The Arts

The biggest cultural event in the Czech Republic this week is the 8th international festival of film, video and television, Febiofest 2001. After the festival ends here, it will travel to Slovakia. This year, the festival will see its films being screened in 43 cinemas, a new record. The opening evening on Wednesday features the latest film from Czech director Jan Svankmajer, called "Otesanek" and Febiofest will end with the screening of the most popular Polish film at the moment - Zanussi's Life is a Lethal Disease. Febiofest's director, Fero Fenic, always wanted Febiofest to become an international festival, as he told Radio Prague before the opening of this year's event:

"When I said last year that I'd like to see Febiofest become an international film festival, I had no idea that in just a year's time my dream would come true. This year's Febiofest will feature films from 44 countries, from all continents, including such exotic and attractive countries as the Philippines, India and Latin America. For the first time there'll also be a mini-festival of African films, and several film-makers are coming to Prague, such as Oleg Tabakov from Russia and Bassek ba Kobahio from Cameroon, to name but a few. All in all, I'd say that Febiofest is the most versatile festival of its kind in the Czech Republic."

So how many films will Febiofest feature this year? Fero Fenic again:

"Cinema lovers will see more films than last year - there will be 440 films, and they'll be screened in more cinemas - last year we had 12 cinemas in Prague alone, this year we have 17 cinemas, with the festival's centre located in the new multiplex cinema in Slovansky dum in downtown Prague."

There will be up to 70 screenings a day in Prague, and 472 performances altogether. After Febiofest comes to its end in Prague this week, it will travel to Brno, Pardubice, Hradec Kralove, Liberec, Olomouc and other towns in the Czech Republic. Febiofest's main award, the "Kristian 2000" Prize will go to the best feature, documentary and animated films produced last year.