This year’s edition of the Prague IFF – Febiofest will bring a number of world famous names to the Czech capital, including American film star Peter Fonda. The actor, perhaps best-known for his role in the cult film Easy Rider, which he wrote and starred in alongside Dennis Hopper and Jack Nicholson, will attend the festival’s gala opening on 21 March.
The Golden Globe winner will receive Febiofest’s Kristián award for lifetime contribution to world cinema during the ceremony.
Peter Fonda’s programme to include Easy Rider screening and master class
Peter Fonda will come to Prague for the very beginning of the festival. During his stay, he will present Easy Rider, the film that kick-started the New Hollywood era in the laidback 1960s and earned him an Academy Award nomination for Best Screenplay.
The actor, who is 79, will also introduce Outlaw Blues (1977), a romantic drama set behind the scenes of the country music business and Ulee’s Gold (1997), which earned him a Golden Globe as well as an Oscar nomination. Fans of the acting great will also be able to attend a master class given by him on Friday 22 March.
French actor-director Louis Garrel brings latest work to Prague
Another major guest at this year’s Febiofest will be the French actor and director Louis Garrel who received a César for his performance in Regular
Redford’s The Old Man & The Gun for curtain raiser, Stan and Ollie to close festival
This year’s Febiofest will be opened by the latest film by Hollywood legend Robert Redford, The Old Man & The Gun. Based on a true story, director David Lowery’s picture stars one of the most respected actors of the last half-century as a criminal and specialist in jailbreaks, which has earned him the admiration of the public. Redford himself announced that it would be the final film of his career.
The closing film will be a drama based on events in the life of the famous comedic duo Stan Laurel and Oliver Hardy. The film reveals the little-known story of a joint tour of English theatres the pair undertook in the post-war era with a view to healing a professional rift between them.
Centropa section promises more noteworthy guests
Six of the newest Czech co-productions will appear in this year’s festival. Debut director Teodor Kuhn’s By a Sharp Knife, a co-production with Slovakia, was inspired by a real-life criminal case from 2005 and is competing in the New Europe section. It will be introduced by the director as part of a delegation for the film.
Juraj Šlauka’s Punk Never Ends!, an exploration of the punk rock lifestyle, will receive its premiere at the festival and be presented by the director. Mikhail Idov will introduce his debut, The Humorist, a drama about the life of a leading Soviet-era stand-up comedian. Jan Jakub Kolski, the well-known Polish filmmaker, will accompany his film Pardon, which explores a story of parental courage against the backdrop of dramatic events in post-war Poland.
Also bringing delegations to the festival will be the Romanian drama Heads and Tails by Nicolae Constantin Tanase and the Czech-Israeli co-produced anthology film First World Problems by directors Elad Keidan, Jakub Felcman, Anna Kopecká
The festival’s main competition section will this year feature 10 ambitious pictures by emerging European filmmakers
The festival will present 10 new films by world-famous directors once again this year. France is the bestrepresented country in the Masters section with four films, though three are English-language works. Claire Denis has made her first English film in High Life (Robert Pattinson, Juliette Binoche), while Jacques Audiard has done likewise with Sisters Brothers (Joaquin Phoenix, John C. Reilly, Jake Gyllenhaal).
By contrast, US director Julian Schnabel went to France to shoot At Eternity’s Gate, starring Willem Dafoe as Vincent van Gogh. The only director who stayed loyal to his country and language in this section was Olivier Assayas, with the typical French conversational comedy Non-Fiction.
Heroines come to fore in Made in USA
The Made in USA section once again turns the spotlight on US independent filmmakers and small and courageous pictures that boast an authorial voice, distinctive direction and a personal view of their dramatic or comedic protagonists. In this year’s edition, films with female leads fittingly dominate.
The Kindergarten Teacher by Sara Colengelo is about an ambitious educator played by Maggie Gyllenhaal. In Brady Corbet’s Vox Lux we follow the career of a pop star played by Natalie Portman.
Meanwhile, the main character of Lizzie by Craig William Macneill, in which Kristen Stewart and Chloë Sevigny excel, is a maid at the end of the 19th century.
Alongside the traditional Kristián awards, the festival will also present the Amnesty International Febiofest Award, focused on the human rights field, for the fourth time this year.
A rich accompanying program including Culinary Cinema nights offering three evenings of film and dining is also planned for this year.
The festival will have its gala opening on Thursday 21 March 2019 at Prague’s Municipal House and run until 29 March. The majority of screenings will take place at CineStar Anděl. Advance tickets are now on sale.