New Czech Cinema at Forefront of Plzen Film Festival
The city of Plzen is renowned for its world famous beer, Pilsner Urquell. But the Czech city also has a cultural side. In a matter of days, film directors, actors and critics will flock to the city for its annual film festival - Finale Plzen. The festival has a long history dating back to 1968, when it was banned by the Communist regime. But it's been running steadily since 1989 and is in its 18th season. Kate Barrette met up with festival organizers at their headquarters in Plzen.
"What is important is that it is the only festival which is combining both documentaries and Czech feature films. The festival offers a complete overview of all newly made Czech films and documentaries."
The festival is also unusual because it allows Czech film makers and Czech film lovers to interact. Jan Kastner:
"For us it's important that the festival is a meeting point for all people which make Czech film, and offers them opportunities to speak about their films with viewers."
The festival takes place in five different cinemas in Plzen, which, organizers say, they won't have any problem filling:
"Elektra cinema (where the competition feature films are screened), is the biggest cinema hall with a capacity of 700 seats, so usually the competition feature films are sold out. So, there is a full cinema of 700 viewers for the competition films, and sometimes we even have to add screenings because people very much like to go and see these films and meet the film makers."
Finale Plzen runs from April 25 until May 1st. You can find out more details on the festival's web site: www.finaleplzen.cz.