Welcome to the 6th Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia, aka CaSFFA 2018, a year in which momentous anniversaries abound! Our theme this year is “Spring”, referencing new beginnings and acknowledging the 50 year anniversary of the “Prague Spring”, the centenary of the establishment of Czechoslovakia and the 25 year anniversary of the “Velvet Divorce”, out of which peacefully emerged two bold new countries: Czechia and Slovakia.
It is only appropriate that the subject of this year’s major retrospective, co-presented with the Melbourne Cinémathèque, is the legendary, groundbreaking Czech filmmaker Věra Chytilová, whose masterpieces Daisies and Fruit of Paradise rank among the most emblematic films of the Prague Spring. They and several lesser-seen films, which we have already delighted in sharing, in July just gone, with the Queensland Film Festival and the Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art, will all astonish, challenge and enthrall you this spring. And how!
Furthermore, CaSFFA will celebrate the urban legend of the Prague Spring-man, “Pérák”, a fearless fighter against fascism. And, tapping still further into our theme, we’re celebrating all that which bubbles up in the effervescent spa town of Karlovy Vary, host to the Czech Republic’s A-list international film festival. Not only can you catch Film Spa this year, a wonderful documentary on this ever vital festival, but you’ll also see one of the KVIFF’s irreverent, star-studded “jingles” as a prelude to every CaSFFA 2018 session – a different one every time, just as if you were really there!
And what would a CaSFFA be without a spectacular special event? 2018 sees the return of masterful Czech organist Pavel Kohout, in partnership with The City of Melbourne, the National Film Archive in Prague and the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Canberra, for a live score on the Grand Organ in the Melbourne Town Hall to Gustav Machatý’s 1933 classic Ecstasy. Can you believe that this event will be free (free!) to attend?
The stunning Ecstasy laid claim to many firsts, some highly sensational at the time. In a nice through-line to the present day, its star Hedy Lamarr would later conceive of the frequency-hopping technology necessary for the functioning of Bluetooth headphones, which will be deployed for one of this year’s exhibitions, the wonderful digital overview “1918 – 1968”, presented courtesy of the Consulate of the Czech Republic in Sydney. We will have analog wonders galore evocative of this year’s theme on exhibit at ACMI as well.
Of course, we’ve numerous wonderful, new and classic, Czech and Slovak films, on- and off-theme, to delight, provoke and entertain you this year as well, from Opening Night’s sumptuous fractured fairytale The Hastrman to a tribute to the late, lamented Miloš Forman on Closing Night. And how better to pay tribute, than to show the digital restoration of his hilarious Firemen’s Ball, and to host one of our very own…?
Be sure not to miss Domestique and Bear with Us, hot from their world premieres in Karlovy Vary, or the on-theme New Wave brilliance of Celebration in the Botanical Garden, 322 and All My Good Countrymen. We’ve also Jan Svěrák’s charming Barefoot, the high energy teen drama of Backstage, animated mayhem in The Oddsockeaters and an absurd Eastern European odyssey in Out all on offer as well.
And while “Neighbours” was last year’s theme, CaSFFA wasn’t about to change its neighbourly ways this year. We’ve joined forces again with the Consulate of Hungary in Melbourne to present a sidebar of four of the latest and greatest Hungarian films. Once more, admission to these films will be free upon redemption of any CaSFFA general admission ticket – a wonderful deal! Speaking of which, why not become a CaSFFAN? 2018’s is our best offer yet!
So, tarry not; rather, spring to action, and revel in our biggest, boldest and most exciting festival to date!
Cerise Howard, Artistic Director
The CaSFFA Team
Artistic Director | Cerise Howard
Finance Manager | Denisa Cross
Association Secretary | Lilliana Hajncl
Marketing & Brand Manager | Linda Studená
Exhibition Curator | Carmen Reid
Short Film Programmer | Eleanor Colla
Operations Manager | Jack Russo
IT & Technical Production | L’ubica Shannon
Production | Ben Buckingham, Linda Studená
Legals | Miriam Fletcher
Philanthropy, Grants & Sponsorship | Marcel Mihulka, Victor Griss, Izabela Sulek, Linda Studená, Denisa Cross
CaSFFAN | Ioana-Lucia Demczuk, Damon Branecki
PR & Publicity | Eleanor Colla, Damon Branecki
Community Liaison| Denisa Cross, L’ubica Shannon, James Oczko
Program Editor | Cerise Howard
Festival Trailer | Sense Advertising
CaSFFA functions with collaborative involvement across all areas.
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.
Aaron Khong, Adam Ross, Adrian Danks, Adriana Tuček, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Alison McCormack, Amanda Slack-Smith, Anaya Latter, Andrea Czesaná, Andrej Bučko, Andrew Sommers, Aneke McCulloch, Anna Purkrábková, Barbora Ligasová, Ben Buckingham, Benjamin Haller, Betty Iliopoulos, Blaze James, Brendan Black, Chris Barwick, Clare Douglas, Colette de Castro, Cris Kennedy, Daniel Roche, Darina Horáková, David Heslin, David Milne, Debra Knight, Dominika Kuthova, Dylan Rainforth, Emmett Green, Eugenia Mocnay, Eva Přibylová, Filip Koubek, Georgina Fail, Guillaume Roux, Gus Berger, Győző Szekeres, H.E. Mr Igor Bartho, H.E. Mr Martin Pohl, Hana & Avni Sali, Hana Flanderová, Hayley Webster, Herb Lim, Herbz, Ilona Hongisto, Iva Ruszeláková, James Nolen, Jana Bartik, Jana Ptáčková, Jana Ridilova, Jana Studená, Jason Di Rosso, John & Maree Zika, John Edmond, José Da Silva, Josef Chromy, Julianna Toth, Kateřina Besserová, Kateřina Javorská, Kristína Aschenbrennerová, Kristýna Gardášová, Lee Farrell, Lisa Delahunty, Lisa Kovacevic, Louise Sheedy, Lucas Vanderstadt, Lukáš Pajánk, Mark Walker and Jessica Litsas, Markéta Šantrochová, Martina Tlamsova, Martina Vacková, Meg Donaldson, Mehelli Modi, Mia Falstein-Rush, Michael Koller, Michelle Carey, Milan Kantor, Miles Brown, Milos Stehlik, Miroslav Koman, Moritz Pfeifer, Naďa Uváčiková, Ondřej Boháč, Patrik Polcer, Paulina Bulakova, Pavel Kohout, Pavel Rajčan, Pavel Šindelař, Péter Bakonyi, Peter Bratuskins, Peter Denison, Philippa Hawker, Radovan Holub, Reece Goodwin, Robert Hughes, Rodney Bolt, Roshan Sukhla, Šárka Pechová, Silvia Panáková, Stano Murin, Stokavski, Stuart Richards, Tereza Lee, Thomas Caldwell, Tom Danby, Tomáš Žůrek, Trent Walter, Tyson Wils, Vardos, Věra Morgan, Veronika Paštéková, Viera Langerová, Viktor Schwarcz, Vítězslav Chovanec, VodaFest, Wingdings Warehouse, Zak Hepburn, Zuzana Vasitch and all our FABULOUS CaSFFANS, GENEROUS SPONSORS and WONDERFUL VOLUNTEERS.
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