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Film Festival: Czech That Film

Date: 10 April 2019 8:00 PM - 11 April 2019 10:15 PM, Venue: Avalon Theatre

The Czech That Film Festival hits Washington on April 10-11, 2019, with award-winning film director Radim Špaček in person, films highlighting the best in Czech cinema, and a reception featuring delicious Czech cuisine at the Avalon Theatre.

The Embassy of the Czech Republic has collaborated with the Avalon Theatre to bring the festival to the Washington community. The festival launches on April 10 with the historical drama Golden Sting (Zlatý podraz), which garnered nine Czech Lion nominations, the country’s top honors in such categories as best film, cinematography, and supporting actor. On the following day, April 11, the Avalon Theater will screen the comedy Patrimony (Tátova volha) centering on a mother/daughter quest over a hidden family secret, followed by the romantic comedy Suitor (Napádník) about a young couple who meets in 1950s Czechoslovakia.

Now in its eighth year, the Czech That Film Festival highlights new Czech films, bringing directors and actors to the US scene for lively discussions. “The Czech That Film festival offers a mini showcase of the Czech Republic’s top contemporary films with the added benefit of meeting filmmakers such as director Radim Špaček,” said Hynek Kmoníček, Ambassador of the Czech Republic to the United States.

Radim Špaček is a celebrated Czech director who studied at the world-renowned Film and Television Academy of the Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU). He won the prestigious Czech Lion Award for Best Director for his film Walking Too Fast (Pouta), a psychological thriller about relations between the secret police and the dissident movement. His latest film Golden Sting, is based on real events surrounding the Czechoslovak basketball team trying to defend their title under a totalitarian regime.

A special component of the festival is a reception in the Avalon’s historic main theater, serving Czech cuisine provided by the Czech Embassy’s chef. The menu will include beef goulash with bread, bublanina (fruit cake), and a glass of wine, Czech beer, or soft drink. Attendees can either book the double feature or evening screening with reception to enjoy the culinary delights on April 11.

For tickets, please visit www.theavalon.org/czechthatfilm | All films will screen with English subtitles.
Location: Avalon Theater, 5612 Connecticut Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20015

The Czech That Film Festival brings the best of Czech filmmaking to 20 major cities in North America.
For more information, please visit www.czechthatfilm.com.


Opening Night! - Wednesday, April 10, 8 pm

Directed by Radim Špaček, 2018, 106 min.
Trailer: https://youtu.be/FuW9-NflxyY

“The film is one of the best Czech sports dramas. It is a true story of a team, which between 1938 and 1951 was fighting not only against (their opponents) but the traps of two undemocratic regimes...” ~Tomáš Stejskal, Aktuálně.cz

Q&A with director Radim Špaček

Young lawyer and athlete Franta takes over coaching the Czechoslovak men’s basketball team after his coach is arrested during World War II. Following the liberation of Czechoslovakia, Franta leads the team to the European Basketball Championships in Geneva, where they miraculously win gold in 1946. While in Geneva, he falls in love with Michelle, who escaped both Stalin and Hitler. As he pursues her, he also continues to manage the team, which dreams of how to best the Americans and defend their title against the Soviet Union. With the communist coup in February 1948, they find that their fiercest competitor remains off the court. They ultimately go to Paris to defend their title, but at what cost? The film is based on real events and the memories of the survivors.

Golden Sting has received nine Czech Lion nominations in such categories as Best Film, Best Supporting Actor (Jan Hartl), Best Cinematography, and Best Editing.

Thursday, April 11, 5:15 pm
Directed by Jiří Vejdělek, 2018, 90 min.
Trailer: https://youtu.be/ecQPLpApp5k

“Jiří Vejdělek demonstrates why he’s one of the Czech Republic’s most beloved filmmakers with this heartfelt and poignant comedy.” ~ Vancouver International Film Festival

Fashion designer Eva unexpectedly becomes a widow. Surprises continue to abound when she discovers an unknown child's drawing in her late husband's possessions. Even though Eva would like to ignore the discovery, her daughter Tereza, whose life is unraveling, latches onto the idea of an estranged stepbrother. The mother and daughter set out in her late husband’s vintage car to follow the trails of his former lovers, look for old friends, and find out more about the hidde n
family secret.

Actress Tatiana Vilhelmová has garnered a Czech Lion nomination for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for her role in the film.

Thursday, April 11, 8 pm
Directed by Jan Hřebejk, 2017, 113 min.
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T6zVAsKFxBU

“[Suitor] vivdly realizes the journey of its central family during Czechoslovakia’s most tumultuos years, and in doing so captures the transformation of the country itself.” ~Jason Pirodsky, film critic, The Prague Reporter

Set in the late 1950s, the communist regime controls Czechoslovakia, and a gap has opened between the prewar and postwar generations. City girl Daniela meets country boy Mirek while staying at the garden store run by her aunt and uncle. Love begins to bloom, but Daniela’s father is furious. He has other plans for his daughter, intent on making the perfect match with an educated catch. The romantic comedy is the final installment of director Hřebejk’s Garden Store trilogy, following three families: an air radio operator, a hair salon owner, and a garden store proprietor against the backdrop of the most dramatic periods of the last century.