Programs and cycles, which are focused on compact presentation of several genres, types and themes of educative conceived programs, will be one separate priority of this year's Summer Film School.
Cooperating with academic institutions and authorities (historians, archivists and explorers) we are preparing varied supporting program, which should create natural informative and discussion context.
A unique selection will offer Austrian films from silent era throughout the following decades up to the present days. They will be screened at Summer Film School in cooperation with Austrian Film Museum, Austrian Film Archive and Diagonale Film Festival.
Austrian silent film has become one of the key issues in the process of preserving Austrian cultural heritage. Summer Film School will introduce some of Austrian Film Archive’s gems (Sodom and Gomorrah, Cafe Electric) whose screenings will be accompanied with live music. A section called Österkitsch will offer historical excursions into numerous representations of Austrian kitsch, a Heimatfilms phenomenon, or a present-day Austrian comedy. Heading Hollywood will give feedback on noted Austrian directors who had remarkable impact on Hollywood upswing in the thirties. They were Erich von Stroheim, Josef von Sternberg, Fred Zinnemann or Otto Preminger.
Our programme also includes current Austrian production, namely the retrospectives of Christian Berger, Ulrich Seidl, Michael Glawogger, Barbara Albert, Nikolas Geyrhalter, or Harald Sicheritz, as well as an up-to-date schedule Diagonale Choice compiled by Diagonale Film Festival, which aspires to be one of the most prestigious national film festivals within central Europe.
In the meantime, a collection of Austrian experimental films selected by Martin Blažíček and Stanislav Ulver, and a renowned retrospective along with an exhibition of an avant-garde filmmaker, performer and artist Mara Mattuschka, will too become an inevitable part of the cycle.
The Other Belgium
An audience will have a unique opportunity to acquaint with a collection of feature, middle-length and short Belgian surrealistic films that will be arranged by Aleš Suchý and curator Jacqueline Aubenas (a professor at the Université Libre de Bruxelles).
A film exhibition of Belgian cinematography will present surrealistic filmmakers (Henri Storck, Charles Dekeukeleire, Thierry Zéno, Gustave de Kervern, Benoït Delépine, Jan Bucquoy) from 1930s to these days.
Director Raoul Servais, who is a significant figure of surrealist comics, will come as a guest to this year’s Summer Film School. A Dardenne brothers' films retrospective and the latest Belgian film releases will be integrated into the programme as well.
Crosswise Europe: Migration as a Syndrome
Migration is an ancient social phenomenon that during the 20th Century, and especially in the European cultural context, overgrew into a social syndrome. Upon entering the European Union and accepting the Schengen Agreements, we have been encouraged to deal with Middle and Far East illegal migration. There are a number of films, which may open discussions over this issue while the question of national identity, a demonstration of a sovereign state, stands on the other end.
The cycle consists of the following sections: Children of the Winds (Martin Slivka’s serial cycle that will show us life of migrating Gipsies, films by Tony Gatlif and others) and „The Other“ Austria (films of Austrian migrants who, in the last decade particularly, have been reflecting the problems of conservative xenophobic Austrian society and immigration). Besides these, profiles of many other directors who have paid great attention to this issue will be screened (among others Emir Kusturica, Jim Jarmusch, Tony Gatlif, Fatih Akin, Gurinder Chadha, Arash T. Riahi).
A section called Import/Export will be devoted to those filmmakers who – mostly from political reasons – were forced to leave their homeland and had to improve their individual authorial styles in a foreign environment. There are European migrants, mainly from Eastern Europe, while on one hand there are artists from developing countries who took up their experience through the medium of film.
Freeze Frame – Comics and Film
This cycle of films, shorts, discussions and workshops will focus on comics in their various forms. It will particularly stress up the influence of comics on film medium and vice versa. Works of many authors who apply comic forms in their films will be shown (Kevin Smith, Terry Zwigoff, Frank Miller, Marjane Satrapi, and others). There will also be a space for comic designers whose works appeared on the screen (Robert Crumb, Harvey Pekar, František Skála, etc.). SFS will pick a couple of rarities from animation and comic adaptations.
Summer Film School always paid attention to inviting guests from central Europe and our neighbouring countries. Film Critique Panorama, which was launched last year, will now be broadened by another cycle called Visegrad Horizon. This section concentrates on works of significant as well as new promising filmmakers from the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland and Hungary. A form of short retrospectives or honours will mention the previous year’s personalities again. Visegrad Horizons along with Film Critique Panorama should continuously point at quality Visegrad production, forgotten art works and extraordinary pieces.
