Welcome, one and all, to the 4th Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia (CaSFFA), our biggest and boldest event yet, with its theme of “Text and Texture” encompassing not just the one expected art form (cinema); not just two (cinema and literature), but all those points where the cinematic and literary arts collide – all those places “betwixt” film and the written word, per the name of one of this year’s accompanying exhibitions.
This theme was inspired by Melbourne (2008) and Prague’s (2014) newly shared status as “UNESCO Cities of Literature”. Hence, to our delight, the Melbourne and Prague UNESCO City of Literature offices are both official partners of this year’s festival – and so too Readings, International Bookstore of the Year 2016.
Our film program includes a pick of the greatest film adaptations of Czech and Slovak literature, like the peerless mediaeval epic Marketa Lazarova, in a continuation of our partnership with the Melbourne Cinémathèque; Cutting it Short, another of Jiří Menzel’s beloved collaborations with Bohumil Hrabal, as well as an underseen ‘60s classic where cinema and comic books merge as never before or since, Who Wants to Kill Jessie?, which will be followed by a panel with local graphic novel luminaries Shaun Tan and Bernard Caleo.
In a very strong year for Czech and Slovak cinema, several new films also fit our theme perfectly, from our wonderful Opening Night feature The Noonday Witch, which adapts a folkloric ballad by Karel Jaromír Erben, one which has given the heebeegeebees to several generations of Czechs and Slovaks, to Alice Nellis’ glorious new fairy tale film The Seven Ravens, a charmer for all ages! Our superb Closing Night film, Petr Zelenka’s absurdist comedy Lost in Munich, is right on-topic too, centred around one of the more significant documents of the 20th century for Czechs and Slovaks – 1938’s despised Munich Agreement.
Off-screen, look for “First Impressions”, an exhibition of beautiful, formally playful vintage Czechoslovak film posters, and keep tabs on the CaSFFA website, where you’ll find our first foray into blogging – and when better than during a festival devoted both to cinema and to writing? On which note, here’s welcoming another new festival partner, the Australian Film Critics Association, who have lent us Glenn Dunks, Tom Clift and Hayley Inch to contribute to our blog and, in another CaSFFA first, to give out a prize on Closing Night to the best new feature film in this year’s program. Lastly, get in quick to book the young ‘uns into our fairy tale comic book workshop and concertina book-making workshop, facilitated by Bernard Caleo and Gracia & Louise, respectively.
In winding up, I must acknowledge the wonderful design work done for us for a third successive festival by the team at Sense Advertising; to pay tribute to the sterling, impassioned toil performed by departing festival co-founder Brendan Black over the three previous years, and to thank all who came to our pre-season events this year: the Zdeněk Svěrák 80th birthday celebration in March; our Queensland Film Festival copresentation of Marketa Lazarova in Brisbane in July, and our “Xmas in July” screening of Three Hazelnuts for Cinderella that same month.
So, see you at this year’s festival, whether in Melbourne or, excitingly, for the first time, in Canberra! And don’t be shy – CaSFFA’s all-volunteer team are highly personable and approachable, so do come and have a chat and a beer with us, courtesy of our wonderful new Premium Sponsor, The Foreigner Brewing Company, whether at ACMI, Federation Square, or at the National Film and Sound Archive.
Cerise Howard, Artistic Director
The CaSFFA Team
Artistic Director | Cerise Howard
Finance Manager | Denisa Cross
Association Secretary | Lilliana Hajncl
Marketing & Brand Manager | Linda Studená
Production Manager | Mia Falstein-Rush
Exhibition Curator | Carmen Reid
Short Film Programmers | Mia Falstein-Rush, Eleanor Colla
PR & Publicity Manager | Olivia Hărşan
PR & Publicity | Eleanor Colla, Timothy Taliana
CaSFFAN | Ioana-Lucia Demczuk
Legals | Miriam Fletcher
Philanthropy & Grants | Victor Griss
Volunteer Coordinator | Jack Russo
Shipping | Mia Falstein-Rush
Community Liaison| Lenka Hadravová
Classification | Carmen Reid, Eleanor Colla, Ioana-Lucia Demczuk, Lilliana Hajncl, Olivia Hărşan
Program Editor | Cerise Howard
Festival Trailer | Alesh Macak, Lindsay Cox
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 Rajčan, Adam van Blerk, Ahmarnya Price, Alesh Macak, Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Alexandra Strelková, Alister Karl, Alžběta Janáčková, Andrej Bučko, Andrew Keall, Ariel Valent, Aydin Bozkurt, Barbora Ligasová, Baris Ulusoy, Bebe Backhouse, Bella Katz, Ben Buckingham, Bernard Caleo, Betty Iliopoulos, Bohemian Nights, Brendan Black, Camilla Plummer, Catherine Allsopp, Chris Barwick, Clare Douglas, Cóilín O’Connor, Colette de Castro, Corey Murdoch, Cris Kennedy, Daniel Bryan, Daniel Herman (Czech Minister of Culture), Daniel Vadocký, Danielle Johnson, Dave Temme, David Ryding, Dean McInerney, Debra Knight, Dominic Jurcec, Dorelle Davidson, Dva, Dylan Bird, Dylan McCulloch, Eloise Ross, Emma Ikin, Esther Gyorki, Eva Přibylová, Filip Koubek, Fiona Harney, Freya Pitt, Gabriele Urban, Gènevre Becker, Glenn Dunks, Gracia Haby, Guillaume Roux, H.E. Mr Igor Bartho, H.E. Mr Martin Pohl, Hana and Avni Sali, Hana Flanderová, Hayley Inch, Helena Černohorská, Herbz, Imelda Selková, Izabela Sulek, James Cattell, Jana Bartik, Jana Ridilova, Jana Záhorková, Jason Sennit, Jim Knox, John Edmond, Karolína Pechová, Kateřina Bajo, Kateřina Besserová, Kelli Keating, Kendyl Rossi, Kristína Aschenbrennerová, Kristýna Gardášová, Lachlan Plain, Lara Gardner, Lenka Allen, Leon Van De Graaff, Lindsay Cox, Lisa Delahunty, Lisa Robins, Louise Jennison, Louise Sheedy, Lucia Mocnay, Lynda Bernard, Marcel and Alicia Mihulka, Mark Rodda, Markéta Fillingerová, Martina Vacková, Matt Barson, Michael Koller, Michelle Carey, Milan Kantor, Miroslav Píša, Monash University Film and Screen Studies students, Nikola Krutilová, Nina Kenwood, Noel Rosa, Oliver & Co. Framing, Ondřej Polák, Pat Mackie, Paulina Buláková, Pavel Kohout, Pavel Rajčan, Pavel Šindelař, Pete Reid, Peter Denison, Philippa Hawker, Rebecca Vella, Reece Goodwin, Rodney Bolt, Ron Bolitho, Sally Tape, Samuel Grečner, Shaun Tan, Silvia Panáková, Soňa Balážová, Stella Charles, Stepanka Cervinkova from STEASH FILMS, Tereza Lee, Theremones, Thomas Caldwell, Tom Clift, Tom Danby, Tomáš Žůrek, Tonja Mlinar Min, Transylvanian Gypsy Kings, Vardos, Věra Morgan, VodaFest, Wingdingalings, Zak Hepburn, Ziggy, Zuzana Vasitch and all our GENEROUS SPONSORS and WONDERFUL VOLUNTEERS, with special thanks for the patronage of the late Tatana Mihulka and the Slovak Minister of Culture, Marek Maďarič.
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