‘Masaryk’ Named Best Czech Film of 2016 at Czech Lion Awards

Julius Ševčík’s excellent WWII-era biopic Masaryk took home a record 12 statuettes tonight at the Czech Lion Awards, the Czech Republic’s version of the Oscars awarding the finest achievements in Czech film over the preceding year. 

Masaryk’s awards include Best Picture, Director (Ševčík), Actor (Karel Roden), Supporting Actor (Oldřich Kaiser), Best Screenplay, Cinematography, Editing, Music, Sound Editing, Production Design, Costume Design, and Makeup. 

It was a near-sweep tonight at the Rudolfinum in Prague as Masaryk won awards in 12 out of the 13 statutory categories it was nominated.

It’s also a Czech Lion record, topping the high of 11 awards won by Burning Bush in 2014.

It’s a deserved victory for the wonderfully-produced feature, which has yet to open wide in the Czech Republic but screened at Prague’s Kino Lucerna for a five-day qualifying run at the end of last year. You can read my 3.5-star review of Masaryk here

The big win should be good news for Masaryk’s box office: it opens wide across the Czech Republic from next Thursday, March 9. 

The English-language (and also excellent) Anthropoid received little love from local jurors, taking home no awards despite 11 nominations. Also shut out was Jan Hřebejk’s The Teacher, which had been nominated in 9 categories.

In fact, the only other dramatic feature to take home a statue was I, Olga Hepnarová, an account of the final days of the infamous Czech mass murderer who killed 8 people in 1973 by driving a truck through a crowded Prague tram stop. 

Polish actress Michalina Olszanská won Best Actress for her take on the lead character, and Klára Melíšková won Best Supporting Actress for her portrayal of Hepnarová’s mother. 

The final statue was awarded to Miroslav Janek’s Normální autistický film, a look at five Czech children that fall under the label of autism, for Best Documentary. 

Jiří Bartoška and Eva Zaoralová, who produce the annual Karlovy Vary International Film Festival,  received an Honorary Award for their Contribution to Czech Cinema, which they dedicated to all the organizers at the festival. 

Here’s the full list of winners and nominees:

Best Film: Masaryk (A Prominent Patient)

I, Olga Hepnarová
Rodinný film (Family Film)
Učitelka (The Teacher)

Best Director: Julius Ševčík, Masaryk

Sean Ellis, Anthropoid
Tomáš Weinreb, Petr Kazda, Já, Olga Hepnarová 
Olmo Omerzu, Rodinný film
Jan Hřebejk, Učitelka

Best Actress: Michalina Olszanská, Já, Olga Hepnarová

Lenka Vlasáková, Nikdy nejsme sami
Vanda Hybnerová, Rodinný film
Eliška Balzerová, Teorie Tygra
Zuzana Mauréry, Učitelka

Best Actor: Karel Roden, Masaryk

Ivan Trojan, Anděl Páně 2
Cillian Murphy, Anthropoid
Karel Roden, Nikdy nejsme sami
Jiří Bartoška, Teorie Tygra

Best Supporting Actress: Klára Melíšková, Já, Olga Hepnarová 

Simona Stašová, Lída Baarová
Arly Jover, Masaryk
Daniela Kolářová, Polednice
Zuzana Kronerová, Rudý kapitán

Best Supporting Actor: Oldřich Kaiser, Masaryk

Boleslav Polívka, Anděl Páně 2
Jamie Dornan, Anthropoid
Hanns Zischler, Masaryk
Miroslav Hanuš, Nikdy nejsme sami

Best Screenplay: Masaryk – Petr Kolečko, Alex Koenigsmark, Julius Ševčík

Anthropoid – Anthony Frewin, Sean Ellis
Já, Olga Hepnarová  – Tomáš Weinreb, Petr Kazda
Nikdy nejsme sami – Petr Václav
Učitelka – Petr Jarchovský

Best Cinematography: Masaryk – Martin Štrba

Anthropoid – Sean Ellis
Já, Olga Hepnarová  – Adam Sikora
Nikdy nejsme sami – Štěpán Kučera
Polednice – Alexander Šurkala

Best Editing: Masaryk – Marek Opatrný

Anděl Páně 2 – Jan Mattlach
Anthropoid – Richard Mettler
Učitelka – Vladimír Barák
Zkáza krásou – Jakub Hejna

Best Sound: Masaryk – Viktor Ekrt, Pavel Rejholec

Anděl Páně 2 – Radim Hladík jr.
Anthropoid – Yves Marie Omnes
Lichožrouti – Jan Čeněk, Richard Müller
Polednice – Petr Šoupa, Martin Jílek, Viktor Prášil

Best Music: Masaryk – Michal Lorenc, Kryštof Marek

Anthropoid – Robin Foster
Lída Baarová – Ondřej Soukup
Rudý kapitán – Petr Ostrouchov
Učitelka – Michal Novinski

Best Set Design: Masaryk – Milan Býček

Anthropoid – Morgan Kennedy
Lída Baarová – Zdeněk Flemming
Lichožrouti – Galina Miklínová
Učitelka – Juraj Fábry

Best Costume Design: Masaryk – Katarína Štrbová Bieliková

Anděl Páně 2 – Katarína Hollá
Anthropoid – Josef Čechota
Já, Olga Hepnarová  – Aneta Grňáková
Učitelka – Katarína Štrbová Bieliková

Best Makeup: Masaryk – Lukáš Král

Anděl Páně 2 – Andrea McDonald
Anthropoid – Gabriela Poláková, Linda Eisenhamerová 
Já, Olga Hepnarová – Alina Janerka
Učitelka – Anita Hroššová

Best Documentary: Normální autistický film

Bratříček Karel
FC Roma
Zákon Helena
Zkáza krásou

Magnesia Award for the Best Student Film (Non-statutory prize): Kyjev Moskva – Anna Lyubynetska

3. poločas – Jiří Volek
Benny – Michal Hruška
Černý dort – Johana Švarcová 
Vězení – Damián Vondrášek

Best Film Poster (Non-statutory prize): Já, Olga Hepnarová – Lukáš Veverka

Masaryk – Rudolf Biermann, Julius Ševčík
Polednice – Petr Skala
Učitelka – Michal Tilsch
Vlk z Královských Vinohrad – Tereza Kučerová, Jakub Suchý
Best TV Film or Miniseries: Zločin v Polné

Hlas pro římského krále
Modré stíny

Best TV Drama: Pustina (Wasteland) 



Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky

Jason Pirodsky has been writing about the Prague film scene and reviewing films in print and online media since 2005. A member of the Online Film Critics Society, you can also catch his musings on life in Prague at expats.cz and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at MaArtial.com.

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