Cesky Lev Awards
On Saturday evening, the country's film scene came together at Prague's Lucerna Hall, which hosted the ninth annual Cesky Lev, or Czech Lion, film awards. Sixteen feature films were made in this country last year - of those, seven received nominations from the Czech Film and Television Academy and five received awards. More from Dita Asiedu:
Rob Cohen - who recently directed the critically-acclaimed The Rat Pack, which received eleven Emmy Award nominations - took the opportunity to thank directors such as the Sverak family for their contributions to world cinema:
"I was lucky to be here making a new movie in Prague called Triple X. It gave me a chance to re-pay an old debt to the Czech cinema, which had a big influence on me when I was a film student - to the work of Milos Forman and Jan Kadar, Jiri Mencl, Jan Sverak and Sasa Gedeon. These films meant a great deal to me as I was growing up in the cinema as well as the Czech cinema was growing up."
The Best Picture award, however, went to Jan and Eva Svankmayer's Otesanek (Little Otik), a combination of comedy and horror. Based on a Czech fairy tale it tells the story of a young couple who, not being able to have children of their own, bring a baby made out of wood to life. The baby turns nasty with disastrous consequences. Otesanek, which features Svankmayer's usual combination of animation and live action, also received an award for Best Art Direction and Best Poster.