Czech and Slovak Film Festival at the drive-in and online

By Jack Hayes

Melbourne cinema-lovers rejoice … the city’s first post-lockdown film festival is about to hit the big screen. 

The 2020 Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia (CaSFFA) is taking place at Village Cinemas Coburg Drive-In from November 28 to December 5 and online from December 1 to December 14. 

CaSFFA president Marcel Mihulka said while 2020 may have been a bumpy ride, it wasn’t enough to stop the festival from ploughing ahead.  

“We’re so excited to showcase three brilliant Czech and Slovak films on a 33-metre screen, allowing audience members to have the full cinematic experience they’ve been craving,” Mr Mihulka said. 

“Whether this will be your first time at a drive-in or a trip of nostalgia, the festival promises to be a fun and novel experience.”

“Once you’ve found a spot to park, you tune into a radio station for audio, order food and beverages through an app, and then enjoy watching the films in your car.”

CaSFFA artistic director, Eleanor Colla, said attendees would be transported to the other side of the world.

“Join us on a trip through the countryside on Saturday, November 28 with a young couple whose relationship is on a knife’s edge in Listen,” Ms Colla said. 

“The feature is preceded by Daughter, winner of the Czech Lion Magnesia Award for the Best Student Film in 2019 and Czech nominee for the Academy Award for Best Short Film.”

“On Wednesday, December 2, we bring you the Czech entrant for an Academy Award nomination, Charlatan from famed director, Agnieszka Holland."

"Then the following week we’ll be visiting the Vysoké Tatry Mountains at the uplifting Slovak holiday film Happy New Year, preceded by the short film, Today is My First Date. In addition to the Drive-In, CaSFFA is also running an online festival this year, with four quality films available for viewing from December 1 to 14.”

According to Ms Colla, one highlight of the CaSFFA online offering included, HAVEL, a new drama inspired by the life and personal development of Czech playwright, Vaclav Havel.

Another film to sink your teeth into from the comfort of your home is 2019 Slovak adventure drama, The Impossible Voyage, about Slovak hero Milan Rastislav Štefánik.

“Milan was the first Slovak to travel around the world, he defeated Mont Blanc more than once and survived the shooting down of an airplane during the First World War,” Ms Colla said. 

“He was an intellectual, scientist, national hero, a lover of women and bon vivant – so there’s plenty of fodder in his life story for compelling viewing.”

“In addition to these new films, our online festival includes two classics from the archives that have stood the test of time. So, whether you finally want a night out or prefer to view films from the comfort of your home, this year’s festival will be sure to delight."

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