The Czech Film and Television Academy has announced that the next annual academy awards, formerly known as the Czech Lion, will not be held at the traditional venue – the Lucerna ballroom in Prague. After twenty years, the academy is looking for a new location for the award ceremony, which is scheduled for 22 February of next year. The director of the academy, Ivo Mathé, said that in the future the award ceremony needs to be more elegant and be more of a tribute to Czech cinematography rather than a showcase of the sponsors. The academy will possible also need to come up with a new name, since producer Petr Vachler who holds the rights to the Czech Lion trademark refused to sell it to the academy for the price they had offered.
While it had initially appeared unlikely that the Rusnok government could win a vote of confidence, Mladá fronta Dnes reported on Wednesday that such an outcome may after all be possible. The newspaper said it had spoken to all members of the lower house in recent days (apart from two who are in prison) and found that none of the parties represented had a united position on the caretaker cabinet. While 112 of the 198 deputies surveyed said they were opposed to it, a number of them – particularly in the Social Democrats – said their positions could change.
Prime Minister Jiří Rusnok will begin to gather support in parliament for his newly appointed government starting next week. Speaking after officially taking over the office of the government from his predecessor Petr Nečas on Wednesday, Mr. Rusnok said his cabinet will now be working on a program statement. The outgoing prime minister handed over the one of the keys to the coronation jewels and said that he respects Mr. Rusnok as an expert in his field.
World famous jazz trumpeter Wynton Marsalis will perform with the Jazz at Lincoln Centre Orchestra on Wednesday night at the Municipal House in Prauge. The concert is part of the Prague Proms musical program that includes both classical music and jazz performances. As part of the Proms series, Prague audience had a chance to hear actor and singer F. Murray Abraham earlier this month. Prague Proms are also host a free open-air concert on Wenceslas Square on Sunday evening.
Officials in České Budějovice organised a public meeting on Tuesday in a bid to resolve racial tensions in the South Bohemian city, which has recently seen two large demonstrations against the Roma minority. The gathering, at a local sports arena, was attended by around 600 people. At the weekend over 150 people were detained during violent protests that centred on a neighbourhood in the city with a high percentage of Roma residents; the clashes followed a fight at a children’s playground there last month.
Jan Fischer’s selection means the line-up of the Rusnok cabinet is complete. The interim government will be appointed on Wednesday, from which point it will have 30 days to win a confidence vote in the lower house. If, as many expect, it fails to win backing, President Miloš Zeman can task a new prime minister with forming a government. However, there is no deadline under which he would have to take such a step. If the president’s second nominee is also unsuccessful, the chair of the lower house gets to choose a prime minister.
Eight people suffered injuries when a motorist drove through a level crossing barrier and hit a passing freight train near the village of Cítov in central Bohemia on Monday night. All of those wounded were in the car; three suffered serious injuries and were airlifted to hospital. Police said the young driver had a high level of alcohol in his blood at the time of the accident; he is likely to face criminal charges.
The Supreme State Attorney’s Office has dismissed police charges against the former minister of health Tomáš Julínek. He had been facing charges of abuse of office and breach of trust for outsourcing air rescue services to a private company. However, a spokesperson for the Supreme State Attorney’s Office said the police would need to produce more evidence if they want to pursue the matter further. Mr. Julínek, who was arrested in April, has described as absurd the accusation that he cost the state nearly CZK 800 million by getting private contractors to supply air rescue services; they had previously been provided by the defence and interior ministries via the army and the police.
The campaign account of unsuccessful presidential candidate Jan Fischer has received over CZK 5 million in donations in the last week. A former interim prime minister, Mr. Fischer is set to become minister of finance and deputy prime minister in a caretaker cabinet headed by Jiří Rusnok. Mr. Fischer had pledged to clear his campaign debts – which recently stood at around CZK 5 million – before taking up the new post; he said the names of his sponsors were made public on his presidential campaign website.
The Union of Film Distributors says 18 new Czech movies will be given cinema releases in the second half of 2013. The first of them will be Alice Nellis’s comedy Revival, which picked up the viewer’s prize at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival on Saturday night. Among the other significant releases, at the start of next month a restored version of Vojtěch Jasný’s 1969 masterpiece All My Good Countrymen will start screening at art house cinemas. And Jan Hřebejk’s Honeymoon, which earned him the Best Director prize in Karlovy Vary, comes out on August 22.
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