Czech That Film festival returns to Little Rock

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Wednesday, April 4, 2018 · 3:02 pm

Event showcases four best Czech films of the year

The Honorary Consulate of the Czech Republic is joining once again with local and state partners to bring the Czech That Film festival to Little Rock April 27-28 as part of its national tour.

Hosted by the Riverdale 10 VIP Cinema, the festival begins Friday, April 27, with a screening of “Milada,” followed by a question and answer session with director David Mrnka. The historical dramatization centers on the true life and death of Milada Horáková, who survived a Nazi concentration camp only to be executed in what has been characterized as a political show trial.

On Saturday, April 28, screenings will include the World War II drama “Barefoot” or “Po strništi bos,” directed by the Academy Award-winning director Jan Svěrák, followed by the melodrama “Family Friend” or “Rodinný přítel” and the comedy “Ice Mother” or “Bába z ledu,” which received a Best Screenplay Award at the recent Tribeca Film Festival and received six Czech Lion awards, the country’s top film honors.

As the Czech people proudly celebrate 100 years of independence, we invite our American friends to celebrate with us and enjoy some of the best Czech cinematography,” said Lenka Horakova, honorary consul of the Czech Republic in Arkansas. “The films will take us on a tour of the early 20th century. We will see what it was like to live in Central Europe under communism and get a peek – and a good laugh –into the lives of people in today’s Czech Republic.”

The Czech That Film festival is hosted in the state through collaboration with the Arkansas Economic Development Commission (AEDC), the Arkansas Film Commission, Riverdale 10 VIP Cinema, The Pantry Restaurant and the Arkansas Cinema Society. This is the festival’s fourth year in Little Rock and seventh in North America. Little Rock is one of 19 cities to host the festival this year.

The Riverdale 10 VIP Cinema is located at 2600 Cantrell Road, Little Rock. All films will be shown with English subtitles. For more information, visit Tickets are $5 and $7 plus a small fee and must be purchased online.

Film Schedule

Friday, April 27, 7 p.m.

Directed by David Mrnka, 2017, 124 minutes

Watch the trailer on YouTube.

“Milada” is a historical drama based on the true story of Milada Horáková, a woman executed on the basis of fabricated charges of conspiracy and treason in a political show trial by the communist regime in former Czechoslovakia. Set against the complex, political landscapes of post-World War II, “Milada” tells the story of a strong woman, a heroine fighting for democracy, who survived imprisonment in Nazi concentration camps only to be arrested and executed by the Communists in 1950.


Milada Horáková moved amid some of the greatest minds of her time and inspired those who met her. Her execution shook the world and triggered powerful and fervent responses from many nations and renowned individuals across the globe – Winston Churchill, Albert Einstein, and Eleanor Roosevelt, to name a few. The film, shot at many authentic locations – including the courtroom where Milada stood 68 years ago – illuminates idealism and shocking tragedy. 

Q&A with director David Mrnka follows the screening.

Saturday, April 28, 2 p.m.

Directed by Jan Svěrák, 2017, 111 minutes

Watch the trailer on YouTube.

“’Barefoot’ (is a) beautiful piece of nostalgia shot entirely from a little boy’s perspective …” Deborah Young, Hollywood Reporter film critic.

Set in Czechoslovakia during the Nazi occupation, a young boy named Eda opens up a world of trouble when he inadvertently reveals that his father has been listening to resistance broadcasts from London. As a result, the Nazis requisition their apartment, and the family is forced into exile in the countryside. Shot from the perspective of the 8-year-old boy, Eda finds his own adventures and discovers a new crop of friends during the extraordinary times. Along the way, Eda’s innocent perspective of the world contrasts with the shadow of World War II weighing heavily upon the country.

Director Jan Svěrák received the 2018 Czech Lion Film Fan Award for this film. The film received 13 Czech Lion nominations and won three – Best Cinematography, Sound and Supporting Actor.

Saturday, April 28, 4:15 p.m.

Directed by Jan Hřebejk, 2017, 130 minutes

Watch the trailer on YouTube

“It’s a first-rate production that ranks right alongside Hřebejk and Jarchovský's finest work.” – The Prague Reporter


Family Friend is a melodrama taking place in the early 1940s during German occupation. Three young women and two children await the return of their imprisoned husbands and fathers from Nazi concentration camps. A family friend and doctor named Jiri watches over the women forced into a family union by the war. The film tells a story of forbidden love that remains unfulfilled, friendship bigger than life, desire, departures and returns. Love, friendship and loyalty leave deep imprints on the family lives of women brought together by destiny.             


The film is the first part of director Jan Hřebejk’s trilogy Garden Store (Zahradnictví), also comprised of the films Deserter (Dezertér) and (Suitor) Nápadník.    

Saturday, April 28, 6:45 p.m. 

Directed by Bohdan Sláma, 2017, 106 minutes

Watch the trailer on YouTube.

“A December romance changes a widow’s life as well as the relationships she has with her selfish sons.” – Alissa Simon, “Variety” film critic   

It is long overdue for Hannah to jump into the water and see where the current leads. For years, she has catered to her two grown sons — one an underpaid servant, the other a wealthy businessman with a self-centered wife and a troubled son. Every weekend, Hannah brings the family together, using her best dishes to create some semblance of order. One day, after picking up her grandson at school, she stops alongside the river to watch some ice swimmers. When a man named Brona waves in distress, she rushes into the water to help. Brona offers Hannah a breath of fresh air and a taste of romance. He encourages her to try ice swimming. Her dip into the icy water just might change her life forever.

Ice Mother received the award for Best Screenplay in an International Narrative at the 2017 Tribeca Film Festival.

The film received 15 Czech Lion nominations and won six – Best Film, Director, Screenplay, Lead Actress, Lead Actor and Supporting Actress.

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