielová and Štefan Uhrík say.

Two of the films qualified for the competition come from Germany where an outright explosion of young talents has occurred lately: Fata Morgana directed by Simon Groß and Night Before Eyes, a debut of the director Brigitte Marie Bertele, which we have managed to bring directly from the recent Berlin festival. After a longer period of time, indeed remarkable works of new directors come from Spain as well; that is why Spain is represented by two films in the competition as well: Solitary Fragments by Jaime Rosales and The Night of the Sunflowers by Jorge Sánchez-Cabezudo.

Also the production of eastern European cinema has boosted in recent years; thus it is no wonder our selection includes several outstanding films from this region. For example, the Hungarian film Isca´s Journey by the director Csaba Bollók ranks among the most powerful film experiences of the last year, notably thanks to its expressive depiction of the desperate fate of children in a far-flung forgotten corner of the world.   Russia is represented in the audience competition by the new film by the director Marina Ljubakova, Cruelty, an uncompromising study of the contemporary state of morals in this country. Polish cinema is also represented by two films; multiple award-winning Tricks by the director Andrzej Jakimowski and Strawberry Wine, a Polish-Slovak co-production starring Jiří Macháček in the role of a police officer who ends up in a remote mountain village. Czech actresses, on the contrary, have asserted themselves in the Slovak film Half-Life, also included in the competition selection, by the debutant Vlado Fischer. In this bitter comedy about a break-up of relationships, Iva Janžurová and Klára Trojanová-Pollertová endorse with success their Slovak colleagues Táňa Pauhofová and Ján Kroner.

The main character of the Finnish film A Man´s Job by Aleksi Salmenperä finds a peculiar solution for his unemployment. The Belgian debut Small Gods by Dimitri Karakatsanis, director of Greek origin, will certainly capture our attention through its unusual poetics in the twilight zone between reality and dream.

Nevertheless, the Febiofest Main Award is also pursued by films from other sections: for instance, two Estonian debuts, Magnus by the director Kadri Köusaar, which had its premiere at the Cannes festival, and a humorous road movie, 186 Kilometres, by the directorial pair Andreas Mimik and Rain Tolk, which defeated even the greatest Hollywood blockbusters presented in Estonian cinemas. (The films are included in the section Northern Panorama – Cool and Crazy.) 

Also the section Balkan Beats has two representatives included in the competition.  In his film Hadersfild, the director Ivan Živkovič brings a cruel portrait of contemporary Serbia, awaking from the after-war hangover.

The second film by the director Teona Strugar Mitevska, I Am from Titov Veles, is a poetic portrait of a withering industrial town in Macedonia. Both, effective camera work and the leading lady are impressive. The film stars Labina Mitevska, the sister of the director, who was one of the guests at last year´s Febiofest.

Last but not least, we ought not forget Charly, the latest film by the well-known French actress and director Isild Le Besco, to whom we have dedicated one of the tributes within the Cinema of Stars.

♣ EUROPEAN MASTERS:

This section offers works by the legendary “masters” of great renown and fame, like for example, Volker Schlöndorff, Carlos Saura, Ermanno Olmi, the Taviani brothers or Bernardo Bertolucci, out of whose work we have selected the older film, more or less unknown in our country, called Before the Revolution, which refers to the remarkable festival section focused on the stormy year 1968, drawn up by the National Film Archive and presented in the Ponrepo Cinema. 

Yet there are also “masters” who through their third or fourth film signal that once the great renown and fame will belong to them as well. As an example, let´s name at least the Austrian director Peter Payer and his excellent adaptation of the theatre play ‘Der Jungste Tag´ (Judgement Day) by Ödön von Horváth. The film, titled Free to Leave, shifts the plot into the present and offers a dramatic concert of all the main protagonists. Those who did not have a chance to see the winning film at last year´s IFF in Karlovy Vary, Jar City by the Icelandic director Baltasar Kormákur, which has not come into Czech distribution so far, should not miss this, perhaps even last, opportunity, offered by the Febiofest. The only film in this collection distributed in the Czech Republic is the big-budget historical epics by the Russian director Sergei Bodrov, the film Mongol, shot in German-Kazakh-Russian-Mongolian co-production.

