The second Czech Republic Film Festival in Kuala Lumpur promises to bring a smile to the faces of even the most cynical, thanks to its fairy tale theme.
“The Czech Republic has a huge tradition in fairy tales,” says Rudolf Hykl, Czech Republic ambassador to Malaysia. “They are part of our culture and a part of growing up: fairy tales are read to us by our mothers, we continue to read them later in school and on our own, and we watch fairy tale films throughout our lives.
“We have produced, and continue to do so, some of the most beautiful fairy tales where live actors participate. All this is enhanced by a charming historical and natural setting which the country offers.”
He adds that the success of last year’s inaugural Czech Republic Film Festival was very encouraging, and they wanted to keep the momentum going.
“The film festival, in a broader sense, is meant to present our culture, history, way of life and the art of filmmaking to the Malaysian and international public in Kuala Lumpur,” he shares. “This year, we decided to focus on a segment which we are proud of and in which our filmmakers have excelled; our fairy tales, set in a fairy tale heritage.”
What’s in store for you at the Czech Republic Film Festival? There’s a rather disgruntled angel in Angel Of The Lord 2 who works at the gates of heaven, but is convinced that he deserves a better job.
In The Seven Ravens, a young woman takes it upon herself to save her brothers and rid them of a curse. This is based on a story by Czech writer Bozena Nemcova, with elements from the Brothers Grimm’s version of the fairy tale.
Merging sci-fi and comedy, check out the remastered Adele Has Not Had Supper Yet, a detective film from 1977.
Like in last year’s film festival, the work of renowned Czech film director Jan Sverak features prominently in this second edition of the festival as well, with two titles, Kooky and Barefoot.
In Kooky, stop-motion animation and live-action come together in weaving a tale of the vivid adventures of a child’s favourite teddy bear as it makes the arduous journey from the landfill to home.
Meanwhile, Barefoot, a 2017 war drama told from the perspective of a boy whose family moves from the city to the countryside, might depart a little from the conventional fairy tale theme, but is nevertheless one where a kid’s power of imagination and wide-eyed wonder at the world around him rings true.
One is never too old for fairy tales; its appeal is timeless and universal.
“We all know and love fairy tales originating in diverse countries around the world,” says Hykl. “I believe that this appreciation can often be traced back to our childhood, as well as our fascination with supernatural forces, imagination and magic.”
In the Czech Republic, he adds, many are raised on a staple of Czech fairy tales, whether through books or films.
“Despite watching some of the most successful Czech fairy tales repeatedly throughout our lives, we feel like we can’t get enough of it,” he shares. “We also look forward to new fairy tale movies to be produced, such as the latest ones, which are included in this festival.”
This year’s Czech Republic Film Festival is a place to lose yourself in stories that transport us to another world and give us something to believe in. The language of magic and wonder is truly a universal one.
What is it that people say about the best things in life being free? Well, tickets to this film festival certainly are!
Starting March 15, head on over to Golden Screen Cinemas (GSC) in Pavilion KL or Mid Valley in KL to pick up complimentary movie tickets to the Czech Republic Film Festival, while stocks last.
The film festival runs Mar 22-25 at GSC Pavilion KL and GSC Mid Valley, with five movies featured in this edition. It is organised by the Embassy of the Czech Republic in Kuala Lumpur. All movies will be screened with English subtitles.