Friday, June 20, 2014

Festival Report: The 2nd Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia

By Olivia Maria Hărşan

Media release for the upcoming Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia. The team is comprised of dedicated volunteers including myself. If you would like to know more about the festival, organise an interview with the festival director, Cerise Howard or inquire about our crowd-funding campaign (which incidentally ends in 4 days!! Please donate via the links below), please email - more contact details provided below.

Join the Resistance!

The 2nd Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia (CaSFFA) announces dates,
venues and theme: RESISTANCE

CaSFFA 2014 expands from Melbourne to Sydney

Crowd-funding Campaign launched today to make the festival ‘Pozible’

Melbourne, Thursday 22 May 2014 – After a fabulously intimate inaugural year in Melbourne, the 2nd Czech and Slovak Film Festival Australia (CaSFFA) is excited to announce that Sydney will join the party this year. During August and September, both Melbourne (21 - 29 August, Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square and Yarra Gallery) and Sydney (2 - 7 September, Dendy Newtown & Conny Dietzschold Gallery) will showcase a collection of exclusive Czech and Slovak films, accompanied by some extraordinary visual art exhibitions. All will be flavoured with the unique accents and world-famous hospitality of the region.

“‘Resistance’ is our theme,” says festival director and co-founder Cerise Howard, who is currently locking down a diverse program of films built around the fact that 2014 marks the 25th anniversary of the non-violent, extraordinarily effective "Velvet Revolution" in Czechoslovakia and the collapse of Communism in Europe. “CaSFFA will be celebrating these momentous events with films of all kinds – features, shorts, documentary and animation – which explore the people and ideas behind these happenings, and the tradition of resistance in its many guises, within this corner of Europe.”

Says Cerise Howard, “It seems fitting in Australia’s bleak economic and social climate – with budget attacks on the poor, the old and the Arts – that we are calling on all lovers of culture, and in particular Central and Eastern European cinema, to come out in a spirit of Resistance to make our festival possible. We need your support to help us crowd-fund our entirely volunteer-run event, and to assist us in creating something even bigger and better than last year.”

The not-for-profit film festival is seeking to raise $11,000 in 34 days on the all-or-nothing Australian crowd-funding platform Pozible. The campaign – ‘CaSFFA 2014 - Join the Resistance! – is active immediately. Eternal gratitude and cinephile-friendly rewards including cinema tickets, DVDs and tote bags will be offered to supporters: The campaign will be running until Tuesday 24 June 2014.

Funds raised will be used to pay for screening rights for films, cinema hire, marketing to reach out to the significant Czech and Slovak communities in Sydney, Melbourne and surrounds and for some extraordinary art, photographic and sculpture exhibitions. Any additional funds raised beyond the target will make possible the hosting and accommodation of some exciting international guests.

The 2nd Czech and Slovak Film Festival of Australia (CaSFFA) Program Highlights

Melbourne: 21 - 29 August, ACMI Cinemas, Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Federation Square and Yarra Gallery
Sydney: 2 - 7 September, Dendy Newtown and Conny Dietzschold Gallery, Surry Hills.

While full details of the festival programs for Melbourne and Sydney will be dependent upon the crowd-funding campaign, confirmed highlights include:


·       Burning Bush (Hořící keř) – the Czech Lion winning HBO Europe mini-series from Oscar nominated Polish director Agnieszka Holland (Europa, Europa). The three-part mini-series is based on the true story of the personal sacrifice of a Prague history student, Jan Palach, who set himself on fire in protest against the Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia in August 1968.

·       Jan Švankmajer Retrospective. Co-presented in Melbourne with the Melbourne Cinémathèque at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image (ACMI), films include the features Alice (1987), Faust (1994), Conspirators of Pleasure (1996) and Little Otik (2000) and two collections of his extraordinary shorts Dialogue and Resistance (1958 - 2005) and Militant Surrealism (1969 -1992). More info.


Curated around the theme of ‘Resistance’, exclusive CaSFFA Exhibitions will be shown in Melbourne 21 - 29 August 2014 at the Yarra Gallery, Federation Square; and in Sydney 2 - 7 September at Conny Dietzschold Gallery in Crown Street, Surry Hills, including:

·       Prague through the Lens of the Secret Police: An exhibition of photos and text, giving insight into the surveillance practices employed by the dreaded Czechoslovakian secret police. Exhibition prepared by The Institute for the Study of Totalitarian Regimes in Prague.

Pending a successful crowd-funding campaign, the festival hopes to present further extraordinary art, photographic and sculpture exhibitions which tie in both with the Švankmajer retrospective and the theme of Resistance. These include:

Jan Švankmajer art exhibition ‘Dimensions of Dialogue / Between Film and Fine Art – a combination of text and images organised by Czech Centres, with concept and text by Švankmajer's fellow members of the Group of Czech-Slovak Surrealists; and Conspirators -
an exhibition of sculptural works by local Australian artists, which forms an international dialogue with the rich themes and irresistible tactility of Švankmajer’s oeuvre.


Contribute to our Pozible campaign. Deadline: Tuesday 24 June 2014


Join us for news, photos and fun on our social networks. Hashtag #CaSFFA
Twitter: @CaSFFA
Instagram: @casffa


CaSFFA offers some attractive and targeted sponsorship opportunities, including advertising opportunities in our 2014 printed program. To obtain a copy of our sponsorship package or find out more, please contact in Melbourne Brendan Black on +61 423 756 627 or and in Sydney Ika de Detrich on +61 423 775 955 or 


For more information about the festival and the crowd-funding campaign, or to request an interview with Artistic Director Cerise Howard, please contact:

Olivia Hărşan: +61 415 881 472
Rochelle Siemienowicz: +61 413 807 549

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