The British Academy of Film and Television Arts (BAFTA) has announced the semi-finalists of the BAFTA Student Film Awards competition. Approximately sixty student films from countries all around the world, selected by the jury from more than 750 entrants, include as many as four films from FAMU: three animated ones – Electra by Daria Kashcheeva, Dede is Dead by Philippe Kastner, and Rising Above by Natálie Durchánková – and one feature film: Eighth Day by Petr Pylypčuk. The finalists will be announced in the first half of July.
Viewers will have an opportunity to see these four FAMU films in Czech cinemas as part of the FAMU Four, one of the series that will be presented this year as part of the fourth edition of FAMU in Cinema. The series will premiere in national distribution on 13 July. After that, the films will be screened in cinemas and venues all over the Czech Republic under new collaboration with the Pilotfilm distribution company.
The films share a common thread – personal experience of (mostly female) protagonists – and have succeeded in the international scene. Daria Kashcheeva’s Electra, a surrealist drama straddling the line between feature and animated films, and Eighth Day, a dramatic feature by Petr Pylypčuk, are both graduation films. Both premiered globally in Cannes last month as part of the La Cinef student competition, being the only two Czech representatives at the prestigious film festival. Electra, whose heroine is striving to define herself in relation to her mother and understand her mixed emotions towards her father, was produced by MAUR film as a Czech-Slovak-French co-production project involving FAMU, Artichoke, and Papy3D. “I’m immensely honoured that Electra has made it to the BAFTA shortlist so early on in its journey. I’m also very happy that our school is represented in the short list exactly by these four films,” Daria Kashcheeva comments on the achievement. Eighth Day is an intimate story of coming of age in the environment of a radical religious sect, inspired by the director’s personal experience, and was produced by Kryštof Burda and Tomáš Pertold of Perfilm and co-produced by FAMU and Czech TV. „I have a very close relationship to the UK; I lived there for several years and I still spend a lot of time there. I am hugely honoured that the British Academy of Film and Television Arts liked my film enough to include it in the student award shortlist,” director Petr Pylypčuk commented on the news. Dede is Dead is an animated second-year exercise that Philippe Kastner made at the Department of Animated Film. A moving story of losing one’s beloved household pet, it premiered globally at the Berlinale and brought back a Special Mention of the jury. “One year ago, I thought I might circumvent the brief for the final commission somewhat and make a film about myself and my dog, and at that time I had no idea that its topic would resonates so deeply with people. I’m happy that so many people found their own stories in my film and perhaps were able to remember their own pets who are no longer with them,” explains Dede is Dead director Philippe Kastner. Rising Above, an emotional animated documentary by Natálie Durchánková captures the story and feelings of a woman who fell victim to a rape and attempted murder. Viewers had an opportunity to watch this probe into a victim’s psyche at this year’s Anifilm international animated film festival. “When I first heard the respondent’s story, I was amazed by her mental power and resilience. The making of the film was a complex process – every decision I had to make reminded me of how complex this topic is, but I hope I managed to treat it with dignity. The respondent’s persistence inspires me and I really appreciate the festival selection that allows me to share her story further,” author Natálie Durchánková says of her film.
The BAFTA Student Award was founded in 2004 with the competition initially intended for American students from local schools in Los Angeles. The competition became international 13 years later. Since then, FAMU has never been absent from the shortlist – The Fishermen by Bára Anna Stejskalová and Collision by Šimon Štefanides made the semi-finals in 2017; Fruits of Clouds by Kateřina Karhánková in 2018; One Hundred and Twenty-Eight Thousand by Ondřej Erban in 2019; Apart by Diana Cam Van Nguyen made it straight to the finals in the same year; and this success was repeated one year later as Daria Kashcheeva’s Daughter reached the finals. Three films – the most in the school’s history at the time – made the semi-finals in 2021: Red Shoes by Anna Podskalská, Love is Just a Death Away by Bára Anna Stejskalová, and Inside by Viktorie Štěpánová. This year, the school has pushed its record even further with as many as four films in the semi-finals.
You can find the full shortlist of the BAFTA Student Film Awards 2023 under this link.
Electra trailer - https://vimeo.com/820926200
Financially supported by the Czech Film Fund, Plzeň Region, FILMTALENT ZLÍN Endowment Fund, ARTE France, Pictanovo, images in Hauts-de-France Hauts-de-France region, Centre national du cinéma et de l’image animée, Procirep and Angoa, and Audiovizuálny fond Slovakia.
Eighth Day trailer - https://vimeo.com/827672933
Financially supported by the Czech Film Fund and the Karlovy Vary Region
Dede is Dead trailer - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BUeNY5z7Ppg
Head of Communication and PR
17. June 2023