Woody Allen’s new comedy ‘Rifkin’s Festival’ will open 28th edition of Prague’s Febiofest

The festival, centered at Slovanský dům, has over 100 films in four competitions and sections for comedy, horror, women directors, and LGBT+.

Raymond Johnston

Written by Raymond Johnston
Published on 07.09.2021 17:40 (updated on 07.09.2021)

The 28th edition of the Febiofest film festival will open with Woody Allen’s latest film “Rifkin's Festival” and close with “The Father,” starring Anthony Hopkins in an Oscar-winning performance. The festival, running in Prague from Sept. 17 to 24, has most screenings at Cinema City Slovanský dům and tickets are now on sale.

Additional screenings and events will be at Edison Film Hub, Kino Pilotů, and a VR cinema at DOX. A selection of films will also play in other Czech cities from Sept. 20 to Oct. 9.

This year, Kristián Awards will be given to Czech actor Jiří Lábus, Slovak actress Božidara Turzonovová, and British producer Mike Downey. The award is named after a classic Czech film from 1939.

Mike Downey since 1991 has been one of Europe's leading independent producers. A retrospective of his films including last year’s hit “Charlatan” (Šarlatán), and the 2002 film “Deathwatch” will be screened. As of 2020 he has been chairman of the European Film Academy, which gives out the European Film Awards.

Overall, the festival will present more than 100 international and Czech films. There will be a main competition for debut and second features, a comedy competition, an Amnesty International award, and a prize for amateur films.

Few festivals have comedy competitions. This year, there are six films including the Estonian nostalgic film “Goodbye Soviet Union” and “Dinner in America,” about a punk rocker and a fan on the run from the law.

An interesting entry in the main competition is “Home,” the directorial debut of Franka Potente. People may remember her as the star of the 1998 thriller “Run, Lola, Run.” The film focuses on a man who returns to his home town after being released from prison. He finds that even after 17 years, people are not so ready to forgive.

Non-competition sections will include Eastern Delights, with a section of films from Central and Eastern Europe, the Balkans, and the former Soviet Union. The festival since its beginning has been LGBT+ friendly, A highlight in the Queer Now section is “Supernova” with Colin Firth and Stanley Tucci.

Horror and thrillers are in Planet Dark, including the recent cult hit “Saint Maud.” It won the prize for Best Debut Director at the British Independent Film Awards.

The Generation section deals with family. Girls in Film showcases women both in front of and behind the camera. There will also be a section of documentaries and the traditional Culinary Cinema pairing films and meals.

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Mini-retrospectives, aside ones honoring the Kristián Award winners, will include Korean director Hirokazu Kore-eda, Norwegian cinematographer Sturla Brandth Grøvlen, and films recommended by the festival jury.

The Panorama section will have two parts for the first time. The first, called Icons, will feature films by well-known directors, and the second part called New Currents will present young filmmakers whose films have resonated at world festivals.

A new documentary on Karel Gott, called “Karel,” will screen out of competition in the off-program.

A complete schedule is now online and more details will also be announced on Facebook.

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