DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKER PAVEL KOUTECKY DIES
According to Czech Television, which brought the news on Saturday, the exact time of Koutecky's accident is not yet known. The police spokesperson has said that the police received a missing person notice on Friday evening and were informed that Koutecky had been in the vicinity of the high-rise building on Thursday.
Script editor Alena Müllerova stated that Koutecky had been shooting a film about a young man who scaled tall buildings. "He wanted to shoot it without being seen but he must have fallen somewhere, into some sort of a shaft," she said.
Pavel Koutecky was born in 1956. In 1982 he graduated from FAMU. Between 1988 and 1991 he was resident at the National Film and Television School in Beaconsfield, UK. From 1982 to 1989 he was employed in the video studio of Czech Technical University (CVUT); from 1990 to 1998 he was employed in Kratky Film Praha.
During his studies, Koutecky made a name for himself with his film project which captured the lives of people from all walks of life. After 1989, he was renowned for films that traced local political developments (OOO, my se mame - 1990, Zanik Ceskoslovenska v parlamentu - 1993).
Many films by Koutecky - 49 year-old screenwriter, cameraman and director - were made in cooperation with the Film&Sociologie association, for which he had also been preparing several documentary films that revisit the protagnists over a period of time. Five years ago, Koutecky released his film Hledaci pevneho bodu. Over a 12-year period, the film follows the lives of four subjects involved in the 1989 revolution, namely, musician Michael Kocab, dissident Jan Ruml, Krystof Rimsky - a young man who took part in the demonstration at Narodni Street, and student leader Martin Mejstrik.
Before his death, Koutecky had been working on a documentary film about Vaclav Havel. Films about the Prague Castle form another important part of his filmography; the last one in the cycle was Promeny Prazskeho hradu, 2004.
One of his last films is Pojd bliz, cukratko (released in 2005), about the cooperation of Czech and South African theatre actors at the Archa theatre. Koutecky's documentary series Vzpominam, vzpominas, vzpominame became a hit with the audiences.
Apart from documentary filmmaking, Koutecky was active in the field of animation and multimedia (the Kolotoc theatre, Divadlo Hudby). Koutecky made most of his approx. 45 films in collaboration with cameraman Stano Slusny; he also worked closely with journalist and author Jan Burian. His films have received numerous awards at Czech and international film festivals.
From 1991, Koutecky taught at FAMU, and until his death he was head of a class at the documentary department.
Photo: Pavel Koutecky on the Ex Oriente Film Workshop 2004