♣ BRITISH-AMERICAN PANORAMA:
 
Many of the films within this section (The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, Rendition, Into the Wild, Gone Baby Gone etc.) will soon come into Czech distribution, and the Febiofest audience will surely regard them as the best lures. Yet we should not omit the films that will not be to be seen anywhere else after the end of the festival. Two of these are linked with many parallels. The first of them, The Journals of Knud Rasmussen, was shot beyond the Arctic Circle by the first Inuit filmmaker, Zacharias Knuk, who, thanks to his valued debut Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, is not unknown even for the Czech audience. The second film, Ten Canoes by the veteran of Australian cinema Rolf de Heer, brings us over to the flaming Australian bushland. The Febiofest will also provide a splendid occasion to meet yet again the Canadian Denys Arcand whose latest opus, The Age of Ignorance, closes the free trilogy mapping the miseries of the contemporary world. Unfortunately, even the latest film by Brian de Palma named Redacted. The author of spectacular Hollywood productions intended to take the film, awarded at the IFF in Venice, as a reaction to the problem of the American invasion to Iraq; yet, at the same time, he proves himself to be able to be inventive in the manner of young independent filmmakers, using digital video for the making of the film.

♣ AMERICAN INDEPENDENTS:

There are two general tendencies to be traced in the new section devoted to American independent film. On one end stand the films that had its premiere in the Mecca of the independent film, at the Sundance Festival in American Park City, and yet demonstrate a positive commercial potential to some extent. One of them is the film Grace is Gone, which is sure to receive a great deal of attention of the audience. A story of a young American family whose mother died during military service in Iraq was directed by James Strouse and the main role was performed by John Cusack. Horror lovers will appreciate the Febiofest choice, the film Joshua, which is to remind us of the imperishable theme that the devil never sleeps. The Oscar nominee Laura Linney excels in the film The Savages along with Philip Seymour: they play the roles of two adult siblings – the Savages – who all of a sudden, brought short from their lives, must take care of their father. The film Black Snake Moan brought together another pair of excellent actors, Samuel L. Jackson in the role of a blues musician and Christina Ricci playing a wild indomitable girl, who would need to be reformed. This year´s Febiofest presents two films in order to commemorate the promising director and actress Adrianne Shelly who was murdered last year in Manhattan while writing a screenplay. Unfortunately, she did not live to see the success of her last film, Waitress, a story of a woman from American South who wishes to change her life tied in conventions.  One of the conspicuous figures of American independent film of the recent years is David Gordon Green, not unknown to the Febiofest audience, as two years ago, his film Undertow was included in the festival programme. This year´s Febiofest is to introduce his latest work Snow Angels to the festival audience. Indeed, David Gordon Green represents a type of author that, although his work is more extensive as far as the production goes, still retains his spiritual independence. The tendency of a “true independence” is then represented by the filmmakers like Ed Radtke who is going to introduce in person his three films that he has shot during the last 16 years: he himself is the author of the screenplay, producer, editor, and even music composer, compiling, on his own, the music for his films. Apart from Radtke, who has always and at all cost tried to keep control over his films, we ought not omit the experimental filmmaker Nina Menkes whose portrait is part of the section Cinema Extreme. Glancing at the final credits of her films should do: direction, screenplay, camera, editing, production – all linked with one name only: Nina Menkes.

♣ ASIAN PANORAMA:

Out of a precisely selected programme, representing the manifold film production of the largest continent, marked with famous names like Takeshi Kitano, Kim Ki-duk or Mohsen Makhmalbaf, three films need to be mentioned, which show the true face of present-day China; particularly with regards to the present state of affairs concerning the tempestuous situation in Tibet. Night Train represents an existential drama about loneliness and hopelessness of life in the industrial part of present-day China. It tells a story about a lonely court wardress who starts up a relationship with an unknown man, husband of one of her female prisoners sentenced to death. Blind Mountain, on the contrary, reveals perverse techniques of a forced marriage of girls into Chinese countryside, which, thanks to the outcome of the population management politics, is short of women. A small, physically disabled orphan represents a good business article within Chinese market communism, as it is portrayed in another Chinese film contribution, Little Moth, included in the section Cinema Extreme. An older pair uses up all their savings to buy a paralysed girl whom they force to go begging. The film is shot in the style of a documentary on a digital video and represents a typical demonstration of independent film art, the outcomes of which only hardly make it into home, state-controlled, distribution.

