Prague, Czech Republic, 31 May, 2003, a few minutes before 10a.m.; there are more than 3000 people jostling on a remote parking place. Many of them are clutching plastic bags in their hands; some of them are armed with trolley. Assistants are handing out plastic cups and the host on the lit stage urges people to have a drink from the nearby water tanker. The "hyper-anthem" of CZECH DREAM rings out once again from the speakers: "Try to see as a child, many things will seem wild..." Suddenly the managers of the hypermarket rush out on stage, greet their customers and briskly cut the glittering ribbon. Guards remove the metal barriers and the crowd starts moving. They still have 300 metres to reach the hypermarket. People start running... A moment later, the fastest of them are struck dumb: the hypermarket that they have reached is nothing but a huge film decoration... The documentary hyper-comedy CZECH DREAM is a feature film about a hypermarket that never existed. An original, cheeky treatise on capitalism, with more than a whiff of exploitation, “Czech Dream” follows two film students who used a state grant to promote the opening of an entirely fictitious bigbox mega-market in a Prague field. The resulting scandal, alternately hilarious and discomforting, illuminates the waking nightmare of cosumerism in a country still adjusting to the strenghts and pitfalls of the concept. -- Eddie Cockrell, Variety
A portrait of Jáchym Topol, a poet and a novelist. - Department of documentary film, FAMU - 4th year.
A documentary film about Blšany - the world's smallest village with a premiere league soccer team, located in Central Bohemia - consists of two different views. One of them is the view of the filmmakers, the other one is the view of Mr. Tříska, an amateur film producer. Mr. Tříska also becomes our guide through the mysterious world of the village that has been affected by two completely different political systems. Nostalgia for some advantages of socialism clashes with the reflections of consumerism. The producer also lets Mr. Tříska freely recall his memories while sitting in his living room... The documentary is not only a simple patchwork of these two views, but is also interconnecting them, and involving thrill. The crew shoots a scene with an unemployed man in front of his house. However, appeal is added to this scene thanks to Mr. Tříska and his recording of a family describing their household. One of the most intense moments in the film is the scene in which protagonists reassemble a high-end vacuum cleaner... The presence of the village film producer brings a dynamic element into the film. Mr. Tříska drives through the village in his green Trabant, he shoots pictures of families in front of their houses, records the pastor delivering a speech during the Sunday service, and interviews Czech football tycoon Chvalkovský. He also visits the municipal office as the mayor thanks the football team of Blšany. Village B won the Best Short Documentary Film Award at the 2002 Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.
The Oldest Nation in the Czech Republic
About Czech Jewry.
To Meet the Film
A documentary film about the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival, co-directed by the citizens of Jihlava - jury members of the Czech Joy competition 2000 - 2006 and five Czech directors. Creative meetings of the Jihlava grammar school teacher Zdeněk Krásenský with Jiří Krejčík, dispatcher of the Jihlava train station Miroslav Kalina with Martin Mareček, dentist Milan Hanusek with Kristina Vlachová, businessman Vít Sedláček with Karel Vacek and book publisher Veronika Reynková with Jan Šikl.
The Never Filmed Film
A trailer for a planned documentary "My boss is a Jewish carpenter" was made by Czech director Filip Remunda for a New Yorker producer who planned to use it for finding resources for a film about car racers. The story was supposed to be an allegory on American Midwest. After seeing this untypical trailer, the producer rather chose for an American director who turned the piece into an appeasing film for cable networks. (The working version will be exclusively presented in Jihlava as a personal testimony about a film that was never made).
Merry Christmas, Bosnia!
The war report on a Christmas concert of local pop stars for Bosnian soldiers begins with a press conference, where the celebrities talk about landmines. The report was shot in 2001 by the directors Klusak and Remunda, who later dusted it off to remember the bizarre tour of singers (one airplane) and journalists (two other airplanes) to the Czech army unit, during which they were, thanks to the kindness of the military headquarters, shown the arms and the fighting strategies and given information about the sponsors.
