“Made in Prague” festival brings Czech culture to UK audiences

Source: Czech Centre London

The annual festival Made in Prague organised by Czech Centre London is currently underway in Britain, bringing the best of Czech film, visual arts and music to the UK audience. I discussed the event with the head of Czech Centre London, Přemysl Pela, and I first asked him to explain the title, which this year comes with a postscript On/Off.

Přemysl Pela, photo: Archive of Czech Centres

“As the title suggests, the intention was to have the festival in a sort of hybrid mode, with some of the events taking place solely on-line and some of them taking place with the public.

“I would also like to say that despite the fact that most of the programme will happen online, this year’s edition might be even more important than the previous ones.

“The coronavirus pandemic has shut down most of the cultural institutions and events not only in Britain and the Czech Republic, but also elsewhere in the world. So we are hoping that the Czech Centre can make at least a small contribution to the cultural scene in London.”

Film Havel, photo: Bontonfilm

The festival was launched with the screening of the film Havel by Slávek Horák. What other films will be on the programme?

“Films have been an incremental part of our festival. This year’s edition was launched on November 1 with the film Havel. The next feature film is The Owners by Jiří Havelka and we will conclude with the screening of Agnieszka Holland’s Charlatan, which represented the Czech Republic at this year’s Berlinale film festival.

“Besides the feature films, we have also included a selection of documentary films dedicated to three Czech artists, photographer Antonín Kratochvíl, filmmaker Jan Švankmajer and singer Miro Žbirka. So these three documentaries will also be part of the festival.”

Exhibition The End of Fun, photo: © Tom Bird / Ikon Gallery

One of the highlights of this year’s festival is Krištof Kintera’s exhibition The End of Fun in the IKON gallery. Who else is exhibiting in Britain?

“We were due to open an exhibition by Matyáš Chochola this weekend in London, but unfortunately it had to be postponed until early December.

“There is an ongoing exhibition by Josef Zlámal and Andrea Vytlačilová the Age of Revolt and Back to Their Roots at the gallery space at the Czech Centre.

“We have also prepared a digital version of this exhibition so the viewers can also view it from the safety of their home.”

Electronica: Visions of Sound, source: Czech Centre London

The festival will close with a concert showcasing young Czech, Hungarian and Polish musicians. Can you tell us more about that?

“It is the second edition of Electronica Visions of Sound. It was launched last November as a joint project of the countries that you have mentioned. The Czech Republic will be represented by the band Bratři.

“It is a fusion of modern, digital music and audio-visual effects. Of course due to the restrictions it will be solely online and it was prepared in collaboration with a well-known music space, the Rich Mix Club in London.”