♣ LATIN-AMERICAN PANORAMA:

The Febiofest selection includes not only peculiar festival award winners, but also genre films of good quality, which, however, only hardly find their way into Czech cinemas. “We have managed to get an almost complete cut through the entire continent from Mexico over Argentina to Chile or Uruguay,”  David Čeněk, programme director, asserts. Thus there are films on one side, like XXY (for its theme and the way of treating it, the film was marked to be the event of last year) or Silent Light (the latest film by the enfant terrible of Mexican cinema, Carlos Revgadas), which will naturally split the audience through their form. On the other side, there are films like The Night Buffalo or Through Your Eyes, which follow the principles of their genre to a larger extent, yet they still do not resign from their own witness assertion. Traditionally, the selection includes both politically committed films as well as striking social critiques, which are part and parcel of Latin American production, like for instant, the Brazilian film Happy Desert or the Mexican work Bad Habits. “All sixteen films within this section prove that Latin America continues to produce films that deserve great attention and, at the same time, are very varied. There is no new wave emerging, as many observes tend to assert, but great filmmaking personalities are profiling there,” David Čeněk adds.

♣ CINEMA EXTREME:

The majority of films included in this section are characteristic for their striking cinematographic quality in the sense of taking advantage of various possibilities of visual composition and of image recording (a mobile phone in place of a camera, realistic home video) or of non-linear, non-dramatic montage of visual image and sound (compositional minimalism, counterpoint of image and sound), and last but not least, of powerful psychological effect in the form of a feeling of creative deviation. The films have a hypnotic effect (Queen of Diamonds by Nina Menkes who has her own mini profile within the section Cinema Extreme), they might cause a slight nausea (Forgive Me) or induce a fit of sentiment (short films by Jamie Travis). “The films within this section do not strive to make up entirely new forms, they do not try to be avant-garde or experiment. Their significant features are movement and uncertainty,” the programmer Hedvika Hansalová says. The audience will notice a playful shift between genres (Jamie Travis), indefinite boundary between a documentary and fiction (Cyrus Frisch, Dom Rotheroe), and most of all, openness toward various interpretation possibilities (Nina Menkes, Michelange Quay). The authors leave the interpretation to the audience, forcing them to actively react to themes that often are not to be grasped easily.
 

♣ ANOTHER SHORE (GAY AND LESBIAN):

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„More than a half of this year´s selection of sixteen LGBTQ titles are new directorial debuts, in most cases made with the lowest budget possible,” the dramaturge Hana Kulhánková says about her section. The selection includes three films that focus on the theme of coming-out and first loves: the French film Water Lilies narrates about girlhood friendship and cruelty; the Australian film Tan Lines pursues the problems of the age of adolescence in the macho environment of surfers; the American film Blueprint tells about two New York students who grow closer to one another during a trip. Apart from strong narratives, the section also embraces films that stand out because of their unconventional form, like for instance the Argentinean minimalist film La León and Spider Lilies from Tchaj-wan. Eastern Europe is represented by the Slovak film Demons or the Hungarian Men in the Nude. The selection further includes the Canadian horror Otto; or Up With Dead People by famous and controversial director Bruce LaBruce about a gay zombie who is not certain about his identity. “After a three-year hunt, this year we have managed to put on the unforgettable transgender film Beautiful Boxer, which has received 16 festival awards and which was inspired by the life of a famous Thai transgender kick-boxer,” dramaturge Kulhánková adds.

♣ COOL AND CRAZY – NORTHERN PANORAMA:

The cinema of the North brings along an overview of present-day Norwegian cinematography in all its genre variety. One may come across both, films by famous and experienced authors as well as by the rising young generation. The audience will have a unique opportunity to see all three parts of the “Elling” trilogy, which was started by one of the most successful Norwegian films ever made, Me, My Friend and I, which after its premiere in 2001 managed to draw the attention of some  800 000 spectators (that is quite an unheard-of success, especially in case of a nation with 4,5 million citizens only). “The younger generation of Norwegian filmmakers are characterised by their genre diversity – they are able to reach commercial success even in the most typical genres, like for example thriller, yet at the same time, they keep their own northern face,” Štefan Uhrík, programme director, says. One of the proofs might be the film Cold Prey. The debutant Roar Uthaug has managed to meet the challenge better than some experienced Hollywood professional: if the film were not of Norwegian origin, it would surely turn into a blockbuster worldwide. Nevertheless, being from Norway, it has become the most successful Norwegian film of the year… Surely enough you should not miss the animated film Free Jimmy, which is, however, absolutely inappropriate for children. It tells a story of an intoxicated circus elephant that set himself free, not knowing, however, what might await him there.

