Berlinale festival director Dieter Kosslick and veteran Polish film-maker Andrzej Wajda are to receive the Kristian Award for their Contributions to World Cinema at this week’s Prague International Film Festival – Febiofest.

The award for Wajda will be accepted on his behalf by the actor Robert Więckiewicz, who plays the title in the director’s latest film Walesa: Man Of Hope, at Febiofest’s opening ceremony on 20 March.

“There is probably not a person in Central European cinema who would document their homeland’s history with such consistency and emphasis on the desire for freedom and protection of elementary moral values,” Febiofest’s programme director Stefan Uhrik commented.

“Visionary“ Kosslick

The honour for Kosslick will be his first Czech award to add to a host of other distinctions he has received during over 30 years working in the world of film funding and, latterly, festival programming at the Berlinale since 2001.

“He is a visionary man who is also able to successfully bring his original ideas to life,” programme director Hana Cielova said, while Uhrik added that he had always been „fascinated by both his stubbornness and brilliance in defending his theory of investments in culture, which also bring an economic effect.”

As previously reported, a third Kristian award will be presented to the Ivory Coast-born actor Isaach de Bankolé.

Polish honour

In addition, Uhrik, Cielova and programming colleague Mira Haviarova are to receive Poland’s Bene Merito honorary distinction during this week’s festival as “an expression of appreciation and gratitude of the Polish side for the promotion of Polish cinema and Polish artists during the individual editions of Febiofest.”

Other guests expected at the 18th edition include Serbian director Srdan Golubovic, Canada’s Simon Lavoie, Poland’s Maciej Pieprzyca, Finland’s Jan Forsström Italy’s Matteo Oleotto, Israel’s Yariv Horowitz and Romania’s Valentin Hotea.

Finále Plzeň welcomes Slovak cinema and television

The 27th edition of the annual showcase of Czech cinema, Finále Plzeň (27 April - 3 May, 2014) is to become a Czecho-Slovak festival by opening up its Golden Kingfisher Award to Slovak feature, animated and documentary films to compete alongside Czech productions.

As the festival’s executive director Eva Veruňková Košařová noted, the decision was taken since ¨many films shown at competition screenings in the past years were co-produced by Slovak production companies.¨

New competition

In addition, a new competition is being introduced for Czech and Slovak TV formats „as a reaction to the current emphasis by the Czech TV channels on the improvement of their productions.¨

The competitive section will be divided into two genre categories - drama and comedy - and accept entries from such productions as thriller, crime, horror and drama TV series as well as sitcoms and comedy series.

Finále’s new emphasis on television will also be incorporated into an expanded Industry Days section with, among other things, discussion about the possibilities of TV co-production with other countries.

The welcoming of Slovak production to the festival in Plzeň will also be accompanied by an intensification of collaboration with the Slovak Film Institute which celebrated its 50th anniversary in 2013.

Hany to open Finále

Matěj Chlupáček and Michal Samir’s debut feature Hany, shot without any edits at Plzeň’s famous brewery, will have an avant-premiere screening at the festival’s opening ceremony on 27 April.

Films by Alice Nellis, Jan Hrebejk, Agnieszka Holland and Karin Babinská are among 14 feature films produced or co-produced by the Czech Republic or Slovakia, which have been selected for the Golden Kingfisher Feature Film Competition, while 22 titles were chosen from 68 submissions for the Documentary Competition.

Further information about Finále’s programme can be found from the end of March at