The Karlovy Vary project is the first project to be realised and subsequently developed by the Czech Film Foundation. It involves a selection of 12 films from the golden fund of Czech cinematography that the Foundation has undertaken to digitally restore. Each year, the Foundation collects financial donations and ensures the digital restoration of one of the films on this list. To date, the Czech Film Foundation has been instrumental in the digital restoration of three films:
The gala premiere of each digitally restored film took place at the International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary.
Realisation of the project is based on a contract and mutual cooperation with the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and the National Film Archive. All digital film restorations to the highest 4K quality to date have been achieved with the assistance of experts from the UPP post-production company and Soundsquare sound studio.
The idea behind the Restoring the World of Fantasy project is to support the digital restoration of three films from the golden fund of Czech cinematography produced by Karel Zeman. The Czech Film Foundation is working closely with the Karel Zeman Museum and Czech Television on this project. Thanks to the active involvement of all three parties working on the project, it has developed beyond its original objective and given rise to a number of overlapping activities in areas such as education or the promotion of Czech filmmaking abroad.
"It is amazing that today's technologies enable restored and preserve any form of artistic works of the world that it will shine again and bring aesthetic and artistic experience to people, as their originals brought many years ago. Therefore I strongly support the project Restoring the World of Fantasy, because the famous films of my father belong among world artworks."
"The Fabulous World of Jules Verne, The Fabulous Baron Munchausen and Journey to the Beginning of Time are colored stylized artwork, which is an original fantasy of the artist. That is why it will not be easy to restore and digital restore it in the quality that will be identical to the original work of Karel Zeman. If we manage this it will be an amazing act of preservation and transmission of art for future generations. It is similar to discovering a rare old painting, which is restored by experts and then exhibited in museums worldwide."
"Movies of my father Karel Zeman represent the originality and imagination of Czech artist and belong among the world's artworks. It is important to ensure that one day, his work will not be lost. Therefore, I support the project " Restoring the World of Fantasy!"
1958 / Czechoslovakia / 78 minDigitally restored
The Fabulous Word of Jules Verne is the most successful Czechoslovak film in history, released all around the world in 1958. During his presentation in New York, it was also showed simultaneously in 96 cinemas. This fantasy adventure won many prestigious awards, including the Grand Prize at EXPO 58 in Brussels.
This is the first of Zeman's film based on Jules Verne's prose, in which the author tried the new art style, which he then further developed. The original scenery, unique masks and innovative music of Zdeněk Liška all contributes to the unique shape of this thrilling story with anti-war overtones. Black story comes from engravings Édouard Riou and Léon Benett - the first illustrators Verne's novels.
The story of engineer Šimon Hart - continuously recorded in his diary – took place at a time when people were pushed by the belief in unstoppable progress. New inventions emerged like mushrooms after rain and attracted criminals to abuse.
Engineer Hart, along with his mentor Professor Roch, were kidnapped by the wicked Earl Artigas. The false patron of the professor's research was in fact the cynical boss of a pirate gang that dived civilian ships and stole their profits. Unsuspecting Roch didn´t realize for a long time that Artigas wanted his explosive to achieve the world domination. Engineer Hart - isolated from an old scientist in a makeshift shack – was trying to thwart the plans of villains and to inform the world about their true intentions. Meanwhile he formed a bond with young beauty Jane, who was rescued from one of the pirate´s attack. He sent a message from the villain's place in the Back Cup Isle, which gives the impression of a smoldering volcano. It was not that easy and it was harder to attack enemies, who had a deadly submarine Nautilus with a sharp spike.
1955 / Czechoslovakia / 93 minRestoration in progress
One of the best children's adventure films of world cinematography. The evidence of its popularity was also proved by putting the film into US distribution (with an extended prologue and epilogue), which followed after the phenomenal success of the film ´The Fabulous World of Jules Verne´.
It is a popular educational work about the journey of four schoolchildren who travel into prehistoric times on an ordinary boat. This excursion into the mysterious past of our planet reminds people of a good schoolbook with many useful bits of knowledge, which are presented as a fun boyish game. Several generations of children and adults have learned a lot about this prehistoric time due to this well-known classic film. Imaginative handmade film tricks - used in this unique adventure - is the backbone of film illusion.
