The Grand Prix of the Golden Prague International Television Festival has been awarded to the German picture Orphea in Love. The winner was selected by a five-member international jury chaired by the German director and producer Reiner E. Moritz. As many as 83 films were registered in the competition for seven prizes. The Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation VIZE 97 Prize went to the creators of the film Nikola Márová: Portrait of a Prima Ballerina produced by Czech Television.
"I could go on to enumerate all of the new features we prepared for this year, the screenings that filled up the halls of the New Scene, the documents from the world over that captured the jury's attention, and the get-togethers of experts, producers, and broadcasters from all parts of the globe who came to Prague. All of that would be true. To me, however, the most important thing is that Golden Prague is celebrating its 60th anniversary edition in full strength, allowing Prague and the Czech Republic to continue hosting the only television festival in the world that is dedicated to music and dance. Now, if an event is the only one of its kind, it stands to reason that it is unique and involves a huge amount of responsibility. In this vein, I am happy to report that we assume that responsibility, and that an event of such global importance as Golden Prague, is now on the path toward another 60 successful editions," said Tomáš Motl, Golden Prague Director and Executive Director of ČT Art.
In commenting on the victory of the picture Orphea in Love directed by Axel Ranisch, the international jury issued the following statement: "The film convincingly brings back to life the ancient legend of Orpheus with the aid of an outstanding filmmaking talent and a great sense of humor, which the author employs in picking on the phenomenon of excessively directed theater productions."
The EBU – IMZ Outstanding Achievement Award went to two outstanding personalities – the composer Mikael Karlsson and the director, choreographer, and set designer Alexander Ekman. IMZ President and NRK Executive Producer Arild Erikstad, one of the award presenters, said in regard to the awardees: "Their works have lasting impact on audiovisual scenic art, and even though each of them receives the Outstanding Achievement Award separately, I cannot think of Mika without thinking of Alex and vice versa – the two form an inspiring team, and I am impatiently looking forward to their next creative effort."
The Dagmar and Václav Havel VIZE 97 Prize will stay in the Czech Republic this year. It was awarded to Nikola Márová: Portrait of a Prima Ballerina, a documentary filmed by Martin Kubala. For an exciting, revelatory, and, at the same time, entertaining journey to discover the unique sound of old violins and other string instruments, the Czech Television Prize was bestowed on the Austrian film The Dark Secret of Mr. Paganini directed by Herbert Eisenschenk. A Special Mention for Extraordinary Artistic Achievement was awarded to director Rebecca Tansley from New Zealand for her dramatic interpretation of the contemporary chamber opera The Strangest of Angels.
The Czech Crystal Prize was awarded in three categories: Recordings of Concert Performance, Documentary Programs Dedicated to Music, Dance, and Theater, and Recordings of Stage Work. The first mentioned was presented by Dagmar Pecková to director Armas Rudaitis for a recording of a concert dedicated to 21st century music created by the youngest generation of Lithuanian composers entitled Musical Journey through Time. Vilnius 700. The first prize in the category Documentary Programs Dedicated to Music, Dance, and Theater went to the picture Music under the Swastika – The Maestro and the Cellist of Auschwitz directed by German director Christian Berger, who has shown how music can be turned into propaganda on the one hand, but how it can save lives on the other hand. The story examines the contrasting lives of conductor Willhelm Furtwängler and cellist Anita-Lesker Wallfisch who survived incarceration in Auschwitz. The Czech Crystal Prize in the Recordings of Stage Work was awarded to a nearly two-hour recording of the last opera of composer Kaiji Saariaho Innocence directed by Phillippe Béziat, which means that the prize in this category goes to France.
List of Prizes Awarded at the 60th Edition of the Golden Prague Festival:
• Grand Prix – Orphea in Love, 108 minutes, Germany, Directed by Axel Ranisch
• Czech Television Prize – The Dark Secret of Mr. Paganini, 52 minutes, Austria, Directed by Herbert Eisenschenk
• Special Mention for Extraordinary Artistic Achievement – The Strangest of Angels, 57 minutes, New Zealand, Directed by Rebecca Tansley
• EBU and IMZ Outstanding Achievement Award – Director, choreographer, and set designed Alexander Ekman and composer Mikael Karlsson
• Czech Crystal – Recordings of Concert Performance – Musical Journey through Time. Vilnius 700, Lithuania, 30 minutes, Directed by Armas Rudaitis and Kornelijus Jaroševičius
• Czech Crystal – Documentary Programs Dedicated to Music, Dance, and Theater – Music under the Swastika – The Maestro and the Cellist of Auschwitz, Germany, 86 minutes, Directed by Christian Berger
• Czech Crystal – Recordings of Stage Work – Innocence, France, 108 minutes, Directed by Phillippe Béziat
• Dagmar and Václav Havel Foundation VIZE 97 Prize – Nikola Márová: Portrait of a Prima Ballerina, Czech Republic, 52 minutes, Directed by Martin Kubala