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Prague's FebioFest Celebrates its 20th Year

Picture of Andrew Kingsford-Smith
Andrew Kingsford-Smith
Updated: 12 January 2017
Starting as an enthusiastically organised event for a couple of friends and film buffs in Prague, FebioFest has grown during the past years into one of the largest film festivals in the Czech Republic. With 2013 marking the 20th anniversary, FebioFest was an exciting event that not only looked at the history of the festival, but also at the future of the film industry.
Founded in 1993 by Febio, an independent film and TV company, FebioFest has undergone huge transformations in its 20-year lifespan. Born out of sheer enthusiasm and with basically no budget, the event originated as a small, independent film festival.
In its beginnings, Febio wanted the festival to support and provide working opportunities for Czech filmmakers during the difficult transition period from communism to democracy and market economy. Exceeding in this initial goal, the festival grew and started to include films from other countries and to focus on key filmmakers who were pushing the boundaries of the medium.
In 2003 the festival aptly dubbed itself The Festival of Nations. It prided itself on highlighting the hidden faces of the cinema world through exploring new and unusual styles, little-known national cinemas, and drawing attention to the profiles of experimental film and video makers. The festival has continued to grow throughout the years and has created new categories that allow it to further highlight innovative works,
One of the festival’s distinct elements is the Grand Prix FebioFest; an award for the best new European movies that can only be won for filmmakers’ debut or second feature-length film. The Grand Prix doesn’t look to reward popular directors but emerging artists who are the future of the industry. Another exciting aspect of this award is the jury: 33 members of the public decide the winner of the prize. These jury members come from a range of backgrounds and are all of different ages.

In 2013, a new prize was introduced for mid-length films. FebioFest hopes to boost the profile of this often forgotten category. This inclusion again highlights the festival’s dedication to recognizing filmmakers who are often overlooked.

That being said, the FebioFest does recognize well-known figures. The Kristián has been presented greats like Roman Polanski, Agnieszka Holland, and Claudia Cardinale. The attractive trophy was designed by Olbram Zoubek and has become a symbol of the festival. In 2013, the history of the prize was celebrated by the screening of new work by past winners. FebioFest has a number of categories that highlight new and exciting films from around the world.

Visit FebioFest’s Website for more information.