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Czech That Film Festival Hits Washington

Touring 15 major US cities, the Czech That Film (CTF) Festival makes a stop in DC at the Avalon Theatre from April 12-13, opening with the Czech box-office smash comedy Tiger Theory (Teorie tygra) with guest director Radek Bajgar on April 12, followed by Oscar-nominated director Jan Hřebejk’s The Teacher (Učitelka) and Filip Renč’s dark drama The Devil’s Mistress (Lída Baarová) about a Czech fallen actress on April 13.      

Now in its sixth year, the festival highlights top Czech films, bringing directors and actors to the US scene for lively discussions. “The goal of the Czech That Film Festival is to draw awareness to Czech cinematography and provide an avenue to watch these extraordinary Czech films that may not be distributed yet in the US,” said Zdeněk Beránek, chargé d’affaires a.i. at the Czech Embassy in Washington.        

In addition to the film screenings, special guest Czech director Radek Bajgar will present a Q&A following the screening of his debut film Tiger Theory, about a veterinarian yearning to get out of his everyday routine and experience the excitement of adventure again.

A special component of the festival is a reception in the Avalon’s historic main theatre, serving Czech cuisine prepared by Embassy Chef Zdenek Pecka. The menu will include beef goulash and bread, apple strudel 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 13.

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

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

April 12, 8 pm:  Tiger Theory | Teorie tygra, Q&A with Director Radek Bajgar 
Dir. Radek Bajgar, 2016, 101 min., Czech with English subtitles       
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hpnJzDZeE7s                  

Director Radek Bajgar’s poignant debut takes viewers on the road with veterinarian Jan (Jiří Bartoška), who yearns for the call of the wild. He sees himself losing his grip on life, controlled by his wife Olga (Eliška Balzerová). An unconventional patient gives him an idea, setting him on a journey of self-discovery that just might change his life for the better, even though it might lead him to the nuthouse along the way.         

Guest Director: Radek Bajgar (1962) is a scriptwriter, director, and producer. Before turning to film, he worked in the field of general medicine and later became a journalist. From 1990-92, he studied documentary at the Film and Television Academy of the Performing Arts (FAMU) in Prague. He has served as the chief editor of the weekly magazine Reflex and TV Nova. In 2012, he founded Logline Production, which also produced Tiger Theory, his film debut.

April 13, 5:15 pm: The Teacher (Učitelka)        
Dir. Jan Hřebejk, 2016, 102 minutes, Slovak with English subtitles                 
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3Pkvz4rh_qI 
Set in the early 1980s in Czechoslovakia, an elementary school principal calls an urgent meeting for parents. There are allegations that a seemingly kind teacher is using her students to manipulate their parents into providing a host of perks. Will the teacher’s cozy connections with the Communist Party keep the parents silent or will they stand up against the corruption? Inspired by true events, this suspenseful drama reveals the strength of the human character. It is a universal story that could happen anytime and anywhere, as long as corruption, pettiness, and selfishness still rule the world.        

Actress Zuzana Mauréry won the Czech Lion Award for Best Actress, and the film was nominated for a Crystal Globe at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival (2016).

April 13, 8 pm: The Devil’s Mistress (Lída Baarová)                                                    
Dir. Filip Renč, 2016, 106 min., Czech with English subtitles
Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xd6lG1QsvG0                 

Beautiful Czech actress Lída Baarová takes Germany’s silver screen by storm and in the process steals the heart of one of the Third Reich’s most powerful men — Joseph Goebbels, the Minister of Propaganda. Baarová rejects offers from Hollywood to enter into a passionate affair with one of Hitler’s closest followers, but at what price? 

Lída Baarová was a legendary Czech actress. At 17, she started taking on roles in the Czech National Theater in Prague. By 21, she was a star of Czechoslovak cinema. She landed a leading role in the film Barcarole with the Babelsberg Film Studio, Gemany’s largest film studio at that time. While playing in numerous propaganda films, she caught the eye of Hitler’s propaganda minister Joseph Goebbels. He had an affair with her before Hitler ended the tryst; thereby, barring her from appearing in any films or plays in Germany. She returned to Prague but was eventually blacklisted; therefore, she moved to Italy. She was arrested by American troops in 1945 and briefly imprisoned. Her reputation never recovered.                              
The festival is presented in collaboration with the Avalon Theatre.


Press Release: Czech That Film Festival in Washington,... 146 KB PDF (Adobe Acrobat document) Mar 13, 2017