While not an actual school, the Summer Film school is not a typical festival, either. You may want to think of it as a combination of both. Those interested in festival-type events will enjoy SFS as much as they will any other festival. Those anxious to delve deeper into the art of cinematography will have their expectations fulfilled as well.
The event's duration, screening spots, guests and number of showings help it rank among major film festivals in the Czech Republic. This group includes the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, the International Film Festival for Children and Youth in Zlin and Febiofest.
The SFS is widely perceived as a unique event whose renown is centered around its unforgettable atmosphere, praised and acknowledged by guests both local and from abroad. These have included - over the years - Václav Havel, Terry Gilliam, Terry Jones, Tom Stoppard, Peter Greenaway, Nikita Michalkov, Krzysztof Zanussi, Michael Haneke and Ken Loach, just to name a few.
The event draws over 4 thousand visitors annually. In 2007 it boasted as many as 5,122 accredited film buffs. Eighty percent of them are between 17 and 30 years of age, 30 percent have a college degree and 48 percent are high school graduates, with 66 percent still in school or college. A large number of those accredited - namely, 26 percent - come from Prague.
The program is divided into several cycles, each of which is supposed to comprehensively illuminate either the career of a filmmaker or the film history of a country or a theme that was pursued across various cinematographies at various times. Besides taking in films you may attend a number of various other cultural events, such as concerts, theater plays or workshops. These are open to the general public as well.
This year's SFS will take place from July 24 through to August 2, 2009.