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5th Annual V4 Film Series Kick Off April 20!

The Embassies of the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia, invite you to the 5th Annual V4 Film Series, featuring the theme: "Darkness Within and Around Us," running from April 20-28, 2016. All screenings are admission free, but RSVPs are required.

V4 Invitation

V4 Invitation

5th Annual V4 Film Series Program (PDF, 623 KB)

The Visegrad Group, also known as the Visegrad Four or simply V4, is an alliance of four Central European countries – Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, and Slovakia – created in 1991. Each embassy will present a film that explores the theme of the “Darkness Within and Around Us,” shaped by the cultural and political elements of the country’s history or universal factors. These stories may depict characters who are haunted by their past, ostracized by their community, and / or corrupted from within. There is an ever present darkness that looms in their lives, and they yearn to break out. 

April 20, 6:30 pm – The Way Out | Cesta ven
Embassy of the Czech Republic 
RSVP: http://v4screening.eventbrite.com

April 21,7 pm  – White Palms | Fehér tenyér
Embassy of Hungary 
RSVP: Rsvp.was@mfa.gov.hu

April 27, 7 pm – The Candidate | Kandidát
Embassy of the Slovak Republic 
RSVP: rsvp.washington@mzv.sk

April 28, 6:30 pm – The Here After | Intruz
Embassy of the Republic of Poland
RSVP: http://tny.im/46b

All screenings are free, but RSVPs are required. 

April 20, 6:30 pm
The Way Out | Cesta ven
2014, 105 min., in Czech with English subtitles          
Directed by Petr Václav

Synopsis: Dubbed the best film of the year at the Czech Critics' awards, director Petr Václav's The Way Out (Cesta ven) follows a Romani couple trying to live a "normal life" in a community obscured by prejudice. Žaneta (Klaudia Dudová) and David (David Ištok) strive to provide for their daughter and Žaneta’s sister. To protect his family, David considers a life of crime, as the grim backdrop of unemployment, debt, and poverty weighs down. Žaneta wants a respectable life for her family, her sister to get an education, and an honest job. Trapped in the community’s anti-gypsy prejudice, can Žaneta find the inner strength to break out?     

Awards: The film was the first Czech film screened at the prestigious Cannes Film Festival in the last 16 years. It won seven 2015 Czech Lion Awards and four Czech Critics´ Awards for best film, director, screenwriter and leading actress.                          

About the Director: The Way Out marks the director Petr Václav’s  return to the theme of the Roma community. His debut feature Marian drew on his experience in documentary filmmaking and featured Roma non-actors living similar lives to those of their characters. Marian garnered the Silver Leopard at the 1996 Locarno Film Festival. The Way Out is the director’s first feature film since 2001’s Parallel Worlds (Paralelní světy) that won the Golden Kingfisher Award at the Plzeň Film Festival.                

Location: Embassy of the Czech Republic | 3900 Spring of Freedom Street, NW, Washington, DC 20008       
RSVP: http://v4screening.eventbrite.com

April 21, 7 pm     
White Palms | Fehér tenyér            
2006, 97 min., in Hungarian with English subtitles        
Directed by Szabolcs Hajdu                               

Synopsis: An athlete recalls his troubled youth while helping to coach a talented but headstrong youngster in this drama from Hungarian filmmaker Szabolcs Hajdu. Miklos Dongo (Miklos Zoltan Hajdu) is a world class gymnast who competed in the Olympics before taking on his current career as a performer with Cirque du Soleil. He has been hired to help coach contenders for the Canadian Olympic team and finds himself working with Kyle Manjak (Kyle Shewfelt), an unusually talented young man whose mood swings make him difficult in which to work. As Miklos tries to help Kyle focus his talents and come to terms with his demons, he finds himself frequently looking back on his own early career in the eighties as a prodigy gymnast in the communist Hungary.        

Awards: The film won Best Director (Szabolcs Hajdu), Best Cinematography Award, Golden Scissors and Audience Prize at the 37th Hungarian Film Festival.

About the Director: Szabolcs Hajdu was born in 1972 in Debrecen. He also used to be a gymnast as a child, but due to unworthy treatment he quit. Hajdu was a student at the Academy of Drama and Film in Budapest. His acting career is also worth mentioning. He is a member of the new emerging filmmaker generation in Hungary in many ways. He is a director, screenwriter and an actor who despite his young age has already created six feature films and played in at least a dozen films. Both as an actor and a director,  he garnered  domestic and international awards at various festivals.

