Filmmakers come to defense of public broadcaster Czech TV

Politics repeatedly came to the fore at the Czech Lions on Saturday with some of the country's best-known filmmakers, including academy award winner Jan Svěrák, coming to the defense of public broadcaster Czech TV - targeted last week by President Miloš Zeman in his inaugural address.

Mr Svěrák called the president's criticism of Czech TV, in which the head of state questioned the objectivity of its broadcasts, the "most serious attack on the station's independence since the Czech TV crisis of 2000".

Director Olga Sommerová, who ran for the right-wing TOP 09 party in the past, called on citizens and supporters of democracy to "stand up to the threat".

Actress Zuzana Kronerová, in her speech, reflected on dramatic developments in her native Slovakia, where the brutal murder of investigate journalist Ján Kuciak and his fiancé has rocked the government of Prime Minister Robert Fico. She expressed sadness and disgust. In recent days tens of thousands came out to protest in Bratislava calling for the government to resign; Mr Kuciak had written about alleged ties between the mafia and the government.

Author: Jan Velinger