From the Land of Stories itself, Czech Embassy Manila, in partnership with the Film Development Council of the Philippines, debuts its first year-long film festival, “Czech Movie Gems”.
Hosted by Cinematheque Centre Manila, Czech Movie Gems will feature a spectacular line-up of films spanning almost 50 years from the 1950s to the 2000s. Screening every second Wednesday of the month, 13 films of different genres from drama, comedy, romance, musical to science fiction, animation, historical and war will be screened from January this year to January 2019.
Kick-starting the festival last January 10 was Academy-award winning movie, Kolya (1996) directed by Jan Sverák. Another Sverák masterpiece that will be featured in the Czech Movie Gems selection is Dark Blue World(2001) – the Czech’s answer to the US’ blockbuster Pearl Harbor. Set during World War II which followed the intertwined fates of a group of Czech pilots fighting Nazi Germany alongside the British arms and the love struggle of two men as they both fall for the same woman.
For the Sci-Fi fanatics, Czech Movie Gems offer the throwback movie ‘must-watch’ for Star Trek avid fans, Ikarie XB-1(1963). Its remastered version which was recently screened as part of the Cannes Classics selection will bring to the Filipino viewers a story of spaceship travel. After its wide US release, it inspired the creators of the first Star Trek TV series.
Other films included in the Czech Movie Gems selection are: King of Šumava (1959), a black and white communist political propaganda piece with great cinematography; Rebels (2001), a musical 60s retro-movie of two star-crossed lovers; Beauty in Trouble (2006) tells the story of a young, beautiful and troubled woman falling in love with a foreigner; Markéta Lazarová (1967) a cult classic about a battle between a King and a minor clan against the backdrop of Christianity replacing Paganism during the medieval times.
There will be thirteen artistically curated films which will cater to a wide variety of cinematic tastes and suited for all ages. Starting this month, these movies will be screened every second Wednesday of each month at 6:30 in the evening. Film screenings are free admission on a ‘first come- first served’ basis.