Renowned Czech film maker Jiri Menzel received the Life Time Achievement award at the inaugural ceremony of IFFI 2013, in Panaji, Goa.
Renowned Czech film maker Jiri Menzel received the Life Time Achievement award at the inaugural ceremony of the 44th International Film Festival of India (IFFI 2013), in Panaji, Goa on November 20.
Actor Kamal Hassan hailed Jiri Menzel for his contribution to world cinema. “I thank the world cinema fraternity. Thank you Menzel saahab… I know so many of his students in India. I am one of them. There are many more to be mentored…”
“I am happy to be here in India. I am proud of this award,” Jiri Menzel said, looking delighted.
Menzel’s latest film Don Juans was screened as the opening film of the 44th IFFI. Don Juans revolves around the rehearsal of Mozart’s Don Giovanni at a regional Czech theatre. The movie is the 16th feature film in Menzel’s long and much-rewarded career which began in the Communist era in 1966 with Closely Watched Trains. It is an ode to the gentle seducers of the world and the women who love them.
Born in Prague in 1938, Jiri Menzel majored in film direction from the Prague Film School (FAMU) in 1962. This was the time when the representatives of ‘New Wave’ in Czech Cinema made their presence felt in the international arena. His career kicked off with a stint as Assistant Director. He worked mainly at the Baranov Film Studios.
As a stage director, he was mostly involved with the Drama Club in Prague but he was eagerly invited by numerous European theatres in Zurich, Paris, Berlin and many other places.
His first movie, Closely Observed Trains, an adaptation of the work of the renowned Czech writer, Bhumil Hrabal, was made when he was just 28.
With the success of this film under his belt, Menzel started work on another Hrabal’s novel, Larks on a String, which was awarded the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 1990.
His l served the King of England is the most awarded of his works including Golden Gladiator Award at the International Film Summer Festival in 2008 and FIPRESCI Prize in the Berlinale in 2007.
Jiri Menzel’s films are subtle, bittersweet comedies as he is of the conviction that ‘good comedy should be about serious things’.
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