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FINÁLE PLZEŇ 2019 Awards

Domestique nets the Best Film Award at Finále Plzeň

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- The “social body horror” has come out on top at the gathering intended to honour the best of Czech cinema from the past season

Domestique nets the Best Film Award at Finále Plzeň
Domestique producer Jakub Jira, writer-director Adam Sedlák, actress Tereza Hofova, and sound designers Jan Šulcek and Jakub Jurasek with their award at Finále Plzeň (© Finále Plzeň)

The annual showcase of Czech cinema, Finále Plzeň (11-16 April - see the news), has drawn to a close while simultaneously wrapping up the awards season for domestic cinema. After the Czech Film Critics’ Awards (see the news) and the Czech Lions (see the news), the various different juries consisting of international film professionals got the chance to voice their opinions on Czech cinema from the past season. Slovenian director Sonja Prosenc, film theory professor Loreta Gandolfi, producer Aija Brezina, Italian actor Christian Vit (of Game of Thrones fame) and producer Denis Mujović deliberated on which movie would be crowned Best Fiction or Animated Feature. They plumped for one of the boldest domestic debuts of the past year, the minimalistic social body horror Domestique [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Adam Sedlák
film profile
]
 by Adam Sedlák, which thus received the Golden Kingfisher Award.

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German curator, lecturer and writer Grit Lemke, documentary filmmaker and actress Nino Kirtadze, and Doclisboa programmer Miguel Ribeiro handed the Award for Best Documentary to Tomáš Bojar’s Breaking News [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, saying, “The humour highlights the Kafkaesque power structures and demonstrates that the crisis we face does not relate to fake news, but rather to a fake system.” 

Other juries were hard at work selecting the laureates in categories such as Best Episodic Television or Internet Project, which saw the victory of the crime miniseries Rédl, set in post-revolution Czechoslovakia and revolving around organised crime. The series forms part of Czech Television’s original programming, as does the two-part film about the worst mining accident in the history of the country, Dukla 61, which scored another win for the public broadcaster when it scooped the Award for Best Non-episodic TV or Internet Project.

Besides industry professionals, student juries also had a go at picking out what they thought were the best gems from among the domestic audiovisual output. Their opinions clearly differed, as the students crowned the period biopic Toman [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 as Best Film and Tomáš Elšík’s Central Bus Station as Best Documentary. They were also convinced by the record-breaking series Most! by Jan Prušinovský, which succeeds in smashing down prejudices, and, in the non-episodic format category, the two-part film Metanol, which dramatises the events of 2012, when there was a case of widespread methanol poisoning. Both of these productions are part of the Czech Television stable.

The 2019 edition of Finále Plzeň managed to draw in 14,500 viewers to enjoy its 127 screenings. The festival’s director, Eva Veruňková Košařová, noted that visitors not only flocked to watch the obvious films, but they were also interested “in movies that are perceived as marginal in the cinemas”. The showcase also featured 12 premieres and pre-premieres of upcoming films.

Next year’s edition of Finále Plzeň will run from 16-21 April.

Here is the complete list of winners:

The Golden Kingfisher Award

Best Film
Domestique [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Adam Sedlák
film profile
]
 – Adam Sedlák (Czech Republic/Slovakia) 

Best Documentary
Breaking News [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
 – Tomáš Bojar (Czech Republic)

Best Episodic TV or Internet Project
Rédl – Jan Hřebejk (Czech Republic) 

Best Non-episodic TV or Internet Project
Dukla 61 – David Ondříček (Czech Republic) 

Best Student Short Film
Apart – Diana Cam Van Nguyen (Czech Republic)

Student Jury Award 

Best Film
Toman [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 – Ondřej Trojan (Czech Republic/Slovakia)

Best Documentary
Central Bus Station – Tomáš Elšík (Czech Republic) 

Best Episodic TV or Internet Project
Most! – Jan Prušinovský (Czech Republic)

Best Non-episodic TV or Internet Project
Metanol – Tereza Kopáčová (Czech Republic)

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