It’s been a challenging year for filmmakers and cinema-lovers across the world, with productions coming to a halt and many cinemas shutting their doors.
And yet, despite the challenges of 2020, we have also seen great innovations, with creatives and audiences embracing new ways of showcasing and watching films. Here at the Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia (CaSFFA), we too are offering audiences novelty experiences for 2020 through CaSFFA at the Drive-In (Autokino) and CaSFFA Online (Pohled/Pohl’ad).
CaSFFA at the Drive-In will take place at Village Cinemas’ iconic Coburg Drive-In, with films projected on a 33-metre screen that you can enjoy from the safety of your car. Our Saturday screenings will consist of a feature and a short, with refreshments available for purchase at the drive-in’s diner. We are really excited to be sharing some award winning films, particularly the Czech nomination for the 2021 Academy Awards; Charlatan / Šarlatán. So fire up your engine and join us for three stellar nights of entertainment – out of the house!
CaSFFA Online (Pohled/Pohl’ad) consists of four online films screened on-demand and available through the first weeks of December. We are so pleased to find a way to be able to reach our audiences further afield, and allow people to experience these films in a time and place that suits them. As is tradition, we have selected films that are engaging, entertaining and always memorable.
While the Czech and Slovak Republics may seem further away than ever before, these films will allow you to experience these cultures in the comfort of your own cars and living rooms.
I would like to thank our loyal audience and followers for continuing to support us through a difficult year. We look forward to celebrating this festival with you all.
See you there!
As you are all well aware, CaSFFA is a community-focused film festival. Since 2012 we have not only brought new and archival cinema in a range of formats, genres, styles, and types to you, but we have created a sense of community through the intersection of film and culture. Whilst the format of CaSFFA2020 is a little different to what we’re all used to, we are proud that we have been able to continue this in new and adaptive ways.
We have three new features and two shorts screening at the Coburg Drive-In. New Czech feature Listen / Poslouchej (David Lanka & Martin Mϋller, 2019) follows a couple going away for the weekend. What starts off as a scenic drive through the Czech countryside suddenly turns quite sinister. Being able to screen this film in a drive-in, as the audience watches the plot unravel as they themselves are in their cars, is going to be an added experience to the film which I am very pleased about. Preceding the feature is Daughter / Dcera (Daria Kashcheeva, 2019), which won the Czech Lion Magnesia Award for the Best Student Film (2019) and was nominated for Academy Award for Best Short Film (Animated) (2019).
Following this, we screen the recent Oscar-nominated Charlatan/ Šarlatán (2020). Famed director Agnieszka Holland’s latest film presents a stoic, controlled, yet highly emotive telling of the life of Czech healer Jan Mikolášek (1889-1973). Mikolášek was credited with saving hundreds of lives through the use of herbal remedies before being arrested by the Communist regime.
Our final film is one for the whole family. Happy New Year / Šťastný Nový Rok (Jakub Kroner, 2019) boasts a the scenic backdrop of the Vysoké Tatry mountains, a cast well known to generations of Czech and Slovak film-goers, and a multi-plot narrative with everything coming to a dramatic and humorous conclusion on new years eve. Preceding the feature is the short film Today is My First Date/ Dnes Mám Prvé Randevu (Boris Šima, 2002), an animation that pays homage to the early days of silent cinema and stop-motion animation.
For the online component of CaSFFA 2020 we have four films that present various perspectives of Czech and Slovak history and styles of cinema. The theme for this year is ‘vision’ and with this selection of online films we have been able to demonstrate this in a few different ways.
With Havel/Havel (Slávek Horák, 2020) we are presented with the fictional portrayal of the visionary Czech playwright turned politician Vaclav Havel. Similarly, with The Impossible Voyage/ Cesta do Nemožna (Noro Držiak, 2019), we are invited into the magical and fantastic world of the historical Slovak hero Milan Rastislav Štefánik.
The two archival films, both made under- and heavily influenced by the Soviet commmunist regime in Czechoslovakia- have been regarded for the last several decades as visionary in each of their genres and styles. Regularly referred to as one of the best and most influential films of the sci-fi genre, Voyage to the End of the Universe/ Ikarie XB- 1 (Jindrich Polák, 1963) is a journey through time and space that foreshadowed many to come. Released just two years later, The Barnabáš Kos Case/ Prípad Barnabás Kos (Peter Solan, 1965), is a satirical look at a society so overcome with the flow of seamless bureaucracy it can no longer function.
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 seven 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, 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 (Pohled/Pohl’ad) consists of four online films screened on-demand and available through December. 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 Hannah Carrodus, David Luna
CaSFFAN Ioana-Lucia Demczuk, Caroline Ondracek
PR & Publicity Hannah Carrodus, Eleanor Colla, David Luna, Lilliana Hajncl
Community Liaison Denisa Cross, Ľubica Shannon, Lilliana Hajncl
Canberra liaison Samata Yagnambhat
Festival Design Sense
Festival Trailer Petra Berkovičová Raušová
Ondřej Boháč, Cerise Howard, Linda Studená, Brendan Black, Katrina Wilson O’Brien, Zuzana Vasitch, Martina Vacková, Silvia Panáková, Jack Russo, Damon Branecki, Peter McCarthy, H.E. Mr Tomáš Ferko, H.E. Mr Tomáš Dub, Hana Flanderová, Kristýna Gardášová, Barbora Ligasová, Miriam Flatcher, Vítězslav Chovanec, Markéta Šantrochová, Marta Mentzlová Kucharová, Lauren Whitty, Ben Schulz, Lee Farrell, Tiana Stefanic, Guillaume Roux, Kirstie Ly, Penny Cameron, Miroslav Koman, Peter Denison, Benjamin Haller, Tomáš Žůrek, Kateřina Fojtová, Alice Davies, Petra Berkovičová Raušová, Martina Tlamsová, Alexandra Hroncová, Boris Šíma, Slávek Horák, VodaFest, 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.