The 6th Czech and Slovak Film Festival acknowledges the 50th anniversary of the Prague Spring as well as the centenary of the establishment of Czechoslovakia. This year the program focuses on some historic films from Czech filmmakers, including The Fireman’s Ball, Milos Forman’s final film in his native country before moving to the US. The Fireman’s Ball closes the festival this year.
There’s a special screening of Ecstasy, a 1933 film starring Heddy Lamarr, which will be accompanied by a live music score on the Melbourne Town Hall grand organ, played by Pavel Kohout. In conjunction with the Melbourne Cinematheque the festival will include a retrospective of groundbreaking Czech filmmaker Vera Chytilova.
The opening night film is the fractured fairy tale The Hastrman (2018) from director Ondrej Havelka.
Among the more modern films is Domestique (Domestik), also from this year. In the wake of the Lance Armstrong scandal, this minimalist film features Jirí Konvalinka as a “domestik” – a rider who sacrifices himself for the team. Written and directed by Adam Sedlák, the film is an eye-opener.
The 2018 Czech and Slovak Film Festival screens at ACMI in Melbourne from 12 – 26 September, and in Canberra from 18 – 21 October 2018. To find out more about what’s on offer, check out this interview with festival director Cerise Howard or go to the official festival website.