Camera in animation, screenings with live orchestra, new films from Cannes, debuts of young filmmakers, graphic design in the film industry, and women behind the camera – Ostrava Kamera Oko (OKO) announces the first topics, films and guests of this year’s programme. The fifteenth edition of the only domestic festival with a focus on the camera starts on 15 November 2023 and runs for five days. It takes place at the Plato Ostrava Gallery, Minikino, the Etáž cinema in Dolní Vítkovice, and other venues in Ostrava.
“The 15th OKO will open with the domestic premiere of the Romanian-Czech film Dark Ages. The film will be part of the Official Selection, the main competition section, which will offer Czech premieres of films from world festivals, such as Cannes. Latin American cinema will be strongly represented this year. The Short Film Competition will present short films by five Czech cinematographers. We are also preparing the Industry Programme, which also includes the non-competitive section, Cinematographer‘s Debuts, a showcase of gifted filmmakers who have been continuously followed at the festival since their student years. This year, we are also planning the Location Tour and AV Night. In addition, we have once again approached curators, who themselves select the topics and films for the Curatorial Selection section,” festival Coordinator Zuzana Černá.
We are proud to present the work of the following curators at Ostrava Kamera Oko this year: Andrea Průchová Hrůzová, visual culture theorist, researcher, and educator, who called her film selection Camera as an anesthetic. She will raise the question of how aerial shots in film can change our perception, especially when it comes to scenes of natural disasters.
The theme of Ondřej Nedvěd, a cinematographer and director specializing in children’s animation, will be the camera in animation. He’ll also take part in a panel discussion of the same name, moderated by Matouš Svěrák from the Department of Animation at FAMU. The festival will also provide an opportunity to present the student work of the Studio of Graphics and Animation from SUŠ Ostrava. The theme of the camera in animation permeates this year’s programme to point out, like last year’s focus on war cinematographers, that in addition to feature film, the camera is also used in many other areas of art and media.
A curatorial programme dedicated to graphic design in the film industry and graphic design of film posters will be prepared by designer Bohdan Heblík. At the festival, he will present his new book Reflection of Czech Film Posters. The accompanying audiovisual programme will be provided by dramaturge Nela Klajbanová and dramaturge Ondřej Lasák. The professional initiative Women Cinematographers Prague is also preparing its curatorial section.
“Women in the film industry, especially women cinematographers, have long been the focus of Ostrava Kamera Oko. Therefore, it goes without saying that we are supporting a new platform that introduces Czech female cinematographers to the public. We appreciate that Women Cinematographers Prague will be involved in creating this year’s programme,” says Gabriela Knýblová, Festival Director.
In the new music hall of the University of Ostrava at Černá louka, the student project Anexe, created under the auspices of the Erasmus+ programme, will be presented in the Special Release section. The film screening will be accompanied by an orchestra of thirty strings conducted by the French conductor Jaque Mercier. French, German, and Czech students participated in the film
(from Wichterle Gymnasium in Ostrava) together with a professional Czech-French crew.
FIFTEEN YEARS OF OSTRAVA KAMERA OKO
The Ostrava Kamera Oko Festival was established in 2009 as part of Ostrava’s candidacy for the European Capital of Culture 2015. The festival was founded by film producer Čestmír Kopecký, and the first edition was attended as a guest by the Ostrava native Věra Chytilová.
“OKO has been at the origin of so many fundamental places on the cultural map of Ostrava. The “Old Arena” and the Hlubina mine area, which is now a very popular location, come to mind. We were also at the beginning of the Moravian-Silesian Film Office. Above all, we were able to follow the careers of almost an entire young generation of cinematographers from the very beginning,” recalls Jakub Felcman, one of the founders of OKO and today the dramaturg of the Official Selection.
The festival has evolved over the years, and OKO is now profiled as an international cinematography event dedicated to the camera and the cinematic image in a context far beyond classical feature film. However, it still retains its primacy as the only cinematography festival in the Czech Republic.
OKO IN THE NUTSHELL
Accreditations are now available on the festival’s website www.kameraoko.com, where you can choose between a full festival accreditation, a weekend accreditation (Fri-Sun), and a discounted accreditation for students. Accreditations and tickets for individual screenings will also be available on-site at the accreditation center and individual screening venues.
The OKO programme offers Official and Curatorial Selections, a Short Film Competition, and the AV Night. It will be screened at the PLATO Ostrava Gallery, Minikino, and Etáž cinemas. For professionals, the festival is preparing the Industry Programme, which includes a Location Tour, MasterClass, and Cinematographer’s Debuts. There are also showings in the Special Release section.
OKO is financially supported by the State Cinematography Fund, the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic, the Statutory City of Ostrava, and the Moravian-Silesian Region.