With the uncertainty of the past two years still lingering around us, the Czech and Slovak Film Festival is back and offering its amazing audience the chance to escape through film with our 2021 festival theme “Únik.” The team have again crafted a selection of diverse films set to take your mind on a voyage filled with fun, creativity and the down right spectacular.
This year we are proud to provide an online selection of five feature films through ACMI’s online portal “Cinema 3” from the 7-16 October. Our in-cinema returns to Melbourne and Canberra’s Arc Cinemas in the NFSA have unfortunately been postponed. In late February, CaSFFA will also be partnering again with the Jewish International Film Festival (JIFF) to co-present the challenging but highly acclaimed The Painted Bird.
As change seems the only constant in 2021, we have designed this festival to cope with any restrictions thrown at us. We therefore advise that you stay in touch through our website, social channels or by subscribing to our newsletter to keep up with any exciting developments.
I would like to take this opportunity to thank the CaSFFA committee, our sponsors and partners, as well as you, our wonderful audience, who continue to support us through all challenges and continue to make our film festival the centrepiece of Czech and Slovak culture in Australia.
Once again, we present CaSFFA amidst a changing landscape of viewing and experiencing films. Ultimately, this highlights the versatility and adaptation of the format, as well as the importance that film can have in all our lives, in many different and unique ways.
As always, we are presenting our programme alongside a theme that resonates with the film-going Czech, Slovak, and Australian audiences. This year we have chosen Únik because we all need a little escape sometimes and film is a fantastic medium to help us achieve this.
I’ve been looking forward to screening FREM for a couple of years now. Viera Čákanyová shot the film in Antarctica whilst filming White on White/ Biela Na Bielej, 2020. FREM presents a unique perspective of Antarctica. A collage of overhead shots from a drone, extreme close-ups, and skittish images, I found this film both comforting and confronting.
We also bring to you the compelling and playful documentary Athanor: The Alchemical Furnace on the work and life of Jan Švankmajer. Filmed over a number of years, and utilising many Švankmajer-en techniques itself, the documentary takes us into the past and present life of a master of cinema. The recently released Gump/ Gump – Pes, který naučil lidi žít is the latest from well-renowned cinematographer and director F. A. Brabec. A poignant reflection on life through the eyes of a dog travelling through life with a cast including acting greats Bolek Polívka, Eva Holubová, and Ivan Trojan.
From the archives, we present The Ear/ Ucho (Karel Kachyňa, 1970). A chilling study of fear, paranoia, and the power of the State, Kachyňa’s portrayal of one night in Prague resonated with the Soviet authorities, so much so that it was banned for 20 years. We are able to bring this digitally restored version to you via the National Film Archive in Prague. We also bring to you the comedy Pacho, the Theif of Hybe / Pacho, hybský zbojník (Martin Ťapák 1976) by renown Slovak director- and much more besides- Martin Ťapák, based on the tales of Slovak national hero Jánosík, King of Thieves, is a comedic jaunt of political satire set to jaunty music. Jozef Kroner was celebrated for his role as Pacho and the supporting cast play up their characters well. This copy comes to us digitally restored from the Slovak Film Archive.
I hope you find some form of Únik and escape through the films we have chosen to represent the Czech and Slovak cultures.
The Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia (CaSFFA) is a volunteer run, not for profit organisation dedicated to showcasing the best of film for the Czech and Slovak Republics and former Czechoslovakia. Founded in 2011 by Cerise Howard, Brendon Black, Linda Studena, Katrina Wilson O’Brien and Denisa Cross the festival has run eight editions in Melbourne as well as festivals in Canberra and Brisbane. CaSFFA is welcoming to all audiences and considers itself more than just a regular film festival having screened silent films accompanied to scores on the Melbourne Town Hall organ, Coburg Drive-In, artistic and historical exhibitions as well as children’s events. We are also a source of news and information of Czech and Slovak film relevant to Australian audiences so please sign up to our mailing list and follow us on our socials to keep in touch.
CaSFFA Online consists of online films screened on-demand and available through 7-16 October. As is tradition, we have selected films that are engaging, entertaining and always memorable. Explore the selection below and select the film(s) you would like to watch. You can purchase access from the film page casffa.com.au/films/
To showcase, celebrate and promote a contextualised range of classic and modern Czech and Slovak live-action and animated films to Australasian and expatriate audiences through a yearly, not-for-profit arts festival.
To encourage active participation in and from the Czech and Slovak communities for the advancement of their culture in Australasia.
To cultivate mutually beneficial partnerships with Czech, Slovak and local businesses and cultural organisations.
The CaSFFA Team
President: Marcel Mihulka
Vice-President: Ľubica Shannon
Artistic Director: Eleanor Colla
Finance Manager: Denisa Cross
Association Secretary: Caroline Ondracek
IT and Technical Production: Ľubica Shannon
Philanthropy, Grants & Sponsorship: Marcel Mihulka, Ľubica Shannon, Denisa Cross
Marketing: Vera Morgan, David Luna, Vanessa Tucek, Marcel Mihulka
PR & Publicity: Vera Morgan, Eleanor Colla, David Luna, Marcel Mihulka
Community Liaison: Denisa Cross, Ľubica Shannon, Lilliana Hajncl
Festival Planning: Ali Back, Jacob Agius
Festival Design: Sense Advertising
Ondřej Boháč, Cerise Howard, Linda Studená, Brendan Black, Katrina Wilson O’Brien, Zuzana Vasitch, Martina Vacková, Silvia Panáková, H.E. Mr Tomáš Ferko, H.E. Mr Tomáš Dub, Hana Flanderová, Kristýna Gardášová, Barbora Ligasová, Miriam Fletcher, Vítězslav Chovanec, Markéta Šantrochová, Marta Mentzlová Kucharová, Lee Farrell, Tiana Stefanic, Diamantino Li, Monique Doubleday Charissa Wright, Guillaume Roux, Lisa Delahunty, Kirstie Ly, Penny Cameron, Ryan Anderson, Miroslav Koman, Peter Denison, Benjamin Haller, Tomáš Žůrek, Kateřina Fojtová, Alice Davies, Petra Berkovičová Raušová, Martina Tlamsová, Alexandra Hroncová, Boris Šíma, Slávek Horák, VodaFest, JIFF, Rachel Bostock, Ján Strapec, Kristína Aschenbrennerová, Rastislav Steranka, Michael Kabos, Andrej Bučko, Renzo Colla, Frank Mathisen, Marina Povolní, Vardos. David Laňka, David Milne, Lisa and Okan, Olga Junek, Stuart Stanton and all our FABULOUS CaSFFANS, GENEROUS SPONSORS and WONDERFUL VOLUNTEERS.