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The 9th Marienbad Film Festival brings the theme Regeneration

10.6.2024 | Events

The Marienbad Film Festival, which will take place from 13 to 16 June 2024 at the Municipal Theatre and Chopin House in Marienbad, will for the ninth time present prominent artists and filmmakers of experimental film, moving image and audiovisual essays. The theme of this year's edition is Regeneration. The festival also traditionally includes two competitions, for the best experimental film and the best audiovisual essay.

This year, Anna Kopecká, former artistic director of the Febiofest IFF and the Cork International Film Festival in Ireland, has become the new executive director of the festival. "I have visited Marienbad since its beginnings as a spectator and enjoyed the wonderful spa-like atmosphere of Marienbad combined with screenings of experimental and classic films. That is why I am very happy that this year, thanks to the trust of Zuzana Stejskalová, the founder of the festival, I can be involved in the preparations on the part of the organizers. The festival is more compact and takes place already in June, and we believe that its programme will attract both lovers of experimental films and, thanks to classic Czech and foreign films, also those who work in Mariánské Lázně or come here to relax."

This year's theme is Regeneration. "In a time of ongoing wars, a deepening environmental crisis and cuts in live culture that have caused the end of smaller cultural events, we are turning our attention inwards to the team, simplifying the programme and focusing this year's energy on nurturing local connections and audiences by revitalising the cultural programme of Dom Chopin. Programmatically, the theme is mirrored in the selection of feature films that accentuate the relationship with the landscape and our own past, and the collaboration with Artyčok TV, an online platform for contemporary art," adds festival program director Tomáš Vobořil.

The entire festival will open with a screening of the new film by Spanish filmmaking legend Víctor Erice, Close Your Eyes ( 2023). The film, which Erice presents after a 30-year creative hiatus, tells the story of a filmmaker who unravels the mystery of a long-abandoned project. The project was left unfinished because the lead actor disappeared without a trace. Audiences and viewers will also see a curated selection of feature films screened by both invited guests and members of the programming team. They can look forward to, for example, Ivan Vojnár's Journey through a Desolate Forest ( 1997) or Pavel Juráček's The Case for a Beginning Executioner (1969).

The programme also includes more recent films such as the Belgian comedy The Monster of the Lake by Éléonore Saintagnan or Tom Wilson's Romanian thriller Bad Times, which is presented as part of the programme dedicated to the Czech musician and multimedia artist Aida Kid. Aid Kid will be launching a vinyl of the music he composed for Bad Times and playing a special concert at Marienbad. In addition, he will take part in a discussion about composing film music within the Marienbad Industry. Another of the festival's guests, screenwriter, director and comic book author Vojtěch Mašek will be presenting the forgotten gem of Czech science fiction, Pavel Hobel's The Lost Face ( 1965). There will also be the traditional screening of a film by one of France's most important directors, Alain Resnais. This time we will screen Wild Grass (2009), a crazy light comedy about loss of judgement and uncontrollable desire.

One hundred and thirty-one films were submitted to the main competition this year, from which Tomas Vobořil selected twelve, from which a jury consisting of Irish dramaturg Daniel Fitzpatrick, audiovisual artist and filmmaker Anna Kryvenko, and visual artist Roman Štětina will choose the winner or runner-up. The jury will award three equal Marienbad Film Festival Prizes for the best experimental film and a financial prize of 10,000 CZK for each winner, which is symbolically the amount of the State Cinematography Fund's grant application fee for the Production of Experimental Film. Forty-five authors entered the audiovisual essay competition. The curators of the section Veronika Hanáková and Jiří Anger preselected fifteen of them. One winner will be decided by a jury composed of experimental filmmaker Péter Lichter, audiovisual artist Matěj Pavlík and film publicist Štěpánka Ištvánková.

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