The brothers Joachim and Rolf Kühn are two of the somewhat limited number of German jazz musicians who have gained worldwide recognition. Their extraordinary story has been depicted by Stephan Lamby in a film titled Brothers Kühn – Jazz Across Borders. The picture won the Grand Prix in the 57th edition of the Golden Prague International Television Festival. The Czech Crystal award in the Stage Work Recordings category went to a recording of a performance of Leoš Janáček's opera Jenufa delivered by the Brno National Theater. The closing ceremony was held online in the evening on 26 September 2020.
"The festival was as extraordinary as are the times we are living through. Even though the event was subject to numerous restrictions, for instance, guests from abroad could not attend in person, the international jury deliberated online from the home countries, and the winners received prizes symbolically on a remote basis, this year's season of the festival has sent out many optimistic signals," says Tomáš Motl, Festival Director and Executive Director of the CT Art Channel. "Most of all, it was the enormous interest in culture exhibited by viewers who filled the New Stage of the National Theater on each night of the festival. Likewise, the quality of entries was excellent, and their high number surpassed previous seasons. Personally, I am most happy that movies produced by the Czech Television fared well in the international competition and received several awards," Motl added.
Formally speaking, the winning film Brothers Kühn – Jazz Across Borders portrays the life of two jazz musicians. In reality, however, it is much more than that. In delivering its verdict, the jury recognized the fact that the movie is about love and understanding between the two brothers, each of whom has chosen a different life path, about childhood in a fallen country, about artistic inspirations, music careers, aging, disease, and death. Likewise, the film pays tribute to the history of German music and music as a whole, insofar as it is inseparable from the drama of WWII. Even though it feels improvised at times, the picture never strays from its strong narrative. Like the music it depicts, the film is a syncopated, detailed documentary set in a context offering insight into history, the human soul, and the unique nature of art.
The five-member jury, headed by Markus Wicker from Switzerland, bestowed one of the Czech Crystal Awards on a recording of a rendition of Leoš Janáček's opera Jenufa. The production features the highly emotional work in a stunningly naturalistic, yet truly artful setting, where a cast of superb vocalists deliver a most convincing and compelling performance. Jenufa's dramatic storyline of unrequited love and out-of-wedlock pregnancy is presented in a detailed, close-up fashion that at times borders on the allure of a film production. Produced by the Czech Television, the Jenufa project won in the Stage Work Recordings category. The Czech Crystal Awards in the categories Concert Performance Recording and Documentary Programs Dedicated to Music, Dance, and Theater went to the films Hope@Home and Max Richter‘s Sleep, respectively.
Unlike in the past, the jury awarded not a single, but three special mentions. The Special Mention for Extraordinary Artistic Achievement was awarded for the film What To Do With All This Love. The Special Mention for Cultural Achievement went to a recording of a Šun Devloro concert played during the celebration of the International Roma Day, and the Special Mention for Production in Times of the Pandemic was bestowed on the film Europakonzert 2020 from Berlin.
The EBU and IMZ Life Achievement Award was bestowed on Christopher Nupen, a South African filmmaker living in the United Kingdom who specializes in biographic documentaries featuring musicians. Former First Lady Dagmar Havlová delivered the Dagmar and Václav Havel VIZE 97 Foundation Award to Martin Kubala, the author of a documentary about the renowned choreographer Jiří Kylián titled A Year in the Life of Choreographer Jiří Kylián. The Czech Television Award went to The Animated Story of Jenny Lind, a film depicting the dramatic life of the famous Swedish singer.