Welcome to the 5th Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia, or “CaSFFA”. This year’s landmark edition is programmed according to a theme of “Neighbours”, referencing the present day status of the Czech and Slovak Republics, whose cinema and culture have long been entwined. This theme allows for a consideration of the Czechs’ and Slovaks’ relationships not just with one another but with the many and various peoples and lands with whom they have shared shifting borders.
Furthermore, the theme offers an opportunity to explore how the Czech and Slovak people engage with the other peoples who live within their nations, and it offers scope to spotlight co-productions – those productions in which Czech and Slovak cast and crew, stories and locations have been mixed with those of other lands to produce films which have much to demonstrate about the benefits of being good neighbours.
Emblematic of our theme, our cracking Opening Night film The Line is the first official Slovak-Ukrainian co-production and has its scintillating action unfold across the corresponding border, while our equally exciting Closing Night film Anthropoid is a majority English-language, British-Czech- French co-production telling the famous true story of the operation to assassinate Reichsprotektor Reinhard Heydrich in Prague, a heroic undertaking which has its 75th anniversary this year.
Our partnership with the Melbourne Cinémathèque this year celebrates the career of the great Jewish, Slovak-born director Juraj Herz across five key films which we have already enjoyed unspooling in July at the Queensland Film Festival, in partnership with the Queensland Art Gallery & Gallery of Modern Art.
The brilliant 1968 film The Cremator, the flagship title of our Herz retrospective, could scarcely be more on-topic in its evocation of the perils to all of not doing right by those one shares a community with. While particular to the times of both its narrative’s setting and its own production, it remains tremendously resonant today. Likewise The Shop on Main Street, the winner of the 1965 Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film, on which Herz served as Assistant Director. CaSFFA is very proud to co-present the new digital restoration of Ján Kadár and Elmar Klos’s masterpiece with the Jewish International Film Festival.
Further extending CaSFFA’s neighbourly, partnership-building ways, we are delighted to present a sidebar retrospective celebrating the centenary of legendary Hungarian director Zoltán Fábri. Admission to these four marvellous films will be free upon redemption of any 2017 CaSFFA session ticket, courtesy of a right neighbourly gesture from the Consulate of Hungary in Melbourne.
And don’t miss the German-Czech documentary Koudelka Shooting Holy Land, in which revered Czech photographer Josef Koudelka journeys into Israel and Palestine, lands which, suffice it to say, have highly strained neighbourly relations. Presented in partnership with the University of Melbourne European Union Centre on Shared Complex Challenges, there will be a post-screening discussion on the role images and film can play in soft diplomacy.
There are oh, so many other wonders on offer, besides, including A Prominent Patient, the winner of 12 Czech Lions this year; a restoration of Jiří Trnka’s spectacular puppet animation Old Czech Legends, and the riveting I, Olga Hepnarova and The Red Captain, which both feature wonderful lead performances from rising stars of Polish cinema. And don’t miss Beside Ourselves and Cohabit, this year’s thematic visual arts exhibitions, either!
So, come one and all and enjoy our expansive 5th edition, and don’t hesitate to have a chat with any of CaSFFA’s unfailingly neighbourly, steadfastly all-volunteer team during this, our biggest festival yet!
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 Programmers | Eleanor Colla, Mia Falstein-Rush
Production | Ben Buckingham, Linda Studená
Legals | Miriam Fletcher, James Oczko
Philanthropy & Grants | Victor Griss
CaSFFAN Manager | Ioana-Lucia Demczuk
Sponsorship | James Oczko
PR & Publicity Consultant | Julianna Toth
PR & Publicity | Eleanor Colla, Meg Donaldson
Volunteer Coordinator | Jack Russo
Shipping | Ben Buckingham
Classification | Lilliana Hajncl, Meg Donaldson
Community Liaison| Denisa Cross
Program Editor | Cerise Howard
Festival Trailer | Alesh Macak, Minela Krupic
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.
Adam Christou, Adam Elliot, Adrian Danks, Alesh Macak, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Andrea Czesaná, Andrej Bučko, Andrew Sommers, Barbora Baronová, Barbora Ligasová, Benjamin Haller, Betty Iliopoulos, Brendan Black, Bruce Beresford, Bruce Priddy, Camilla Plummer, Chris Barwick, Clare Douglas, Clarissa Dodawec, Cóilín O’Connor, Cris Kennedy, Daniel Herman, David Milne, David Ryding, Debra Knight, Dylan Bird, Dylan Rainforth, Esther Gyorki, Eugenia Mocnay, Eva Přibylová, Filip Koubek, Gabriel Tongue, Georgina Fail, Guillaume Roux, H.E. Mr Igor Bartho, H.E. Mr Martin Pohl, Hana Flanderová, Hayley Webster, Helen Senbergs, Herb Lim, Herbz, Humphrey McQueen, Ines Škrbić, Iva Roze Skoch, Izabela Sulek, Jana Bartik, Jana Ptáčková, Jana Ridilova, Jana Záhorková, Jason Di Rosso, John Edmond, José Da Silva, Julian Godard, Kateřina Besserová, Kateřina Javorská, Kelli Keating, Kristína Aschenbrennerová, Kristýna Gardášová, Lee Farrell, Lisa Delahunty, Louise Sheedy, Lynda Bernard, Marcel and Alicia Mihulka, Marek Maďarič, Marian Schoen, Markéta Fillingerová, Markéta Šantrochová, Martin Černý, Martin Palúch, Martina Vacková, Matthew Aspland, Mehelli Modi, Michael Caine, Michael Koller, Milan Kantor, Miroslav Píša, Monika Nosko, Olivia Hărşan, Olivia Khoo, Opa Bato, Paul Anthony Nelson, Paulina Bulakova, Pavel Rajčan, Pavel Šindelař, Péter Bakonyi, Peter Denison, Philippa Hawker, Radovan Holub, Reece Goodwin, Richard Harding, RMIT School of Art, Photography Department, Robert Hughes, Rodney Bolt, Silvia Panáková, Simon Perry, Sina Lengelsen, Stano Murin, Stokavski, Tamar Simons, Tereza Lee, Thomas Caldwell, Tiana Stefanic, Timothy Taliana, Tom Danby, Transylvanian Gypsy Kings, Tyson Wils, Věra Morgan, Veronika Bednářová, Veronika Paštéková, Viera Langerová, VodaFest, Wingdings Warehouse, Zak Hepburn, Zuzana Vasitch and all our GENEROUS SPONSORS and WONDERFUL VOLUNTEERS, with special thanks for the patronage of the late Tatana Mihulka and the generous support of Hana and Avni Sali.
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