Insights > Asian Films not only in the Capitals
28 Apr 2006

Asian Films not only in the Capitals

Did you ever hear about South Moravia? If you are a wine connoisseur, you will most probably know this Czech province that is bordering Austria and Slovakia. Every year in September Moravia drags thousands of grape harvest lovers and marks this season with many colourful festivals. I wish you could try the Burcak –  this is the first grape juice that comes out from the grape harvest. It does not look like a wine, it does not taste like a wine, it needs to be served on the same day to be bring your tongue to heaven.

Not only wine should make Moravia more famous. The place also hosted one of European most prominent philosopher from the 17th Century. The great Czech theologian and founder of modern education that was Jan Amos Comenius spent much of his life in Moravia. Centuries later, it seems that his soul continues to plane over this green land inspiring its inhabitant. Moravia remains a cross-road for cultural meetings and it is natural that cultural managers have found here a good ground for film exchange.

Between the 10th and the 12th of March 2006, the small and peaceful town of Veselí nad Moravou with a population of about 12,500 became the centre of an amazing two-days film seminar on the Japanese and the Philippines film productions. The discovery event organized by the film club KINOMORAVA and other regional institutions from Poland, and Slovakia brought to the local cine club a programme that not all the capitals of the ASEM countries have offered yet.

The Philippines film seminar programme gave to the Moravian audience the chance to see the last movie by  Ramona S. Diaz film IMELDA”. The Manila Times says that “It’s all up to the viewers to decide whether Imelda Marcos is indeed God’s gift to the Philippines”. KINOMORAVA audience decision is not known.  The public could see another Production United Pictures film from 2004 “MAGDALENA' -- 'THE UNHOLY SAINT' . The organizers wanted to present the unique Laurice Guillen that Lino Brocka called “our Filipino Jeanne Moreau”.  Other names from the Philippines programme have been Marilou Diaz-Abaya, Mark Meily, Makiusap sa Dijos.

That’s for the film seminar. If you were still in the region for a couple of days, you would have probably stopped in the neighbouring city of Zlin. Still in the wine region, Zlin gives to the visitor a strange feeling of being in the middle of nowhere, but a nowhere with an amazingly organized structure. Zlin was totally transformed from the time Tomas Bata, started to build there a worldwide-known Shoes-Empire.

Less known out of the republic is T.Bata’s personality. The man was a kind of Samaritan. He gave life to his vision of the “Worker sustainable development”. From the early stage of their conception, the Bata factories at the beginning of the 20th Century were at the heart of progressive townships model. Workers homes, schools, hospitals and other community facilities have been reproduced in some 30 other countries based on the original Bata town of Zlín.

T. Bata had also built great film studio’s that once served for the production of films for the workers education and entertainment. Today Zlin still counts a film school and one of the most important Children Film Festival in Europe.

Many Bata’s factories have close down in Europe. But, two years ago, the Moravian town was still at the centre of a road movie, which followed a group of 42 people, former workers that call them-self “The Bata family”. They made the journey from East Tilbury, Maryport in the UK to Zlín. The group went in search of the spirit of Bata and the legacy of its charismatic founder. The film BATA-VILLE, WE ARE NOT AFRAID OF THE FUTURE documents this journey.

It is time now to head on to Prague where Asian films will continue to reach the Czech audience in capital first, and for some of them also in Bohemia and Moravia. The 13th Prague International Film Festival PRAGUE FEBIOFEST 2006, which runs from 23 – 31 March 2006 will bring for a week some 500 films to the Czech screens. The Asian panorama alone counts 14 recent ASEM Asian films.

Less than a year after the Czech republic launched its first Asian film festival FILMASIA the Czech audience will have an opportunity to discover Ryuichi Hiroki director of controversial films like VIBRATOR“ or “I AM AN S + M WRITER”. The film will be introduced to the Czech audience  by Czech dramaturge Jiri Fligl on Saturday the 25th of March.

Dedicated Czech internet forum such as TENGGARA for the promotion of Indonesian culture in the Czech republic already announced on the 22nd of March the screening of Riri Riza last movie “GIE” also part of the FEBIOFEST programme.

The Korean film by Kim Ki-duk” SAMARITAN GIRL” Silver Bear at the Berlinale 2004 will be one of the movie that continues its road to the other cities of the republic. Kim Ki-duk film will be presented to the audience in Ostrava and Jihlava. The organizers are expecting for the film a success similar to the one it received at the ERA NEW HORIZONS International Film Festival which will now take place in Wroclaw – Poland in July. The Polish festival is another example that illustrates the interest in Central and in Eastern Europe for Asian movies not only in the capitals.



On the past and present situation of Vietnamese Films

TENGGARA A czech forum on indonesian cultural and film projects


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