The seventh Czech and Slovak Film Festival(CaSFFA) is about to take place in the ARC Cinema, starting Friday 4th October and finishing Sunday 6th October.
If you don't know this as yet, the Czech and Slovak Republics (formerly known as Czechoslovakia) have always been good at making films and telling stories. This year celebrates the 30th Anniversary of the Velvet Revolution, a peaceful protest when 500,000 people took part to oust the Communist Party from government. A symbol of that important event became the jangling of keys by protesters, hence the theme of this year's CaSFFA - The Keys to the City; this theme also alludes to "people taking back control of their heartland" according to the festival's Artistic Director, Eleanor Colla.
The festival will show a selection of recently-released as well as older films and provides a mix of comedy as well as films with more serious and universal themes. One of these is the opening night film, On the Roof, a story of a young Vietnamese migrant and Mr. Rypar, an older Czech living in Prague and wishing for a world as it used to be. The two characters have little in common but find ways that bring them together and result in a lovely and poignant film. Their story is very much one of our times and could occur in any city in the world where immigration takes place and where migrants face many challenges.
On the Roof - Czech film set in the beautiful city of Prague
The Prague Spring of 1968 and the Russian invasion in August of that year may be known to many people. Jan Palach, a young student at that time, became a symbol and hero of that era for the Czech and Slovak people. The closing night film,Jan Palach, focuses on the last few months of his life during the Soviet invasion of August 1968 and his ultimate protest against this invasion. The theme of protest will resonate strongly with many people in current times.
Intimate Enemy is a Slovak film about testing the design of an intelligent, software-driven house. It is a psychological thriller as to what could happen if Artificial Intelligence takes over our lives.
If you have never seen a Czech or Slovak film now is your chance to explore and view some great films and get to understand a little of the culture of the Czech and Slovak people.
Tickets can be purchased online at here or in person at the ARC box office before each session.