Irish cinema main theme at Summer Film School
The Summer Film School in the town of Uherske Hradiste in south Moravia is currently underway. Film fans from all over the Czech Republic have been gathering for more than four decades every summer to watch and discuss good films. One of the main themes of this year's Film School is Irish cinema. Radio Prague's Coilin O'Conor - himself from Ireland - is at the event and Martin Mikule spoke with him earlier about the festival highlights.
What kind of events have you noticed in Uherske Hradiste?
"The accompanying program is all to do with Ireland as well, which is quite clever. They have lots of Irish music workshops, plus plenty of concerts. It was quite interesting first night because we've had Bronagh Gallagher who appeared in The Commitments and is also a very well known female singer in Ireland, Glen Hansard, who is one of the biggest bands in Ireland, The Frames, and Maria Kennedy Doyle who is also from The Commitments and is one of the leading female singers of her generation.
Moravian musicians started playing songs to each other, and by the end of the night the whole square was clapping along, singing some sort of mishmash of Irish and Moravian folk songs and it was quite an amazing moment for anyone who was there."
"Well, I talked to the festival director Jiri Kralik about that and he said he watched about half of the 60 films that are showing and he instantly made a connection. A lot of the subject matter was to do with resistance and revolt and he definitely thought there was a connection between the Irish revolutionary tradition and the Czech revolutionary tradition, such as it exists and which manifested itself in 1968 and 1989, and he definitely thought there was a lot of common ground.
The Irish cinema is not the only theme of this year's Film school. Can you also tell us something about the other themes?
"One of the highlights was when we were watching the very recent Czech film called 'Tales of Ordinary Madness' on the main square in Uherske Hradiste. It's just broadcast for free for hundreds of visitors sitting around the square and sitting in a restaurant eating their dinner. It's a real festival atmosphere which you don't often associate with film festivals."