An Israeli celebration in Prague of film and cooperation

The sixth Israeli Film Festival, was held in Prague from October 20-23, in cooperation with the Israeli embassy in the Czech Republic.

 
 Deputy Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic  VACLAV VELCOVSKY and Nurit Tinari head of Cultural Diplomacy Bureau at the Israel Foreign Ministry signing the Cultural Cooperation Program.   (photo credit: Embassy of Israel in Czech Republic)
Deputy Minister of Culture of the Czech Republic VACLAV VELCOVSKY and Nurit Tinari head of Cultural Diplomacy Bureau at the Israel Foreign Ministry signing the Cultural Cooperation Program.
(photo credit: Embassy of Israel in Czech Republic)

Autumn is traditionally the time for Israeli films in Prague. Kolnoa (Hebrew for film), the sixth Israeli Film Festival, was held in Prague from October 20-23, in cooperation with the Israeli embassy in the Czech Republic. This year, there was an additional reason for celebration, as on the eve of the festival opening, a three-year program for cooperation in culture, education, science and youth between Israel and the Czech Republic was signed.

The signing ceremony took place after a discussion between Mr. Vaclav Velcovsky, Ph.D., Deputy Minister for Education, Youth and Sport, and his advisors Ladislav Banovec, Ms. Helena Provaznikova, Ms. Helena Cermakova, and Mr. Peter Hnizdo, together with Nurit Tinari, head of the Cultural Diplomacy Bureau at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Anna Azari, her deputy Roni Abramson and Rachel Polohova, who last year, as part of the same cultural and educational cooperation program, received a scholarship to study at The Hebrew University of Jerusalem from the Israeli government and today works at the Israeli embassy. Actor Michael Moshonov, who recounted his positive experiences as an actor when he lived in the Czech Republic for three months and established good relations with the local population, also attended the ceremony and spoke at the festival’s opening. 

 Director and screenwriter Ofir Raul Graizer, Daniel Kossow - production designer and the leading actor Michael Moshonov outside the cinema house in Prague at the opening of Kolnoa Festival  (credit: Embassy of Israel in Czech Republic) Director and screenwriter Ofir Raul Graizer, Daniel Kossow - production designer and the leading actor Michael Moshonov outside the cinema house in Prague at the opening of Kolnoa Festival (credit: Embassy of Israel in Czech Republic)

Nurit Tinari: “Israeli culture is sought-after in the world, and direct collaborations with creators take place frequently, but without a doubt, when it comes to our close friends in the Czech Republic, the huge scope of activity in all areas, and the quantity, mutual enthusiasm and depth of relations, thrill me anew. The cultural and educational cooperation program that has been signed is another important element in ensuring our excellent relations, from the governmental, institutional and public aspects as well.” 

The Kolnoa festival in Prague lasted a week and included new feature (“Image of Victory” and “America,”) and documentary films as well as student films from the Maaleh Film School in Jerusalem. Over 1,500 people attended the festival in Prague that continued from there to Brno, the second largest city in the Czech Republic. 

The festival was opened by Anna Azari, Ambassador of Israel to the Czech Republic, Roman Lesný, director and founder of the festival, together with Ofir Raul Graizer, who is best known for his feature film debut, “The Cakemaker,” and the director of the new Israeli-Czech-German co-production “America,” starring Michael Moshonov, who also participated that morning at the signing ceremony of the agreement.

Recalling the creation of the Festival, Roman Lesný said, “We asked ourselves – how is it possible that other countries like Germany or Poland have Israeli film festivals, but the Czech Republic, despite our good relations with Israel, has nothing? The festival was born because we felt the need for it to be there.”

The festival first collaborated with the Maaleh Film School in Jerusalem in 2018. At that time, Kolnoa staff met with several different schools. This year, staff from Maaleh contacted the Kolnoa team, and together they prepared a block of films for the festival. Next year, Kolnoa plans to continue the cooperation next year, and the idea has been raised of bringing Maaleh students to next year’s festival and connecting them with Czech students.

The Kolnoa festival plans on adding related activities such as Israeli culture and Hebrew language. “We welcome cooperation with other institutions like this, and we also want to spread our activities across the country to other cities in the Republic,” said  Lesný, describing the vision of Kolnoa. For the first time, this year’s Kolnoa festival continued in the Moravian metropolis of Brno after leaving Prague.

This article is powered by Ministry of Foreign Affairs