Made in Prague fest to deliver international premiere of Zátopek in London

The 25th edition of the Made in Prague festival kicks off in London this Sunday with a special screening of the classic 1930s film Ecstasy. The event will also deliver the international premiere of the biopic Zátopek, one of the films of the year in the Czech Republic. Ahead of Made in Prague I spoke to Přemysl Pela, director of organisers Czech Centre London.

“The 25th edition of the Made in Prague festival will open this weekend at the Barbican Centre with a gala opening and screening of the restored version of Ecstasy, directed by Gustav Machatý in 1933.

“The film brought international acclaim not only to the director but also to the leading actor, Hedy Lamarr.

“And it won the Best Director prize at the Venice film festival.”

And on Sunday it’s going to be accompanied by music, is that correct?

'Ecstasy' | Photo: Public Domain

“That’s correct. We’re very pleased that prior to the screening there will be a live music overture composed by Anna Vöröšová and based on the original score by the film composer Giuseppe Becce.

“It will be performed by the Silk Street Soloists.”

Also on Friday next week you have the international premiere of the film of the year here in the Czech Republic: Zátopek. What does it mean to the organisers of Made in Prague to have secured this film for your festival?

“We are very pleased that the international premiere of the long-awaited film Zátopek will be in London.

“I believe that also makes a lot of sense: Zátopek’s international athletic career began in London in 1948 at the Olympics, where he won his first gold medal and a silver medal.

“It will be premiered at the Vue West End cinema on Leicester Square, where many Hollywood movies have been premiered, including among others James Bond.

'Zátopek' | Photo: Julie Vrabelová,  Lucky Man Films

“We will also have a delegation coming.

“The film’s director David Ondříček, but also the lead actors Václav Neužil and Martha Issová, producer Kryštof Mucha and others will be present for a discussion after the film with the audience.”

You’re also showing the great new Czech animated film My Sunny Maad. But the festival isn’t only about film – what else does Made in Prague have to offer visitors?

“The festival originally started as a film festival, but over the years, especially in the last few years, it has really grown into a multifaceted event of various artistic genres.

“What it will also offer is, for example, music. We will conclude the festival at the Rich Mix club with a digital stream of music called Electronica.

'My Sunny Maad',  photo: © Negativ

“We’re also showing visual art with two exhibitions.

“One is Ophelia in exile by the Czech-British artist Tereza Stehlíková.

“Also we’ll be showing a photographic exhibition by David Gaberle called Looking for Prague; it will be an outdoor exhibition at the Czech Centre and the Czech Embassy here in London.”

Is it the case also that the festival also travels to other cities in the UK?

“Yes, we are very pleased that it is not London-centric, even though physically most of the events will take place in London.

“But the festival kind of goes on a tour around the UK to another 10 cities, including Liverpool, Oxford, Cambridge, York. Also in Scotland: Edinburgh.

“And we will show Czech cinema in these places as well.”