The Czech prime minister hasproposed Vitezslav Jandak, an actor and the president of the Zlin InternationalFilm Festival, as culture minister. Jandak will replace Pavel Dostal, who diedrecently of cancer.

Pavel Strnad, president ofthe Czech Audiovisual Producers Association, was optimistic about the primeminister's selection. "It's good news that he's an actor and the directorof the film festival in Zlin, and I think he's aware of the problems in the filmindustry and the new film law in the parliament right now," Strnad said."Hopefully he will finish the work that Dostal started."

If passed, the new film law wouldimprove conditions for Czech film and international productions.

In a press statement, thegovernment said Jandak had "friends in culture circles all over the world,including the famous Hollywood actor Michael York, who visited the Zlinfestival this year." For his part, Jandak sees himself as a negotiator who"can open the correct door."

Jandak has directed for theZlin festival, which focuses on films for a youth audience, for eight years. Heis deputy chairman of the board of Ateliery Bonton Zlin, a producer of animatedfilms. He has acted in film and TV, being a regular actor at the thenstate-owned Barrandov Studios. He entered politics and business after theso-called Velvet Revolution in 1989, which brought an end to the communistregime of then-Czechoslovakia.