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Il Boemo, a biopic on 18th-century composer Josef Myslivecek, from director Petr Václav (The Way Out) took the top prize, for best Czech Film, at the 2023 Czech Lions awards.
The period drama, about the forgotten composer, was a frontrunner going into the Lions, as the Czech Republic’s official Oscar contender (it wasn’t nominated). In the end, Il Boemo won six Czech Lions, including best director for Vaclav and honors for best set design, costumes and makeup. Accepting the best film trophy, Il Boemo producer Jan Macola, thanked writer-director Václav for spending 12 years working on the project.
Il Boemo premiered in competition at the 70th San Sebastian film festival last year.
Michal Kern took best actor honors for his performance in Arved, another period biopic about a forgotten figure from Czech history, from director Vojtech Masek. In the drama, Kern plays Jiri Arved Smichovsky, a Czech occultist and Nazi collaborator. Arved scribes Jan Polacek and Vojtech Masek also won the best screenplay honor.
The Czech Lion for best cinematography went to Baset Stritezsky for yet another period piece: Tomás Hodan’s The Last Race, which recounts the true story of a 1913 ski race and two Czech skiing pioneers: Bohumil Hanc and Vaclav Vrbata.
Presented by the Czech Film and Television Academy, the Czech Lions award excellence in both big- and small-screen productions.
Klara Meliskova won the best actress award for her role as a nurse accused of murdering a patient in the drama series Suspicion. The award for best supporting actress went to Martha Issová for her performance in Alice Nellis’ dramedy Buko. Marsell Bendig took best supporting actor for his role in Banger, a film by director Adam Sedlak shot on an iPhone.
Art Talent Show, from directors Adela Komrzy and Tomas Bojar, which premiered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival last year, won the Czech Lion for best documentary .
Screenwriter and script editor Marcela Pittermannova, 90, was awarded an honorary Lion her contribution to Czech cinematography.
The 30th Czech Lions were handed out at a gala ceremony in Prague on Sunday evening.
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