Surreal Dali biopic opens Days of European Film in Prague this week

The festival screens the Czech premiere of an irreverent Salvador Dali biopic and a documentary about Libertines frontman Pete Doherty. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 02.04.2024 15:00:00 (updated on 03.04.2024) Reading time: 3 minutes

The 31st annual Days of European Film Festival opens Thursday, April 4, in Prague, bringing a diverse selection of recent award-winning movies and fresh debuts to Czech audiences.

This year’s lineup includes comedies, dramas, animated films, and documentaries, with many making their Czech premieres. The eccentric film portrait Daaaaaalí! about famed surrealist painter Salvador Dalí directed by Quentin Dupieux will open the 10-day festival.

Other highlights include Oscar-winner Fernando Trueba’s animated They Shot the Piano Player, last year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival winner Blaga's Lessons, Wim Wenders’ new documentary Anselm, Mika Gustafson’s award-winning debut Paradise is Burning, and the sustainable fashion doc Fashion Reimagined.

“Every year, we try to bring a selection of internationally acclaimed films to Czech cinemas that generally don’t make it to regular distribution,” said festival dramaturge Šimon Šafránek. “At the same time, we present European filmmakers’ varied takes on topics like relationships, historical views, or pressing current issues.”

The program is divided into five sections, including a main competition for outstanding first films and a music-focused competition. This year’s music highlights include Katia de Vidas’ documentary Peter Doherty: Stranger in My Own Skin about the former Libertines frontman, who will attend a special Prague screening.

A tribute section focused on Austrian director Jessica Hausner will feature her latest, Club Zero, which she'll present in person.

Young filmmakers, music docs, film legends, and tributes

This year’s First Time competition section features six compelling debut films by emerging European directors. Swedish filmmaker Mika Gustafson's Paradise is Burning follows a teenager navigating the challenges of caring for siblings within a social welfare system. Hungarian director Katalin Moldovai’s film addresses controversial topics as a teacher is accused of promoting homosexual propaganda for teaching Arthur Rimbaud and Paul Verlaine, the first openly gay couple in literary history.

The Film & Music competition section features diverse films, including documentaries, live-action, and animated pieces focusing on music and its cultural impact. Notable entries include the above-mentioned Stranger in My Own Skin, delving into English musician Doherty's struggles with drug addiction. Doherty and the film’s director are set to attend the Palace Arkopolis screening.

Manga d'Terra presents a musical tale in Lisbon suburbs where 20-year-old Cape Verdean Rose finds herself trying to provide for her two children in the Portuguese capital. They Shot the Piano Player by Oscar-winning director Trueba explores the history of bossa nova amidst political turmoil in South America.

In the Panoráma section, seasoned directors present compelling narratives, including Wim Wenders' essay-style portrayal of German painter and sculptor Anselm Kiefer and Alice Rohrwacher's adventure comedy Chimera. The lineup also includes festival award winners, among them That They May Face the Rising Sun, based on Irish author John McGahern’s award-winning novel. The historical drama Kos, directed by Paweł Masłoń, takes the audience to Poland in 1794, where an uprising against the Russians is underway.

The Tribute section honors Austrian film director and screenwriter Jessica Hausner. Hausner is known for her acclaimed works such as 2009's Lourdes. The director will present her new film Club Zero, starring Mia Wasikowska as a teacher at an elite school who develops a relationship with five students. The film will have its Czech debut.

Beyond film screenings, Days of European Film offers discussions, screenings for schools and seniors, industry seminars, and children’s animation workshops. All movies will have Czech and English subtitles. The main Prague lineup runs April 4-9 before touring other Czech cities through April 14. Competition winners will be announced on April 9. Tickets and complete program details are available at

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