This documentary presents both sides of the conflict around the meeting of the World Bank and International Monetary Fund in September 2000, and the media game played out in the tiny Czech playground. We witness both the actions and attitudes of the Prague Municipality and the police, and of the protesters, mainly young people from abroad who came to voice their opinions like modern-day martyrs. There are many other characters, for instance, an entrepreneur who set out to sell refreshments and sleeping bags at the Strahov stadium where protesters planned to sleep. In the end nobody came and he was left with a stall of sausages, sleeping bags and interesting observations.
In October 2002, the theatre company "Ježek a Čížek" run by homeless people went on a tour of the region of Southern Bohemia that was then hit by floods. A small film crew followed the tour.
"The eyes of the white man see different things than I do, than we Roma people do," said Marek Balog when the filmmakers started shooting the Violin Knight. Since that moment, this brilliant violin player wanted to have absolute control over the documentary about his life. During filming, he patiently tried to assert his own vision of a "gypsy documentary" until he finally managed to move the disoriented director of the project to the very fringe of the process. Balog decided to create a real, unbiased image of the gypsy world, without the limitations of realism and any rules of plausibility. And so he did. Marek Balog's spontaneous and reckless vision fuses various genres and styles. The film quickly stumbles off any standard path of documentary filmmaking. It takes sharp turns, veering away from the limits of elementary comprehensibility, only to sudddenly reappear within the audience's sight on the horizon of the amazing gypsy imagination.
Searching for Ester
Ester Krumbachová - an artist, screenwriter, director; one of the boldest personalities of the Czech New Wave. She worked in theatre, she was a writer and an illustrator. She co-created films such as The Party and the Guests, Daisies, All My Good Countrymen, Fruit of Paradise, Valerie and Her Week of Wonders, The Very Late Afternoon of Faun, Marian, and many others. In the 1960s, she was at the centre of Prague's art scene, drawing artists who were at the beginning of their career, trying to find their own voice. Those who underwent her training remember her forever. Director Věra Chytilová talks to those who knew Ester Krumbachová, worked with her, befriended her, loved her. She sets out on a search that that should answer the following question: Who was Ester?
The Rastafarians in Ethiopia have been celebrating the 73rd anniversary of the coronation of Ethiopia's last Emperor, Haile Selassie, whom they consider to be God reincarnated and the Messiah of the African people. The Rastafarians, who are mainly from the Caribbean, the USA and the UK, started migrating to Ethiopia in 1955, when Haile Selassie gave 500 hectares of land to all Africans who wished to return to the land of their ancestors. The land that was given to them is located in the small southern Ethiopian town of Shashemene and for the Rastafarians who have settled there, it represents new life in Ethiopia and the fulfillment of their religious beliefs.First version was graduate film, FAMU.
Baku in Azerbaijan, the site of the world's first oil well, is once again becoming a focus for foreign investors eager to exploit the country's vast oil riches. Source traces the pipeline from our commuter highways back to this surreal and sinister landscape on which our way of life depends, where cows graze on polluted land and children play in toxic gunge. With three quarters of the population living under the poverty line, the country's post-Soviet government is promising that oil will turn Azerbaijan into a 'real country', a prosperous and flourishing 'New Kuwait'. But between big oil companies like British Petroleum and the corrupt government lining their pockets, what does this mean for the ordinary people of Azerbaijan? Is this "liquid gold" more of a curse than a blessing for the troubled country?
