First Czech-Slovak film festival opens in Hanoi

16:28 | 15/11/2018 Society

The first Czech-Slovak film festival kicked off in Hanoi on November 6 to celebrate the 100th founding anniversary of Czechoslovakia (now the Czech Republic and Slovakia).

Photo courtesy of organizers

The film festival took place from November 6 to 10 at the National Cinema Centre in Hanoi and November 12 to 14 at the Cinestar Cinema in Ho Chi Minh City.

Ten Czech and Slovak films screened focus on a range of topics from history to crime, society and fairy tales.

The non-profit arts festival celebrates and promotes a contextualised range of classic and modern Czech and Slovak films to Vietnamese and expatriate audiences.

The films were screened in their original languages with Vietnamese and English subtitles.

The Line, a Slovakian feature film about traffickers and smugglers on the Ukrainian border opened the film festival in Hanoi.

It was directed by Peter Bebjak and starring Tomas Mastalir, Emilia Vasaryova and Eugen Libezniuk. The movie is a criminal thriller about the life of people living on the border of Ukraine and Slovakia. The 2017 film brought won Bebjak the Best Director Award at the 52nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival.

Another highlight of the festival is Kolya, the winner of Best Foreign Language Film at both the Academy Awards and the Golden Globes 1997. It also won numerous prizes at the Czech Lions 1997.

The film begins in 1988 as the Soviet bloc is beginning to disintegrate. The protagonist is a middle-aged Czech concert cellist named Frantisek Louka who is dedicated to bachelorhood and the pursuit of women.

A friend offers him a chance to earn a great deal of money through a sham marriage to a Soviet woman to allow her to stay in Czechoslovakia. The woman then uses her new citizenship to emigrate to West Germany.

Louka then looks after her five-year-old son, Kolya. After communication difficulties at the beginning, a bond forms between Louka and Kolya.

The festival presented other international award–winning pieces such as Dark Blue World (winner of the National Board of Review Award for Top Foreign Film and Czech Lions in 2001), Divided We Fall (Best Feature Film at the Czech Critics Awards) and Fair Play (winner of the Rome Independent Film Festival Jury Award for Best Feature and winner of Czech Lions in 2015).

Theo VNA