All for the Good of the World and Nosovice
An original portrait of a Czech village that houses a giant car plant built by South Korea's Hyundai. Before the village turned into an industrial zone, many of the landowners had no intention of selling their plots of land... Not until many of them faced pressure from their neighbours who had accepted approx. EUR 4000 in compensation and not until they received death threats. Using nine protagonists, the film paints a portrait of a village changed beyond recognition. A humorous yet compelling film about a field that yields cars.
Hilary and Chris Making Their Way
Hilary and Chris bought an old mill in Tábor and they are learning to live there.
The Tadpole, the Rabbit and the Holy Spirit
For four years, the orthodox priest, Libor Halík, has been singing psalms outside the maternity hospital in Brno. This is his everyday protest against abortions. The documentary features a man who is convinced that Czech people prefer laziness to hard-working Christian love, that abortion is murder, homosexuality is perversion, and atheism is a deadly sin. His prayer-protesting outside the "abortion factory" is met with opposition, but he goes on, holding the cross and saying: You can never be a prophet in your own house and land.
From Bohemia to St Helen´s
A trip arranged by a Brno-based travel agency to visit our compatriots in Romania. - Department of documentary film, FAMU - 1. ročník.
New Names for Old Friends
The story of a Bosnian girl from Banja Luka, who studied in Prague and returned to her native city after the war in order to organize a Czech Film festival for her friends. Her friends speak of their war experiences and the bleakness of the current situation.
A cycle of documentaries about women, the Czech song-writer and writer Jan Burian meets a great variety of personalities, conducting dialogues with them in an effort to really get beneath their skin. In this particular film we meet Petra Edelmannová, the head of the far-right National Party. While she has a doctorate in political science and banking analysis, she does not hide her racist views behind slogans about patriotism. The camera follows her on a day-trip outside Prague with two guests, the leaders of national democratic parties in the UK and Sweden. It also records a National Party gathering on Wenceslas Square and an expedition by the group to an area of the town of Litvínov where many of the residents are Roma. Burian pushes his protagonist to explain what the "final solution of the gypsy question" suggested in the party's manifesto actually means. This documentary captures the aggressive rhetoric of Czech nationalists led by a chairwoman who uses sophisticated and therefore more dangerously populist tactics to raise her group's profile among the electorate. At a time when the Czech government is considering banning the National Party, this film represents a valuable contribution to the debate.
Osadne is a film about an encounter between current top European leaders and the local politicians from the last village on the edge of the European Union. The small village of Osadné welcomes a delegation from the European Parliament. And vice versa – the mayor and priest from OSADNÉ visit Brussels institutions on invitation from the European Parliament.
The story of the Star Wars, the Cold War and the War On Terror of one small Czech village. As part of its National Missile Defense Program, the US plan to build a military base in the Czech Republic, a former hiding place for Soviet nuclear rockets during the Cold War. Despite the fact that 73% of Czechs are against the project, the government has continued with negotiations. Supporters of the base claim that it will strengthen the country's defense against the global threats of the 21st century. Opponents point out that the plan essentially shifts the Iron Curtain toward the east; they also insist that it represents an attempt of the US to rule the world.
Kytlice, Zimmer Frei
Kytlice, Zimmer Frei explores the absurd history of Central Europe through the little village of Kytlice in former Sudetenland, situated on the Northern border of the Czech Republic. The film introduces Luděk Farkáš, a naive artist and patient of the local mental clinic, and the film director Rozálie Kohoutová, whose family has bought one of the cottages left after the displaced Germans in the 1950s. The disparate duo of Rozálie and Luděk try to understand the absurdity of nationalism that has left its mark in the region.
Suchý Šlitr Road Movie
This feature documentary project by Miroslav Janek - a musical road movie with twenty stops - captures a remarkable event whose protagonists never get to meet in a single place. It is set to take place in Autumn 2009: a total of twenty musicians and bands from all over the country gather in various locations to launch an event with the working title S+Š 2009. Documentary filmmaker and cinematographer Miroslav Janek (Citizen Havel, Crimson Sails, Unseen, etc.) will turn into a chronicler as he travels to small recording studios, homes, theatres, weekend houses (Praha, Brno, Velvary, sudetský Padouchov, etc.) where contemporary musicians meet without an audience to create new renditions of the songs by Suchý and Šlitr.
