Czech cinema enjoyed domestic and international success with numerous feature films, documentaries and also several short films in 2019.
The year was marked by a growing number of coproductions, the so-far highest spend of international film crews shooting on Czech locations and exceptional box office results.
The Painted Bird directed by Václav Marhoul was selected as the Czech Republic’s candidate for the 92nd edition of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences award in the International Feature Film category. The film is the first Czech majority coproduction selected for the main competition of the Venice Film Festival (2019) in 25 years and it was also selected for the Special Presentations section of the 44th Toronto IFF (5-15 September 2019).
Jiří Mádl’s sophomore feature On the Roof won the main prize at the Mannheim-Heidelberg International Filmfestival, Michal Hogenauer’s debut feature A Certain Kind of Silence won the Bronze Pyramid Award at the Cairo IFF and the Slovak/Czech coproduction Let There Be Light by Marko Škop won the main prize at the Almaty FF.
The most successful Czech documentary of 2019 was Forman vs. Forman by Helena Třeštíková, which premiered in the Cannes Classics section of the Cannes Film Festival and was screened afterward at another 40 festivals.
The animated short film Daughter / Dcera by Daria Kashcheeva won the Cristal for a Graduation Film at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival as well as the Children’s Jury Prize for Best Student Film. The film has won approximately 40 awards, including the prestigious Student Academy Award for a best-animated film (International Film Schools category), and it was nominated for the Academy Award in the Animated Short Film category.
More than 100 Czech feature films and long documentaries were in various stages of production in 2019, including numerous international coproductions. The coproducing countries traditionally included largely represented Slovakia, Poland, Slovenia, Romania, Lithuania, Hungary, Germany, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and Russia.
As far as the topics and genres of the feature films are concerned, period films – both from older and more recent Czech history – represent a substantial part of the 2019 production, but films on political and social subjects are made more and more often. Filmmakers of all genres also often touch the ecological problems of today´s world. Comedy remains a successful genre in Czech cinemas, as well as films for children, including long animated films.
Beside experienced and renowned directors shooting new films, numerous debut features were also produced in 2019.
Important films were in postproduction or completed in 2019 after several years of production. Among them are the US/Czech/UK coproduction Medieval / Jan Žižka directed by Petr Jákl and produced by WOG FILM; Agnieszka Holland’s Charlatan / Šarlatán produced by Marlene Film Production (CZ) and coproduced by Film and Music Entertainment (IE), Madants (mandates.pl, PL), Furia Film (SK), the Czech Television, Barrandov Studio (CZ), the Radio and Television of Slovakia, CertiCon (CZ) and Magiclab (CZ); and Juraj Jakubisko´s Czech/Slovak fantasy coproduction Perinbaba and the Two Worlds / Perinbaba a dva světy, produced by the Czech company J&J Jakubisko Film Europe SE in coproduction with J&J Jakubisko Film Europe Production Slovakia and JOJ TV.
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