Roma theatre festival

Dark Blue World Poster

By Alena Skodova

Yes, we are in a theatre - the Roxy music club in the centre of Prague, to be exact. Earlier this month the Roxy was the venue of a Roma theatre festival, which was organised for the first time here in Prague. The festival bears the name Amalipe, which in the Roma language means Friendship.

I spoke with one of the organizers, Ondrej David, who first explained to me how the idea of bringing Roma theatre to Prague was born:

Dark Blue World Poster
And from theatre to film now - this past week, 130 members of the Czech Film and TV Academy selected a most successful Czech film called Dark Blue World as the Czech entry for this year's Oscars in Hollywood. This film has been chosen out of fifteen films made in the Czech Republic this year. The journey from the original idea to its completion took five years, but it was worth it. The premiere in Prague earlier this year became the 'event of the year' and was accompanied by a great deal of media hype and attention. So far, the film has been filling cinemas all over the country. The Czechs are flocking to see this story about 'new-age knights', which is the film's promotion slogan. The knights in the film, made by the Oscar-winning father-and-son team Zdenek and Jan Sverak, are Czech pilots who served in the British Royal Air Force during World War II. The film, which pays tribute to these brave Czech pilots who ended up in communist prisons and labor camps after the war, was exceptionally expensive - it cost 230 million Czech crowns, the most ever in the history of Czech cinematography. Two of the Sveraks' films have already been nominated for Oscars in previous years: the first one was shot in 1991 and was called Elementary School, the second, entitled Kolja, was extremely successful - it won the Oscar for the best non-English-language film in 1997. Director Jan Sverak told journalists he was neither overwhelmingly optimistic nor pessimistic. "I'm not counting on anything and I can only be pleasantly surprised," he said.