Ekofilm film festival to get underway Oct. 2nd


This October 2nd will see the 28th annual Ekofilm film festival get underway here in the Czech Republic, a festival devoted entirely to the topic of the environment as well as natural and cultural heritage.

Ekofilm. Under the communists - who made no secret of openly neglecting environmental matters - the festival was tucked-away in the industrial town of Ostrava, in the eastern part of the country. Those days it was one of the only opportunities for Czech environment experts and the public to meet. After the fall of communism, the festival continued, inviting entries from all over the world, and accepting both film and video productions. Then, six years ago the festival also moved to a new location: south Bohemia's Cesky Krumlov, which is one of the most beautiful historic towns in the Czech Republic. Not a bad site by any means! Radio Prague spoke with the festival's director Frantisek Urban, about its unique status.

"The festival is organised every year in the first week of October and this year it's the 28th year, and it is organised in Cesky Krumlov, which is a relatively small but ancient town in south Bohemia, which is protected as a cultural heritage site by UNESCO. The festival is very popular and we can say that it is probably the oldest film festival on the environment and natural and cultural heritage held in the world."

This year's festival will screen about 60 films out of an original 135 entries. The films come from 27 countries that include New Zealand, India, and the U.S., and judges will award prizes for the best films, including a financial prize from one of the festival's sponsors the Environment Ministry, to go towards future film projects. Ekofilm shall also provide special screenings for schools, and some free screenings at Cesky Krumlov's famous castle. If you get a chance you can visit the festival yourself, but if you if you are unable to than tune in this Sunday's Arts for a longer report.