A remarkable phenomenon of contemporary northern cinema is a small Estonian film miracle. Recent Estonian films have won their way through at the most prestigious world forums. Rinna Sildos, producer of one of these films (The Class, which was selected into the Febiofest mini portrait of contemporary Estonian cinema) asserts: “It was like a bolt from the blue, some ten years ago. Out of a sudden, several low-budget films emerged. One may call it a real renaissance.” The profile of contemporary cinema in northern countries is supplemented by a portrait of one of the most extraordinary figures of present-day world filmmaking, Swedish director Roy Andersson within the Cinema of Stars.

♣ BALKAN BEATS

Apart from the films Hadersfild and I Am from Titov Veles, included in the Febiofest Main Award competition, two other films need to be mentioned, directed by the representatives of the older filmmaking generation from the countries of former Yugoslavia who may still remember the times of the famous Yugoslav school: The Border Post by the Croatian director Rajko Grlić and a bitter comedy Kenedi Is Getting Married directed by Želimir Žilnik, well-known from the preceding years of the Febiofest.

♣ FOCUS ISRAEL:

The 60th anniversary of the establishment of the state of Israel will be commemorated at this year´s Febiofest by two awarded films from the last season.  Jellyfish, feature-length debut of the authorial couple Etgar Keret – Shira Geffen, won the Golden Camera for the best debut at the IFF in Cannes in 2007. The second successful Israeli film Beaufort is an extraordinary war film; its director Joseph Cedar narrates about his own personal experience as a soldier of the Israeli army. He received the Silver Bear Award for Best Director at the IFF in Berlin in 2007.

♣ FOUR FILMS FROM AFRICA:

„Out of the production of films representing Africa, the poorest and most destitute continent, we would like to advert to the film Ezra, a story of children forced to become soldiers and fight in nonsensical conflict, as well as the latest opus This Is Chaos of the Egyptian director Youssef Chahine, already well-known among the Febiofest audience. Chahine uses a frame of a great love story in order to show the result of the power concentrated in the hands of a single person,” Hana Cielová, programme director, comments. Also the film Sounds of Sand drew much attention of the audiences at foreign festival. 

♣ FEBIOFEST JUNIOR:

While in the Czech Republic, the films for children have been rather withering for some fifteen years, some countries regard children´s films literally as priorities. This can be claimed namely about Scandinavian countries, which are introduced at this year´s Febiofest within the “adult-oriented” Northern Panorama. Norwegian films like Trigger about saving a horse sentenced to death, or Leaps and Bounds by the director Peter Næss (his tribute is included in the Cinema of Stars) about a Kurdish boy who suddenly appears in Scandinavia are both typical examples of a family film of good quality. The film Mirush by the experienced Norwegian filmmaker Marius Holst may be recommended both to adults and to adolescents as well.

The children´s film has a strong tradition in Estonia as well. The comedy Mat the Cat ranks among the most visited Estonian films ever made, and the charming Lotte from Gadgetville, focused particularly for smallest audience, is a great example of Estonian animated film. As a counterpoint to the new film by the Austrian filmmaker Peter Payer Free to Leave (European Masters), we have selected his successful earlier film for our junior collection, Villa Henriette.

♣ VIDEO-HALL: CITY COURT IN PRAGUE:

The collection Law and Injustice in the Courtroom was prepared by the dramaturge Jan Foll and consists of films that tell about various kinds of judicial cases and human fates.

The selection embraces nine Czech films and seven films from abroad, from many different periods. The most famous titles of this year´s selection include Forman´s drama The People vs. Larry Flynt, or, among Czech films, the comedy The Rabbit Case by Jaromil Jireš.

A large number of films of this year´s selection are associated in an interesting way with the place of their screening. Even up-to-date social allusions are not missing. The Determined Lady, a court comedy with Jiřina Bohdalová, is set right in the building of the City Court.

The adaptation of Kafka´s novel The Trial was shot in Prague in the 1990s. The part of Josef K. was played by Kyle MacLachlan. The film Find Me Guilty by the fixed star of American filmmaking, Sidney Lumet, is a black slapstick about a real mafia trial, featuring Vin Diesel playing an unusual part.

