The 30th edition of Czechia's Febiofest won't take place next year

The founder of Prague's biggest film festival is seeking a new organizer to continue its production.

Thomas Smith

Written by Thomas Smith Published on 11.10.2022 11:07:00 (updated on 06.12.2022) Reading time: 2 minutes

The Czech Republic's largest film festival won't take next year. The founder of the Prague International Film Festival – Febiofest has announced that the 30th-anniversary edition, planned for April 2023, has been canceled.

Fero Fenič, who founded the long-running film festival in 1993, blames the previous management for poor financial handling and causing Febiofest's insolvency. ČTK reports that Fenič aims to “cut himself off" from past owner Kamil Spáčil and has regained the trademark rights to the event.

The festival, which features dozens of films, many in English or with English subtitles, encompasses animated productions, and alternative and amateur productions from an array of international directors.

Several renowned figures have visited the festival, including actors Woody Harrelson and Peter Fonda, and controversial Polish-French film director Roman Polański.

This years see Febio Fest open submissions to amateur filmmakers.
Febiofest highlights emerging and amateur filmmakers.

The festival gives directors from all over the world – established and new – a chance to showcase their work and win awards. Although it is centered in Prague, Febiofest is held in regions outside of the capital too including Ostrava, Děčín, and Otrokovice. 

Various prizes are on offer, such as the Kristián awards for various contributions to cinema and the Amnesty International Febiofest Award, which rewards films highlighting human rights and freedom.

The 2022 event saw Dina Amer, an Egyptian-American director, receive the Amnesty International award for her work You Resemble Me. The 29th edition also featured a program in support of Ukrainian filmmakers.

Fenič relinquished the organization of the festival in 2012 and became an honorary president in the same year. However, after selling the rights of ownership, the founder claimed that “right from the beginning, the terms of the payment of the purchase price and the performance of my honorary position were not respected. At the same time, bad management arose and deepened.”

"Despite my best efforts to find a solution that would prevent the interruption of the 29-year tradition of the largest film festival…I finally had to come to this solution in order to prevent further damage to the name of the festival, its collaborators, and suppliers,” Fenič, 71, explained. 

The founder will now seek an appropriate replacement to take over operations of the festival. Two possible courses of action for the festival are finding an entity that would take over the festival and plan future editions, or putting an end to the festival for good.

"I don't have enough strength and energy at my age to take it over again, but I'm looking for all the ways to save Febiofest, my baby, so he can live on,” he said. The search continues.

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