The 21st Finale festival of Czech films begins April 21 in Plzen, Czech Republic. The annual event is a competitive and comprehensive overview of Czech feature-length films released in the past year.
Twelve titles will compete for the Golden Kingfisher for Best Feature Film, including the French-UK-Czech co-production La Vie En Rose, which won five Cesars, three BAFTAs and two Oscars. Olivier Dahan's film also collected three trophies earlier this year at the Czech Lion awards in March.
Three other competition titles likewise received Lions from the Czech Film and Television Academy: Alice Nellis's Little Girl Blue (Best Film and Best Cinematography), Jiri Vejdelek's Vaclav (Best Actor, Best Supporting Actor) and Tomas Vorel's Gympl (Best Supporting Actress).
The Finale competition does not include three highly anticipated titles: Bohdan Slama's Country Teacher, which is screening out of competition in Plzen; Juraj Jakubisko's Bathory, which is expected to see its world premiere at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in July; and Petr Zelenka's Karamazovi. Both Karamazovi and Country Teacher are aiming for a world premieres at major festivals later this year.
This year's Finale will also screen 15 documentaries in competition, including Berlinale Forum title Citizen Havel.
Festival director Ivan Jachim called this year's selection of films 'exceptional', adding that 'part of them are brilliant representatives of contemporary Czech cinematography and I hope they will have a chance to get broader distribution.'
Other programme sections include tributes to Evald Schorm and Jiri Krejcik and a selection of films from 1968, the year of the ill-fated Prague Spring and the first year of the Finale.
Screenings will take place in two new spaces: in the newly reconstructed halls of Plzen's Mestanska beseda and at the new Cinema City Plzen multiplex.
Feature films in competition
Bobule (dir. Tomas Barina)
Chytte doktora (dir. Martin Dolensky)
Crash Road (dir. Krystof Hanzlik)
Gympl (dir. Tomas Vorel)
La Vie En Rose (dir. Olivier Dahan)
Medvidek (dir. Jan Hrebejk)
Movie (dir. Ivo Trajkov)
Nejkrasnejsi hadanka (dir. Zdenek Troska)
O Zivot (dir. Milan Steindler)
Posledni vlak (dir. Dana Vavrova, Joseph Vilsmaier)
Tajnosti (dir. Alice Nellis)
Vaclav (dir. Jiri Vejdelek)