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“UCLA is honored to present to Los Angeles audiences an exciting selection of films that vividly illus-trates the breadth and excellence of Czech Cinema. The program features everything from a tale of magical realism to a police procedural, a caper film, and much more – all generously ladled with the wry humor that marks the works as distinctly Czech, “ said Shannon Kelley, Head of Public Programs, UCLA Film & Television Archive
The festival will begin on Friday, May 10 at 7:30 pm with an opening reception and screening of “Flower Buds,” winner of four Czech Lions in 2012, including Best Film. This powerful first feature from Czech director Zdenk Jiráský is about the struggles of a small town family. The film has been recognized in Chicago, Warsaw, and many other major international film festivals. A question and answer session with the director will follow the screening.
The festival will conclude on Monday, June 3 at 7:30 pm with a screening of “In the Shadow,” the new film directed by David Ondíek, who was one of Variety’s 10 Directors to Watch in 2013. Starring veteran Czech actor Ivan Trojan (“Želary”) and Sebastian Koch (“The Lives of Others”), this modern film noir explores the political and psychological labyrinth of Stalinist Czechoslovakia. The film swept the 2013 Czech Lion awards (the Czech Academy Awards), winning nine prizes, including Best Film, Best Director, and Best Screenplay. Ondíek, known internationally for his many popular Czech films, will be on hand to answer questions after the screening.
The Czech and Slovak co-production “Made in Ash” will be screened on May 11. The film is a depiction of the stirring life of a desperate young migrant woman in central Europe. Director Iveta Grófová draws on her own experience and uses raw footage with non-professional actors to achieve the film’s heightened authenticity. The film was the official Slovak selection for the 2013 Best Foreign Language Oscar.
Several other award-winning films will round out the festival. These include “Gypsy,” winner of numerous awards at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival and the Slovak best foreign film entry at the 2012 Academy Awards, and “The House,” from acclaimed writer-director Zuzana Liová and the winner of awards at the Bratislava and Palm Springs International Film Festivals. Other Czech films include “Polski Film,” and “Signal”.
The touring festival will officially begin in Salt Lake City in April, then travel to Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Chicago, Portland, Phoenix, Denver, Washington, DC, before concluding in Seattle in July. A total of 12 films will be screened. Additional special events will complement the festival in each city, including opening and closing receptions, Q&A discussions with directors, and more events to be announced.
UCLA Film & Television Archive, Billy Wilder Theater:
10899 Wilshire Blvd // Los Angeles, CA // 90024
Screenings will start at 7:30 p.m.
All films are in Czech with English subtitles.
Friday, May 10 “Flower Buds” (followed by Q&A with director)
Saturday, May 11 “Gypsy” followed by “Made in Ash” (double feature)
Thursday, May 16 “Polski Film” followed by “Signal” (double feature)
Monday, May 20 “The House”
Monday, June 3 “In the Shadow” (followed by Q&A with director)