The wanderings of the four boys is inspired by the discovery of a fossilized trilobite and by small Jirka´s desire to see live exhibits that captivated him in the museum. Peter the narrator, Jenda the leader of the expedition, Toník the photographer and the youngest Jirka decide to sail on a boat through a cave, in which Jirka discovered the ancient fossil. They set off on the journey to the beginning of times, during which they see more than just a woolly mammoth.
The enterprising boys wander against the flow of time and the landscape around them gradually changes. They carefully record their exciting encounters with prehistoric fauna and flora in their diary. They find themselves in various times and environments. They visit a prehistoric cave with wall paintings and they witness a fight between Mesozoic dinosaurs in one of the key episodes in the film. At the end of their journey, they sail into the sea in the Paleozoic era through a jungle of Ferns and Lycopodium. They find a living trilobite there, whose modern remnant is the motive of their expedition.
1961 / Czechoslovakia / 83 minDigitally restored
Zeman found inspiration in the engravings from the original edition of the Unique World famous book written by Gottfried August Bürger. The engravings were created by the one of the greatest illustrators of the 19th century, Gustave Doré.
The director gave life to the black and white images with strong colored tinting and using diverse colors to create a different look and emphasize the changing moods, surprises and changing plot. These fantastical adventures - brightened up with unique tricks and funny gags - won many international awards, including at festivals such as Cannes and Locarno, where it was also shown.
American director Terry Gilliam - a member of the legendary group Monty Python - revealed that Zeman's film was the original inspiration for his own version of the famous story. In Zeman's playful story we can find the narration, which is told by Baron Munchausen, and also the romantic story of modern fantasist Toník, who became the Baron´s rival in love. The title role was played by Miloš Kopecký, astronaut Toník was played by Rudolf Jelínek and capricious princess Bianka who was played by star Jana Brejchová. A number of other acting legends (for example, Jan Werich and Rudolf Hrušínský) appeared in the film in minor roles.
Modern astronaut Tonik lands on the moon, there he meets a peculiar company. It includes Cyrano de Bergerac, a hero of Verne´s novel ‘To the moon’, but especially the blustery Baron Prášil. All of them warmly welcome him with a glass of wine and they want to be alone with Moonman to taste the magic of life on Earth.
Then Baron Prášil goes with Toník to Turkey, where he sets free the beautiful Bianka from the Sultan’s captivity. The boastful baron tries to charm her and he plunges therefore into a number of crazy adventures - he finds himself in the bowels of a whale, flies in the talons of a giant bird, swims on a seahorse under water and flies on a cannon ball during a battle.
Despite many fantastic escapades Bianka is slowly falling in love with dreamer Toník and finally they finish they journey, where the story began - on a pale moon. Which belongs not only to poets and dreamers, but also to lovers.
This is the latest project of the Czech Film Foundation. The ‘Cutting It Short with Jiří Menzel’ project follows the successful cooperation between the Czech Film Foundation and director Jiří Menzel on the digital restoration of the film Ostře sledované vlaky (Closely Watched Trains) in 2014. The aim of the project is to digitally restore the film Postřižiny (Cutting It Short) to the highest quality and to present the restored version to the general public with Jiří Menzel and cinematographer Jaromír Šofr.
Currently, the Czech Film Foundation is preparing for digital restoration of the film Postřižiny (Cutting It Short) which is generously supported by director Jiří Menzel. Anyone is free to donate, and in doing so, help persuade NFA to release the source material. With your support the digital restoration of the jewel of the Czech cinematography may soon begin!
1980 / Czechoslovakia / Comedy / 93
Directed by: Jiří Menzel
Script: Bohumil Hrabal, Jiří Menzel
Camera: Jaromír Šofr
Music: Jiří Šust
Actors: Rudolf Hrušínský, Magda Vášáryová, Jiří Schmitzer, Jaromír Hanzlík
This is a Czech film classic, full of joy and inviting foamy beer, according to the famous novel by Bohumil Hrabal.
