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The Famous Firsts film series showcases the debut feature films of preeminent Eastern European directors, all of whom studied at the prestigious FAMU (Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts) in Prague and went on to gain recognition on the world’s stage.


Young directors are full of ideas and hungry to make their mark on the world. A director’s first film is a raw expression of their voice and visual style. It often contains the seeds of their future masterworks. This series brings together the passionate radical beginnings of five important cinematic voices.

Nov 1,   7pm     Do You Remember Dolly Bell?          Dir: Emir Kusturica              
Nov 3,   7pm     Screen Tests                                     Dir. Agnieszka Holland
Nov 10, 7pm     Intimate Lighting                               Dir. Ivan Passer                     
Nov 15, 7pm     Crucial Years                                    Dir. Juraj Jakubisko
Nov 22, 7pm     Black Peter                                       Dir. Miloš Forman     

Tickets: Free admission, RSVP at www.czechcenter.com/program

About the films:

1 NOV  7pm    Do You Remember Dolly Bell? (1981, 109 mins, Yugoslavia)
Director: Emir Kusturica, FAMU ‘78
Regarded as one of his best films, Kusturica won the Silver Lion at the Venice Film Festival for this stylish coming of age story set in 1960‘s Sarajevo. Young Dino grows up in the shadow of his ailing father and is attracted to the world of small time criminals - and to Dolly Bell, a lovely cabaret girl who turns his world upside down.

3 NOV 7pm     Screen Tests (1977, 99mins, Poland)
Director: Agnieszka Holland, FAMU ‘71
Co-directed by Jerzy Domaradzki & Pawel Kedzierski
From the very beginning of her career, Holland has been deeply inspired by the Czechoslovak New Wave. She has said that her cinema oscillates between Polish pathos and Czech civilness. This story of two young actors weaves together love affairs and filmmaking, exploring the intersection of life and art.

10 NOV 7pm   Intimate Lighting (1965, 71mins, Czechoslovakia)
Director: Ivan Passer, FAMU ‘58
Banned for two decades in its native country, Passer‘s film became one of the hallmarks of the 1960‘s Czechoslovak New Wave. A witty and charming story about a successfull symphony musician who comes to a small town to play music with an old friend.

15 NOV 7pm   Crucial Years (1967, 95mins, Czechoslovakia)
Director: Juraj Jakubisko, FAMU ‘66

Crucial Years, an experimental autobiographical reflection, won a FIPRESCI award and announced Jakubisko’s imaginative style. This film follows a Slovak artist in Prague who has been living an all too carefree life. Now he must choose: between two women, between the city and the country, and between making a living and following his passion.

22 NOV 7pm   Black Peter (1963, 86mins, Czechoslovakia)
Director: Miloš Forman, FAMU ‘55
The Oscar winning director’s autobiographical account captures the essence of an ordinary summer in a small Czech town in the early 1960‘s. Peter is a 16 year old supermarket assistant who must watch for shoplifters when he would rather lie by the pool and look at girls. The film expresses the feelings of a rising rebellion among the youth in the eastern bloc a few years before The Prague Spring.



18 NOV 6pm
BEST OF FAMU - Short Films

Seven successful student short films from Prague´s world renowned film school screen at New York University´s Tisch School of the Arts in celebration of their longstanding collaboration on the occasion of International Students´ Day, November 17th.

Peacock (Furiant), Dir: Ondřej Hudeček
Oil Gobblers (Ropáci),  Dir: Jan Svěrák
Passengers (Lidé z autobusů), Dir: Václav Kadrnka
Bubble Bath Is Best (Nejlepší je pěnivá), Dir: Jan Prušinovský
Mumps (Příušnice), Dir: Mária Procházková
Closed for Family Mourning (Zavřeno pro rodinný smutek), Dir: Saša Gedeon
Happy End, Dir: Jan Saska

Duration: 96 minutes

6pm , Room 006
Tisch School of the Arts
721 Broadway, NYC



Invitation card in PDF