Winners of Czech Film Critics' Awards 2023 announced

05 February 2024

Czech Film

Winners of Czech Film Critics' Awards 2023 announced

Czech Film

Winners of Czech Film Critics' Awards 2023 announced


The horror-comedy She Came at Night directed by Tomáš Pavlíček & Jan Vejnar won three awards at this year's Czech Film Critics Awards including Best Film. The animated feature Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light won two awards. The winners were announced on Czech Television during a ceremony hosted by Petr Marek at Prague’s Archa Theater on Saturday 3 February. 

The Czech Film Critics Association awarded seven films this year, with the big winner being the low-budget feature She Came at Night, taking over the Best Director and Best Film categories. Alice Nellis won Best Screenplay for the crime drama Suppressed. Director Filip Pošivač’s animated film Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light won the Audiovisual Achievement award and Pošivač received the Newcomer of the Year Award. Karel Roden picked up the Best Actor for the role of a lawyer whose mother suffers from Alzheimer's disease in Waltzing Matylda. The Czech-Slovak coproduction Photophobia won directors Ivan Ostrochovský and Pavol Pekarčík the Best Documentary statuette. Electra was voted Best Short Film, securing director Daria Kashcheeva her second win after The Offscreen Award for Daughter in 2020. This year, the Offscreen Award for media bypassing theatrical release went to Pavel Soukup & Lucie Kryzová for the miniseries #annaismissing, a followup to #martyisdead, about the dangers of online culture.

Individual critics’ selections are publicly available at
All the awarded films are listed below.


She Came at Night (directed by Jan Vejnar & Tomáš Pavlíček)

When a couple of thirty-somethings let the mother of one of them cross the threshold into their home, they have no idea that they have just entered a kind of purgatory. Their peaceful life is slowly transformed into a chaotic wreck. Valerie, a well-groomed woman in her sixties, is an energetic diva who little by little conquers not only the space of the apartment, but also the minds of its occupants. As the creeping home invasion gains force, certainties are undermined and the boundaries of privacy are demolished. Are moms and mothers-in-law always right? Do they have good intentions toward us? And isn’t that why they are the scariest monsters of them all?


Photophobia (directed by Ivan Ostrochovský & Pavol Pekarčík)

On a cold February morning, 12-year-old Niki and his family 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.


Jan Vejnar & Tomáš Pavlíček (She Came at Night


Alice Nellis (Suppressed)

Martin was a veterinarian at the top of his game, until a dramatic life-changing incident at work. It resulted in an inability to communicate with the world, spending the rest of his days in total isolation. The women in Martin's life are the narrators: his wife, his mother and his colleague, Jana, whose horse he was treating on that fateful day. After years of care, Martin was suddenly discovered dead. The women had differing views on what happened and the local police are concerned and begin to investigate. Lies, conflict and silent trauma are revealed as the case develops and concludes with an unexpected turn of events.


Karel Roden (Waltzing Matylda)

A story of Karel Jaroš, an emotionally arid man, whose mother suffers from Alzheimer disease. It is not love, but the sense of duty that stops him from sending his mother to a mental institution. On the other hand, this way he can finally connect with her. And not just with her but also with his teenage son and with himself.


Simona Peková (She Came at Night


Filip Pošivač (Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light

Eleven-year-old Tony has a unique feature he was born with - he glows. His controlling parents try to keep him at home to protect him from the outside world. Before Christmas, a peculiar girl named Shelly moves into his house and turns his world upside down. For the first time, Tony has a real friend. He introduces Shelly to the fantasy world inside his pillow bunker and she shows him her secret treasure: a magical torch. With its light, they create amazing pictures and worlds that only they can see. Thus, they embark on an adventurous search for the origin of the mysterious tufts of darkness which suck the sunshine out of their house. Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light is a film about what it's like to be different, it is a story about friendship and imagination, about light and darkness.


Filip Pošivač (Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light)


Pavel Soukup & Lucie Kryzová (#annaismissing)

Anna is a controversial influencer and best known for her provocative online content, but suddenly she goes silent on her social media profiles and mysteriously stops posting any updates. When 15-year-old Nina finds a half-naked photo of Anna on her dad's phone, she decides to track down the missing influencer. The shocking events that follow will change not only Nina's life but also her family's.


Electra (directed by Daria Kashcheeva)

Electra rethinks her 10th birthday, mixing memories with imagination and hidden dreams. Isolated in her fantasy world full of made-up busty dolls, plastic men’s body parts, juicy strawberries and dentist tools, she builds up her own relationships with her body and sexuality. Diving deeper and deeper into her childhood memories, she experiences again rebellion against her mother and mixed feelings for her father. Electra has to go through the most painful memories to let her suppressed feelings come out. In the end, she is ready to reveal what has really happened during her 10th birthday.



Czech Film Center
division of the Czech Film Fund promoting Czech cinema worldwide



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