2018 Febiofest promises emerging filmmakers, director profiles and much more


Prague’s biggest film event, Febiofest, gets underway on Thursday evening. The festival will deliver more than 160 movies in 15 categories, including New Europe, a competition section showcasing debuts. Viewers can also look forward to profiles of critically acclaimed directors and stars such as French singer and actor Charles Aznavour and Sherlock’s Mark Gattis.

Charles Azanavour,  photo: Mariusz Kubik,  CC BY 3.0 Unported
The biggest star of Febiofest’s opening ceremony at the Municipal House on Thursday evening will be Charles Azanavour.

Best known as a singer, the Frenchman has also enjoyed a distinguished screen career, including in the classic 1960 movie Shoot the Piano Player, and will receive the festival’s lifetime achievement award.

As every year, a number of noteworthy guests are due during Prague’s biggest film festival, including Mark Gattis, the UK writer and actor known for Sherlock, Dr. Who and Game of Thrones.

But who is Febiofest programme director Anna Kopecká most looking forward to seeing in the capital during the event’s eight days?

“For me personally, probably the three directors who will come and have profile sections during the festival.

“They are Arnaud Desplechin, the French director, who will present his newest film, Ismael’s Ghost.

“Then there’s the Hungarian director Kornél Mundruczó, who will also present his very new film Jupiter’s Moon.

“And the French enfant terrible Leos Carax. He will present his not so new films, because he always struggles between shootings.

“Leos Carax is now preparing a new film, so we will also ask him about that during his masterclass.”

Arnaud Desplechin,  photo: archive of Febiofest
For his part, Kopecká’s co-programme director Michal Hogenauer is most excited about Febiofest’s New Europe competition, a section focused on debuts that he oversees.

“We will have 10 films there and we will have eight filmmakers coming to present their films.

“So I am very open to meeting them in person, to meet these first-time directors – that’s somehow unique for me.”

Hogenauer also singles out two other categories for particular attention.

“We have a late-night section called Night Circus, which is like genre films – strange comedies and bloody horrors.

“What is new this year is the documentary section. We already had it last year, but it was only focused on music documentaries.

“This year we have 10 documentaries in different genres and with a different focus. I think can also be interesting.”

Among the Czech films being screened at the 25th edition of Febiofest, perhaps the greatest attention is focused on the feature film Into the Wind. Anna Kopecká:

'Into the Wind',  photo: archive of Febiofest
“We will show it in its world premiere. It’s the debut of Czech director Sofie Šustková.

“It’s the story of a brother and sister who have run away from their family to take care of a yacht in the Greek islands and then the owner’s son comes to spend some days with them. And then a lot of things happen.

“It’s about family, love, freedom, and it’s a very interesting new film.”