♣ BIO KONVIKT – PONREPO (2 PROGRAMME SECTIONS):

Ravishing Pola Negri, a vivacious actress, performer of dramatic roles with rare feeling for comedy and versatility, will be introduced in Ponrepo.

Within the retrospective of the actress, Febiofest 2008 will offer 8 programme blocks: for instance, the conception of Lubitsch´s The Wildcat is based on the contrast between the operetta-like frivolous plot on one side and the art eccentricity of the setting and costumes on the other. Negri plays an untameable, temperamental daughter of a chief of a pack of bandits, who at last marries one of the soldiers belonging to a troop set up for the mountains in order to capture the bandits.

The programme in Ponrepo will be supplemented by the section Prague Spring, 1968. Czech filmmakers have been mapping the stormy political events of 1968, the most dramatic days in particular, from a chronicler´s point of view yet, of course, not without bias. Within the programme cycle, their view will be confronted with several examples of Russian period propaganda not known in the Czech Republic, which readily provided the Russian spectator with the proper ideological key for the interpretation of the events in Czechoslovakia.

♣ FEBIOFEST MUSIC FESTIVAL:

The greatest foreign star is Mango Gadzi from southern France with their original concept of gypsy music.

The Great Stage will feature for example Roe Deer, Nana Zorin; the closing of the music festival with its performances of altogether 48 music projects and bands will be reserved for Hypnotix. “This year, we intend to introduce a certain BEST OF from the bands that performed during the latest festival years, nevertheless, approximately 60 per cent of the music bands are new, when compared with the last Febiofest – of course we do not want to repeat ourselves,” Jiří Březina, music dramaturge, says. “We will tone up the programme at the Small Stage, which will feature the winning band of Zlíntalent competition, Le Chavendar, and of the Coca-Cola PopStar contest, the songwriter Niceland,” Jiří Březina adds. Le Chavendar play music of gypsy folklore origin, enriched with jazz, latino, and flamenco; Niceland is last year´s surprise and will show up at the festival with his guitar and even with an accompanying band.

♣ FURTHER ACCOMPANYING EVENTS:

The piazetta in front of Village Cinemas will accommodate an exhibition of forged objects by the artist Pavel Tasovský. The exhibition will introduce the artist himself as well as his original forged and kinetic objects and bizarre gadgets. The whole occasion may result in a new tradition – even in the future years, the Febiofest would like to introduce some interesting art project in a similar way.

During the festival days, the mini-gallery on the 2nd floor of the multiplex Village Cinemas will accommodate an exhibition of posters and photographs from the preceding 15 years of the Febiofest. 

Also the festival club in the café Jet Set will display photographs of the significant festival guests in order to remember the past festival years …

♣ REGIONAL ECHOES OF FEBIOFEST 2008:

Following the Prague festival, a selection from the Febiofest programme will tour the appointed 8 Czech and Moravian towns. The regional echoes of the Febiofest will be launched by the Czech film Grapes.

In Brno the Febiofest will be located in the traditional 3 cinema halls. Scala will be dedicated to new international releases, including Into the Wild by Sean Penn, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford starring Brad Pitt in the lead of the western lineup of the director Andrew Dominik, or Kim Ki-duk´s Breath. Friday´s programme will be supplemented by the Slovak film Half-Life, which takes part in Prague Febiofest Main Award Competition.

The programme of the Small Hall of the Art Cinema includes the documentary The Case of Dr. Horáková, which together with other films like Runaway Jury, Find Me Guilty, Forgive Me, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, and No End come from the section Law and Injustice in the Courtroom. Video-projections will also include the minimalist film Those Three (Iran) from the section Cinema Extreme or the bitter comedy about the fate of tourists from the third world, Through Your Eyes from Latin American Panorama.

The Large Hall of the Art Cinema will feature Joshua – this film by the American independent director George Ratliff combines a horror story with a complex family drama. South of Pico is another film from the section American Independents; The Illusionist is a famous film by the “flying Dutchman” Jos Stelling. Moreover, Stelling is the author of the three Erotic Tales: The Waiting Room, The Gas Station, The Gallery, also presented in the Large Hall of the Art Cinema.

Olomouc will feature 6 films; among them, for example, There Will Be Blood starring Oscar-winning Daniel Day-Lewis playing the impressive role of a creature named Daniel Plainview. The selection from the new international releases will allow the audience to get the overview about the upcoming distribution offer. 

