16 October 2023
Two Czech films received awards at the closing ceremony of just finished Warsaw Film Festival. Zdeněk Jiráský received the Special Jury Award for his feature film I Don't Love You Anymore, screened in the International Competition, and Photophobia, the latest feature of Ivan Ostrochovský and Pavol Pekarčík, won the Documentary Competition.
The jury of the International Competition, justified the decision to award the Special Jury Award to I Don't Love You Anymore with following statement: For the emotional and poetic image of the inner world of two teenagers in the contemporary Eastern European reality". I Don't Love You Anymore tells a story of thirteen years old Marek, who shoots videos with social themes, making him an outsider among his classmates. At home, his peaceful relationship with his mother is disrupted by his mother's new acquaintance. In the most sensitive phase of his life, Tereza enters his path. Despite their social differences, they develop a liking for each other. Soon teenage games spiral out of control with a simulated kidnapping, culminating in a runaway from home. They board a train and a series of spontaneus adventures pursue until they get lost in a labyrinth of endless freedom. The attraction of desperation turns into the taste of loneliness and fear of the unknown and emotional outbursts begin to drown in the loss of illusions.
Zdeněk Jiráský is a Czech director, screenwriter and documentary filmmaker. Born in 1969 in Jičín, Czechoslovakia, he graduated in screenwriting and script editing from Prague's Film Academy (FAMU) in 2004. He has made many documentaries. His feature film debut Flower Buds, presented at Warsaw Film Festival in 2012, won Czech Lion awards for best film, best director, best cinematography and best leading male actor as well as awards at film festivals. I Don’t Love You Anymore, presented in Warsaw in the International Competition, is his latest feature film (2023), following In Silence (2014) and Kryštof (2021).
The film is a co-production between Jordi Niubó's Czech i/o post, Slovak Arina and Romanian Tangaj Production. The Czech Film Fund supported the film both at stages of development and production, altogether with EUR 228,800.
Moreover, Photophobia, the latest directing effort of Ivan Ostrochovský and Pavol Pekarčík, received the Best Documentary Award with following jury statement: "For brave filmmakers for suggestive film, visually poetic film language and a tender human view on the lives of civilians, especially children during war." The film is a coproduction of Slovakia (Punkchart films with partizanfilm and RTVS), Czech Republic (Cinémotif Films and Czech Television) and Ukraine (Arthouse Traffic). The films was also supported by the Czech Film Fund with EUR 76,000. Photophobia was world premiered a few weeks ago in Venice, in the Giornate degli Autori side bar, winning there the Europa Cinemas Label.
The film, shot last year in the first weeks of the war in Ukraine, tells a story 12-year-old Niki and his family, which arrive at the Kharkiv metro station to take shelter from the terrifying war raging outside. For Niki's family, daylight is synonymous with mortal danger, and the boy is not allowed to leave the station premises, living under the constant glow of their neon lights. While aimlessly wandering around the abandoned cars and full platforms, Niki meets Vika (11), and a new world opens up to him. As their bond strengthens, the children find the courage once again to feel the sun on their faces.