Film Critique Panorama
Film Critique Panorama is to become an integral part of SFS (first introduced in 2008). It carries a deeper reflection upon film production of four Visegrad countries’ national cinematography. Film Critique Panorama intends to gather all notable film journals and periodicals published in these countries in order to present the best from the Visegrad Four. Film Critique Panorama is to pursue a systematic emphasis on production and comparison of analytical texts, Summer Film School movie screenings and panel discussions. All these activities are believed to draw attention towards relationships, parallels as well as originality of the four independent countries.
A collective publication that should gather original texts writtenat this occasion will be published. Moreover, this section is designed to educate young critics. Young Publicists Workshop will run alongside the project. An experienced lecturer will direct and support young participants in reflecting on various issues.
Visegrad Horizons will present key personalities of central European film region. An anniversary of Věra Chytilová will be a suitable opportunity to remind us of her documentary works. Václav Vorlíček will represent comics’ storytelling techniques in Czech film, especially in his collaboration with Miloš Macourek. Polish cinematography, besides the important films of the last decade, will be portrayed in directors’ profiles of Zbigniew Cybulsky and Jerzy Skolimowsky who made his comeback with a great movie Four Nights with Anna. A photography exhibition 100 Years of Polish Film will be open on the occasion of the Polish anniversary.
Two noted personalities were chosen from Slovak national cinematography. Director Peter Solan, screenwriter, and teacher Ondrej Šulaj will present their significant works. At the beginning of this year, Hungarian cinematography lost one of its best directors – Peter Bacsó. Selection of his films should recall his brilliant work. Besides him, we will see the latest experimental film of a Hungarian enfant terrible György Pálfi. However, not only the retrospectives will create this cycle. SFS will also present several noteworthy films of current European production with the attendance of their authors.
Rewriting the Past - Films on the Edge (1989)
Rewriting the past is not just the task for historians or film historians. Even filmmakers themselves may modify the history. Rewriting the Past is a cycle that strives to interpret historical events throughout the works of Czech and Czechoslovak cinematography. This year will be dedicated to those films that due to radical political changes twenty years ago could not come into Czech distribution or appeared only marginally. In collaboration with authors, we have been preparing a series of discussions on modern Czech history and its relationship to the changing cinematography.
Neo-baroque in Film
By a term Neo-baroque in Film, we mean a movement in French cinematography that as a first denied the heritage of French New Wave and adopted methods of the so-called cinéma du look. At the time, it was a huge flow of new inspiration into French cinematography and gave birth to a group of independent exceptional authors such as Leos Carax, Jean Jacques Beineix, or Luc Besson. David Čeněk will be in charge of this cross-section cycle and will show crucial films of this peculiar phenomenon of French cinematography.
Film and Live Music
An independent section that constantly freshens up the tradition of screenings accompanied with live music attempts to disclose possibilities of further updating and new interpretations of classical silent films. Restored or rarity film copies will appear in all SFS thematic cycles and will be accompanied by Czech and foreign musicians’ performancies. Their selection will conform to the main topics; therefore, we will see mainly Austrian and Belgian silent films, but also a couple of silent fantasy films.
Scholarly and Popularizing Programme
SFS always largely consists of panel discussions, meetings with artists, workshops and presentations. The individual cycles stand as a basis for running many discussion forums with clearly specified topics. Such discussions will take up the fruitful Respekt Forum from the previous year. In master class, or rather Film Lessons, an audience will have a chance to meet invited guests and acquaint their experience with film.
Traditional workshop will be available for all who would like to try making their own films. Film and TV School of Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU) shields this activity this year. Its pedagogues will also run a workshop Mini-FAMU with popularizing lessons on particular subjects given at their school.
A cycle of lectures on film history (in relation to the current topics and regions) is being organized. The section called Film actively! will be an actual contribution to film and media education, of which ACFC and SFS had become an inseparable part.
Open Space (Exhibitions at SFS)
Summer Film School 2009 will bring forward a new conception of exhibitions (in dramaturgy of Tomáš Ježek) that will interrelate with the programme cycles and will also create an interactive zone among SFS, its participants, visitors and the town’s citizens. Summer Film School exhibitions will expose works of Austrian and Belgian artists (Mara Mattuschka, Heimat, my homeland!, Justine Frank) and comics artworks related to film media (Alois Nebel, František Skála, Jaromír Plachý). An exhibition Czech made? will then tie together the two main themes – comics and migration. It will handle the issue of illegal migrants in the Czech Republic. The exhibitions will be localized in both Galleries of Slovacke Museum but also in the town’s open space of the – in shop windows, cafés or bus and train station. You’ll be completely absorbed!