"A playful film essay about our automobile-automatic society. A film crossing the border of its media, turning into a social act.Martin Mareček: “I lived in downtown Prague, in the ""heart of Europe"". In Prague, ""the mother of cities"", as well as ""the city of cars""... According to statistics, it is one of the most car-crippled cities in Europe. Six years ago, I met my neighbour in the hallway. He was moving: ""Well, we're off, we can't take this anymore."" I replied: ""Yeah, I understand, it's the cars, isn't it? The noise, the smell…"" The neighbour smiled, puzzled: ""Not really, it's cause we have nowhere to park."" Is the story absurd? Is my neighbour autistic? Not quite. I believe that most of us city folks are this automatic… We all suffer from it… Automatically we swear, automatically we drive. Slowly but surely, our game ends with our own auto-mate. Isn't there anything we can do about it? I realized that it is no longer sufficient to make a film. It would only turn into another short essay filled with automated clichés, targetting the usual audience. Another submission into the intellectual fish tank. Therefore, I have gradually turned from a film director into an activist, an artistic radical and a political lobbyist. The multilayered organism AUTO*MATE was conceived.”
A film inspired by an encounter with director Vláčil. The novice set off to see a retired film director whose work we have always respected, in order to approximate the thinking, feeling and output through his film, i.e., to make a film. It so happened that he would just spend time with the old man, forgetting about filmmaking for some time. When the old director died, our novice felt lonely. The time he spent in the company of the director fulfilled him but he did not know how to keep his resolution even though he knew how to make a film.rview with the director was meant to form the film`s foundations.
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.
In "Bear Islands", director Martin Ryšavý continues his exploration of subjects related to the Sakha Republic, or Yakutia, Russia's Far Eastern Federal District. The film captures the life of residents in the remotest part of the territory, Nizhnekolymsky Ulus. Bear Islands are located in the East Siberian Sea at the mouth of the Kolyma River. The camera follows park rangers who take care of the nature reserve as they travel to an isolated polar station through the vast space where the past meets the present. A portrait of a landscape, its history and people who inhabit it.
Following the defeat of the Nazis in WW2, central Europe became the centre of an ideological power struggle between East and West. After elections in 1946, the Communists came to power in Czechoslovakia, supported by the Kremlin in Moscow, and began to implement their totalitarian regime. Many people, who either disliked the new regime or were actively persecuted, wanted to leave the country. The remote, mountainous border region of Šumava between Czechoslovakia and Germany became a key route for people trying to escape to the West. Josef Hasil was a local policeman who had lived all his life in the Sumava region. A war hero and patriot, he became increasingly unhappy with the new changes to his country and the loss of freedom and so began to covertly help people across the border. But in 1948 he was caught in the act, tortured and sentenced to hard labour in a prison camp. He managed to escape and returned to Sumava, vowing to continue his personal war against the Communists. He made contact with the American Counter-Intelligence Corps in Germany who put him back into the field as an active agent and the legend of the King of Šumava was born and began to grow. Over the next few years, in the chaotic period before the Iron Curtain was closed permanently, Hasil became a thorn in the side of the Communist authorities as he smuggled people across the border. His exploits were legendary. His ability to move like a phantom and avoid capture earned him an almost supernatural aura. A propaganda feature film was even made portraying him as a sinister enemy of the state. The exact truth is harder to fully understand. He helped dozens of people but many also suffered including friends and family as the Communists tried everything in their power to stop him. Once the Iron Curtain closed, Hasil left Europe and moved to America where he still lives to this day. The story of the King of Šumava plays out like a crazy fusion of spy thriller and Western with shoot-outs, spycraft, betrayal and a tragic love affair all set against the backdrop of one of the most beautiful mountain regions of central Europe. This proposed documentary will explore the relationship between the man and his own legend. It will be made in conjunction with a dramatized TV mini-series and based on the best selling book ‘The Return of the King of Šumava’ by David Jan Žák, using interviews with Hasil as the backbone of the film. Other survivors from both sides of the conflict will also be interviewed to give first-hand anecdotes and information. Archive footage along with visits to the locations where events took place and stylized dramatized recreations will support this.
The Return of the King of Šumava
The documentary film The Return of the King of Šumava tells the remarkable story of Josef Hasil, an ordinary man who became a legend. This is a tale of adventure and espionage, of heroism and moral choices, that explores the struggle of one man against an authoritarian regime and the sacrifices he had to make. This is a universal human story set against the backdrop of a unique period in the history of Europe.