Matej Minac and the power of good

Matej Minac

Last November the film director Matej Minac achieved something beyond his dreams. His film "Nicholas Winton - the Power of Good", won the greatest international honour that a documentary film can achieve: it was voted best documentary in the International Emmy Television Awards in New York. The film, a Czech-Slovak coproduction, is about a young British stockbroker, who saved nearly 700 Jewish children at the beginning of the Nazi occupation of Prague, struggling against time to find them homes in Britain. The now 93-year-old Nicholas Winton is the central figure in this powerful and moving film. Here Matej Minac remembers the moment when the Emmy Awards were announced.

"When we went to New York, Joe Schlesinger the narrator of the film was there and my executive producer, Martina Stolbova and my fellow producer Patrik Pass. The day before we saw all the movies in our category and they were very, very good. They were from the big companies like NHK in Japan, ZDF, Arte and CBC, so we were thinking that our chance of winning the EMMY is very little and more or less I was sure that we won't win it. So the moment when they said at the ceremony at this gala evening: "And the winner is Nicholas Winton - the Power of Good", I thought that I didn't hear it properly, so we didn't react, we didn't do anything, you know. And so they had a little bit to repeat: "And the winner is ", and only then did we believe it. And we said that really for us it's an amazing thing because this prize more or less belongs to a man - Nicholas Winton - to whom we wanted to pay tribute, because he deserved it so much that he selflessly rescued these 700 children. And he did something absolutely astonishing, and for us it was such a moment of self-fulfillment that we could thank him this way, through our profession."