Location: Embassy of Hungary | 2950 Spring of Freedom Street NW, Washington, DC 20008
RSVP: rsvp.was@mfa.gov.hu

April 27, 7 pm     
The Candidate | Kandidát

2013, 100 min., in Slovak with English subtitles
Directed by: Jonas Karasek

Synopsis: The Candidate is a cynical black humor thriller which takes place in Slovakia during a presidential campaign. Created on the basis of a novel written by Maroš Hečko and Michal Havran, it follows a manipulative game of producing the president of a country out of Mr. Nobody. The campaign and a dangerous game is perceived through the eyes of two snoops, who are hired to tap and record Adam Lambert, a conjurer of the local advertising world. The Candidate is a witty political farce, indirectly depicting wide malignancies of a post-communist society instantly transformed into a money-ruled, rightist one.

Awards: The film was the most watched movie in Slovak theaters in 2013 and has received several awards including Best Camera and Best Editor at the National Film Awards 2014, Best Marking Campaign in V4 Countries  at the Rainbow Marble 2014, and Best Director at the Central European Film Festival (MECEFF, 2014).

About the Director: Jonas Karasek was born and lives in Bratislava, Slovakia. He studied industrial design at the Academy of Fine Arts and Design in Bratislava. As an art director, he worked for several advertising agencies in Vienna, Sydney and Bratislava. He currently works as an art director and director of the studio GunPowder. He is a winner of the best video clip (for Jana Kirschner); finalist of the Billboard of the Year competition and the Global Awards New York 08; winner of the prize Filip for personal contribution to Slovak creativity, and winner of numerous awards of the best Slovak advertisement of the year.  The Candidate is his full-length directorial debut.

Location: Embassy of the Slovak Republic | 3523 International Court, NW, Washington, DC 20008
RSVP: rsvp.washington@mzv.sk with “Candidate” in the subject line or at 202. 237.1054, ext.266

April 28, 6:30 pm
The Here After | Intruz
2015, 98 min., in Polish with English subtitles    
Directed by: Magnus von Horn       

Synopsis: The Here After is a story of a teenager who goes back to his family after leaving a prison for young offenders. Seventeen-year-old John wants to return home, but his community does not want him anymore. He becomes the victim of social ostracism, bullied by his brutal classmates. A review by the The Hollywood Reporter states “An angry young man struggles to escape the shadow of his violent past in this somber Scandi-Polish drama. (…) Partly modeled on real case studies, Warsaw-based Swedish auteur Magnus Von Horn’s feature debut is backed by Lars Von Trier’s Zentropa Company and boasts handsome cinematography by Lukasz Zal.” The film is a story about the evil hidden under the cover of social norms.

Awards: Director Magnus von Horn was nominated for the Golden Camera at the Cannes Film Festival 2015. The film won three Golden Lions at the Gdynia Film Festival in 2015, including Best Director, Best Editing, and Best Screenplay.               

About the Director: Magnus von Horn is a director and screenwriter, born in 1983 in Göteborg, Sweden. In 2003, he started studying directing at the Łódź Film School in Poland. For his first student short, Radek (2006), he won the Maciej Szumowski Award for Special Social Sensitivity at the Kraków Film Festival. In 2009, he won the Silver Lajkonik Award at the same festival for his feature short Echo. The theme of crime as a transgression of norms that can be committed by anyone has been present in the director’s work from the very beginning. The Here After marks his feature film debut.  
Photo credit: http://culture.pl/en/artist/magnus-von-horn.       

Location: Embassy of the Republic of Poland | 2640 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20009
RSVP: http://events.constantcontact.com/register/event?llr=mfs6ogwab&oeidk=a07ecftvp9y699ad0a8


Visegrad Four (V4):            
The Visegrad Group, also known as the Visegrad Four or simply V4, is a group of four Central European countries – Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia – created in 1991. These countries have always been part of a single civilization that shares cultural and intellectual values and common roots, which they wish to preserve and further strengthen. The group’s activities aim at fostering stability in the region, presenting common ideas at various international fora, and encouraging optimum cooperation with each other as well as with other countries. The Czech Republic currently holds the rotating presidency of the V4.