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1st festival of Czech films, CZECH-IN set to open

1st festival of Czech films, CZECH-IN pour le cinéma tchèque, is will open at eight o’clock tomorrow evening in the Paris cinema L’Entrepôt. As we have announced in a previous press release, this is the first self-contained festival of Czech films to be held in Paris since 1989. The showcase runs until June 9 and features ten titles. The six-day event offers a cross-section of contemporary Czech cinema made after the Velvet Revolution, consisting of nine feature films and one feature-length documentary:
Kolya /1996/; Return of the Idiot /1999/; Some Secrets /2002/; Jan Werich’s Fimfárum /2002/; Zelary /2003/; Lunacy /2005/; Something Like Happiness /2005/; Wrong Side Up /2005/; Who’s Afraid of the Wolf /2008/; and the documentary Citizen Havel /2008/.

The festival will open with director Ondřej Trojan’s drama Zelary, presented by the leading lady, actress Aňa Geislerová. This romantic story was created based on a novel by distinguished Czech novelist Květa Legátová, who won the Czech national literature prize in 2002. The love story is set during the Second World War in the rugged mountainous borderlands to which a young medical student, Eliška, fled from the Gestapo. The film tells of a conflict between two completely different personalities, the emancipated Eliška and the uncultivated Joza, in whose cottage Eliška finds refuge. After their initial mistrust, a special bond forms between the two that ultimately blossoms into a romantic relationship. Zelary is named after godforsaken village that becomes Eliška’s seemingly safe haven. The unlikely couple is portrayed by popular Czech and Hungarian actors, Aňa Geislerová and György Cserhalmi.

The opening ceremony for the whole event, organized by Czech Film Center with the support of the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and the Czech Centre in Paris, will be presented on the evening of June 3 by the Czech Ambassador to France, Paul Fischer, Marketa Šantrochová on behalf of Czech Film Center and the director of the Czech Centre in Paris, Martin Bonhard. The opening ceremony and screening of Zelary will be followed by a cocktail party co-hosted by the Czech Embassy in France. The festival is being held in conjunction with the Czech Presidency of the EU.

Other guests invited to the festival opening include representatives of festivals (Cannes International Film Festival, Venice International Film Festival, Quinzaine des réalisateurs, Semaine de la critique), representatives of film institutions and organizations (UniFrance, CNC, Unesco, France Film, Film Commission, Europa Cinemas, ACE, EAVE) and film distributors and sales agents (e.g., Wild Bunch, Celluloid Dreams, Le Pacte, MK2, Rezo Films, Umedia, Memento Films, Les Films du Losange and others).

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