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FEBIOFEST PRAGUE 2020

Febiofest Prague prepares for take two

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- Although it will take place as a physical event, the organisers are also preparing the Czech festival in hybrid form, after the original edition was disrupted by the pandemic

Febiofest Prague prepares for take two
Karel by Olga Malířová Špátová

After this year’s edition of the largest film gathering in the Czech capital, planned for late March, had to be shut down, the physical 27th edition of the Prague International Film Festival – Febiofest is now set to start on 18 September. While the organisers have voiced a number of concerns about the current situation, as new cases of coronavirus have been increasing rapidly, the pared-down line-up short on international guests that had originally been announced (see the news) will kick off with the avant-premiere of the documentary Karel (see the news), about internationally recognised Czech crooner Karel Gott, who passed away last year. The film was directed by Olga Malířová Špátová.

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Five titles will be vying for the top prize in the main competition: the Andrea Bræin Hovig- and Stellan Skarsgård-led Hope [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Maria Sødahl
film profile
]
by Maria Sødahl; Pietro Marcello’s adaptation of the Jack London novel Martin Eden [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pietro Marcello
film profile
]
, set during an unspecified period in Italian history; the feature debut by Amjad Abu Alala, You Will Die At 20 [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Amjad Abu Alala
film profile
]
; Ivan Ostrochovský’s period drama Servants [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ivan Ostrochovský
film profile
]
; and Mariusz Wilczyński’s semi-autobiographical, surreal drama Kill It and Leave This Town [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Mariusz Wilczyński
film profile
]
. A brand-new competition strand has been added under the new artistic leadership of the festival (see the news) by programme directors Marta Švecová and Nikolaj Nikitin, called Comedy Competition. Benoît Forgeard’s kitchen-appliance-starring slacker comedy All About Yves [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Benoît Forgeard
film profile
]
will thus lock horns with Lisa Aschan’s crazy comedy about mothers and daughters, Call Mom! [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, the heist comedy Heroic Losers [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Sebastian Borensztein and the Slovak tragicomic love story Loli Paradicka [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marka Staviarska
film profile
]
, which turned out to be the dark horse among the 2019 crop of Slovakian film productions (see the news).

Central and Eastern European cinema will be showcased in the new Eastern Delights section, including Mira Fornay’s experimental drama Cook F**k Kill [+see also:
trailer
interview: Mira Fornay
film profile
]
, Tudor Giurgiu’s Parking [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Tudor Giurgiu
film profile
]
and Jurgis Matulevičius’ drama Isaac [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jurgis Matulevičius
film profile
]
, while the Panorama section will widen its geographical scope, introducing local audiences to Rúnar Rúnarsson’s kaleidoscopic portrait of modern society, Echo [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Rúnar Rúnarsson
film profile
]
, Haifaa Al Mansour’s The Perfect Candidate [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Haifaa al-Mansour
film profile
]
and Roman Polanski’s An Officer and a Spy [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. Among the other sections in the programme structure are Queer Now, Docs, Generation, Girls in Film, Festival Focus: Busan, a Max Ophüls retrospective and TV Now. The latest film by Pavel Göbl, the absurd tragicomedy The Silent Partner (see the news), will receive a special screening ahead of its domestic premiere on 1 October.

The Czech branch of Amnesty International will hand out an Award for the Best Human Rights Film, with Fornay’s Cook F**k Kill, Samuel Kishi Leopo’s Los Lobos, Ray Yeung’s Suk Suk, Suwon Shin’s Light for the Youth, Mahnaz Mohammadi’s Son-Mother [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Raymund Ribay Gutierrez’s Verdict [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
and Carlo Sironi’s Sole [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Carlo Sironi
film profile
]
all in the running.

After a portion of the planned industry programme unfolded virtually in late March – namely, Czech Works in Progress (see the report) and Girls in Film Works in Progress (see the report) – the remainder of the industry section will take place on one day, which will be dedicated to the topic of Czech films in international markets.

Wary of the current situation, programme director Marta Švecová revealed at the press conference that the team is planning the festival in a hybrid form, offering all competition titles for online viewing. The gathering is also planning to commemorate Oscar-winning Czech director Jiří Menzel, who passed away on 5 September.

The 27th edition of the Prague International Film Festival – Febiofest will take place from 18-25 September, and the full line-up is available here.

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