The humorous story takes place in a small Czech town, where the administrator of a local brewery is a man called Francin. His young glamorous woman Maryska, Mrs. Administrator, is the spice of Francin´s life, and along with his noisy brother Pepin, they spark a series of crazy situations. Everything begins with one of the many rituals, when Francin gives Maryska a small gift, which is in the form of a patent needle threader. Maryska looks for it in the darkness of their bedroom. The following day, Francin shows to the Management Board of the Brewery the land and equipment of brewery, when everybody could only see, how Maryska vigorously helped a butchers with pig-killing. The attention of the management board, especially Dr. Gruntorad, is completely fixed on Mrs. Administrator and they are all consequently very happy to accept her invitation to the pork feast. That day the pork feast finishes late in the evening. Next day Francis is taken aback to see his quirky, rambunctious brother Pepin at his court. Pepin becomes an enthusiastic ally in a series of Maryska’s crazy ideas that culminate in their climbing up to a chimney. This is followed by a rapid rescue by fire brigade, headed by foreman Giorgin, who is also a member of brewery management. Mr. Giorgin orders them to maintain order and in the name of law to climb down the chimney. But the shenanigans don’t end and after a short pause, when Maryska can’t leave his bed because of her sprained leg, they continue in another crazy activity, which is inspired by an innocent remark of Dr. Gruntorad’s. They shorten both the table legs and Maryska´s long beautiful thick hair that the whole city had admired. Francine runs out of patience and in front of the entire brewery management, he spanks Maryska with a bicycle pump.
One of the latest projects of the The Czech Film Foundation, which cooperates with director Tomáš Vorel. An aim of the project is to digitally restore the film ‘Stone Bridge’ and to allowed cinemas of today to screen it. The Czech Film Foundation has contributed 150,000 CZK to the digital restoration of the film.
1996 / Czech / 92 minDigitally restored
Directed by: Tomáš Vorel
Script: Tomáš Vorel, Jaroslav Dušek
Camera: Marek Jícha
Music: Vladimír Franz
Actors: Tomáš Hanák, Romana Sittová, Milena Dvorská, Bořík Procházka, Tomáš Vorel, Hana Tallerová, Jan Slovák, Jana Synková, David Vávra and more
The third feature film by Tomáš Vorel, which was nominated for the Czech Lion Best Actress award in 1997. It was screened at film festivals at Karlovy Vary (1997), Mannheim, Germany (1997), Terst, Italy (1998) and Palm Springs, USA (1998).
It is a bitter comedy that takes place in the heart of Prague near Charles Bridge. The main character is Tomáš, a promising director who finds himself in a creative crisis. He is dissatisfied with stereotypes and a boring family life with his wife Martina. Living with his parents is unbearable and all around him is a heady spirit of commerce, in which he does not want to participate. In his despair, he runs away from home, away from the everyday problems of his life. He finds comfort in arms of ‘bubblelady’ a street artist. Suddenly, he starts missing his son and goes back to Martina, but she is not there, instead he meets her new boyfriend Robert, who he throws out from flat. After that he stays with his son and tells him about a mysterious bridge orc. Martina and Tomáš start rebuilding their relationship, but then break up again. Afterwards Tomáš writes a script, it is a story about artists from Charles Bridge, about the road to success and about the conflict of art and kitsch. He offers the script to film producers and sponsors and due to this he meets Robert again, who offers him a partnership. The film receives the desired success after long disagreements between Robert and Tomáš about the form of script for filming. However Tomáš is still unhappy and therefore he asks Martina to come back to him at the celebration of the completion of the film on a glittering steamer, which is full of influential people, but she refuses. He gets into a dispute with Robert, which culminates in Tomáš jumping into the river Vltava with Martina in his arms.
2000 / Czech / 107 minDigitally restored
Režie: Tomáš Vorel
Scénář: Tomáš Vorel
Kamera: Marek Jícha
Hudba: Michal Vích
Hrají: Tomáš Hanák, Barbora Nimcová, Ljuba Skořepová, Boleslav Polívka, Eva Holubová, Michal Vorel, Leoš Suchařípa, Radomil Uhlíř, Milan Šteindler, Petr Čtvrtníček
Honza, a divorced programmer, is working on a central citizens’ registry database, spends most of his time at the computer. When he gets permission from his boss to have a weekend off in the country with his son, he automatically packs his indispensable cell phone, laptop and digital camera. During the weekend, however, nature gradually enchants this notorious workaholic, as does the ethereal Markéta, a girl he meets picking apples in a village. The trip turns into a sojourn of several days duration, and Honza, having spent the most beautiful moments of his life there, decides that he and his son will stay. Before winter sets in, however, Honza receives a visit from his boss, his fellow-colleagues and the company psychologist. The law of business is flexing its muscles and our hero must get back to work, and to his hectic life in the big city. Vorel’s comedy about civilisation is one of the Czech Republic’s biggest box office successes.