Cinematographer Vladimír Smutný was born in 1942. In 1970, he graduated from the Department of Cinematography at FAMU and since 1997, he has been teaching there. After his studies, at first he worked for the Krátký film Praha (Short film Prague) and later, he worked for the Film Studios Barrandov. Since 1982, he has been working independently. He worked for various Czech directors from different generations. Most notable are his collaborations with Jan Svěrák, Jiří Svoboda and Václav Marhoul.
His filmography includes about 60 feature films, such as Zánik samoty Berhof (The Downfall of the Secluded Berhof) (dir. Jiří Svoboda), Smrt krásných srnců (Forbidden dreams) (dir. Karel Kachyňa), Kolja (dir. Jan Svěrák), Tobruk (dir. Václav Marhoul). During his career, he obtained the Film Award Czech Lion for best direction of photography seven times. At present year’s 54th International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary, he received the prize of the president of the festival, which is awarded to distinguished figures of Czech cinematography.