A documentary exploration set in Zambia which, despite being one of the largest exporters of copper in the world, is increasingly more dependent on international aid. Having privatized the copper mines, Zambia no longer has earnings from copper export.
The Epochal Trip of Mr. Tříska's to Russia
Few years ago teacher Jaroslav Tříska found his grandfather's legionary diary. His grandfather spent several years in a russian captivity during the First World War. Jaroslav takes grandpa's diary and sets out on his life journey. The route goes exactly in the footsteps of grandfather's journey, following the axis Prague – Moscow – Yekaterimburg – Novosibirsk – Chita. On his journey he reveals not only external changes that have occurred during the time. He also tries to find answers to the questions - Is Russia a democratic state? What form of democracy is it, where journalists are beeing shot and Putin still seems to be dangerous. A feature-length version of the film will be available.
A documentary collage about the progress of one Czech day, composed by 24 directors. Everyone picked one hour, day or night, and received two minutes of the whole film at his or her disposal. This allowed for the mosaic on genres and topics that portrait the atmosphere of the Czech Republic today. At the same time, this unique project presents various filmmaking styles and approaches of the best contemporary Czech documentarians, all on the reel of one film. The authors accompany teenagers at a discotheque, observe doctors during surgery, laborers in a factory, believers in a synagogue or the descent in a human throat. Olga Špátová records the authentic power of the moment when the child is born. Vít Klusák engages a special camcorder to freeze the time of one tram stop. The flow of time is Helena Třeštíková’s topic – she films Katka taking yet another public bath in a Prague’s fountain. Martin Mareček shows a pair of legs sunk in aquarium, which, backed with a voiceover, illustrates the timeless power of human stupidity. Jiří Krejčík, a significant persona of Czech film, conceived his film hour with a great amount of humor and exaggeration.
Spříznění přímou volbou
A feature documentary film about Václav Klaus and his last year in office. The film is also about the search for a new president and the story of a bus driver who stood up to political elite. A probe into Czech choice in all senses of the word.
The film is a Slovak version of The Thin Blue Line, recounting the unsolved disappearance and murder of a young woman that happened thirty years ago. It was a case that was paraded in the communist media at the end of which seven individuals were found guilty of this heinous crime. They are the same individuals who at present proclaim their innocence and claim that they were caught up in the middle of a grand-scale political conspiracy involving the Soviet Union, Iran, Lybia and Czechoslovakia.
Yas, Almost a Fire
A film jazz session inspired by Jazz War on Pop – the life long project of one of the world’s best trumpet players, Laczo Deczi, and the European Concert of Stars – an attack of [post]socialist popmusic on Brussels, Berlin, Prague, and Moscow.
In front of a black background, the opening titles appear. We hear unusual and mysterious noise, which is getting louder and louder. As the dark background is getting lighter, orange-colored plumes of smoke become gradually visible. They are shedding light onto burnt, black tree trunks. The viewer is slowly realizing that the camera is revealing blazing flames. The noise slowly fades into solemn music.
The Prison of Art
This feature documentary film follows a unique art project that connects Czech prisoners and artists, traces the border between freedom and the absence thereof, and looks at the role art plays in our society. A film about freedom and about how your environment informs your view of the world, a film about art and its possibilities. A film about trends, fads and about the limits of grant-based projects.
A five-part series of socially critical, truly “public service” documentaries made over the course of one year. Each film deals with a compelling social issue and its broader context. Each topic is tackled without bias, presumptions and without sentimentality. Rather than to scare or move the viewer, this thought-provoking series wants to stir up debate on stereotypes in our approach to reality. Topics will include current events that are in the headlines, e.g., racism, corruption, organized crime, civic initiatives, public institutions, lobbying and other important events related to politics, sports or culture.