In Ostrava, the audience will have two cinema halls where to see the festival films – the Art Cinema and the Vesmír Cinema. The Febiofest in Ostrava will be launched in the Art Cinema by the projection of Grapes; on Wednesday and on Thursday, the spectators will have an occasion to taste two films from the section New Europe: the Polish poetic film Tricks (one of the Main Award candidates) and the German-Polish-Czech co-production titled Schröder´s Wonderful World. The Vesmír Cinema will offer three grand previews, the co-production Mongol, and the long-awaited American hits Into the Wild, and The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford.

In Liberec, the screenings will take place in the Varšava Cinema and in the Town Hall Cellar (where the films of the section Law and Injustice in the Courtroom are admission free). The Varšava Cinema with its 19 projections is dominated by the USA: among the presented films are, for instance, The Savages, a tragic comedy by the independent American director Tamara Jenkins, or the impressive, stylized Waitress, a story about a poor girl who struggles to survive, dealing with her jealous-jerk husband. Jiří Macháček will be presented in a very unusual role in the Polish (competition) film Strawberry Wine.

The audience in Pardubice may visit the projection of a children´s film from contemporary Estonia Mat the Cat, representing the Febiofest Junior section as well as the film Hands Off Mississippi. The Thai film Beautiful Boxer represents Another Shore, which has become a traditional section in Pardubice. Sunday programme will be launched by the Czech-German-Polish film Schröder´s Wonderful World, an absurd comedy starring famous Czech actors Igor Bareš and Lucie Benešová about the construction of a gigantic aqua park Tropical Paradise at the border point of all three countries.

In the end, the organizers will invite the film connoisseurs to the local airport to see the common project of the tandem of Jan and Zdeněk Svěrák Dark Blue World. The projection will take place in the airport hangar, that is, at a place reserved for the airplanes to “take a rest”. The space of the hangar will be specially adjusted to accommodate this special event. The audience will thus have a chance to have an unrepeatable film experience in an entirely authentic setting, in which the film was situated.   

In Hradec Králové, the centre of the festival is situated in the Centrál Cinema, which will put on 8 previews, for example, Anderson´s adaptation of Upton Sinclair´s There Will Be Blood or Kim Ki-duk´s new film Breath. The festival in Hradec will be launched on 8th April by the projection of Grapes.
 
In České Budějovice, the festival will be launched by the projection of Grapes, followed by the new films Art of Crying,  Erotic Tales by Jose Stelling, and the directorial feat of Ben Affleck Gone Baby Gone.

Febiofest 2008 will be concluded in Doksy on Saturday, 19th April. The audience in the Máj Cinema will witness the projection of the Czech Special with five films in a single day and will have a chance to meet the authors who are expected to introduce their films in person.

The programme will start with the film The Can by Tomáš Vorel and will be concluded by the night projection of the film version of Czech Soda. The official closing ceremony will begin at 19:00, followed by a banquet at the local chateau, with a concert performance of Marta Kubišová. 

FEBIOFEST IN THE MIRROR OF ITS MEDIA PARTNERS:

ECHO OF THE FEBIOFEST on ČT1 (festival newscast with Bára Štěpánová, directed by Erika Hníková):  Thu 27.3. at  22:25  / Fri 28.3. at  22:15  / Sat 29.3. at  23:30  / Sun 30.3.  at  22:10  / Mon  31.3. at  22:25  / Tue 1. 4.  at  22:10  / Wed 2. 4.  at  22:10 / Thu 3.4. at  22:45  / Fri 4. 4. at  22:20  / Sat  5.4. at  23:05

On Thursday, 27th March, the daily newspaper Lidové noviny will publish a special 12-page supplement ECHO OF THE FEBIOFEST with the entire festival programme. From Friday, 28th March to Saturday, 5th April, the supplement of Lidové noviny, Echo of the Febiofest, will be published; the Saturday supplement on 5th March will include the full programme of regional echoes of the festival.

♣ The weekly magazine Týden (Tuesday, 25th March), the weekly Instinct (Thursday, 27th March), and the daily Metro (Thursday, 27th March) will offer a special supplement with the programme of the Febiofest.

Rádio Impuls will be broadcasting reports from the preparations and the course of the festival, some interviews and Febioimpulses: twice a day at 10.30 h. (on Monday at 11.30 h.) and 16.30 h. (re-run) during the course of the festival in Prague, i.e. from 27th March to 4th April 2008.


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