Prague Youth Film Festival showcases young filmmakers, December 20-22

Young filmmakers from around the world will get a chance to showcase their work in the Czech capital this weekend at the debut edition of the Prague Youth Film Festival, which takes place from December 20-22 at Prague cinema Kino Dlabačov and other locales including the U.S. Embassy’s American Center, Chapeau Rouge, and Roxy NoD.

The festival gives both filmmakers under the age of 35 a chance to compete for the festival’s top prizes in the feature-length narrative and documentary categories, and also showcases short films from young directors competing in separate age brackets and as young as of 4-9.

In the feature film competition, a local highlight includes Narušitel (Freedom in the Air), the feature debut of David Balda, who began production on the film when he was just 18. A historical drama about Czech fighter pilots, the film premiered in Czech cinemas earlier this year. 

Also playing in the main narrative competition at the Prague Youth Film Festival is the German thriller A Clear Felling, from director Max Gleschinski, the Danish coming-of-age drama Dream State by Asger K. Bartels.

Among documentary features screening in competition at the Prague Youth Film Festival is Into The Storm, a look at a high school basketball team’s triumph over racism from Carol Fauls, the social media exposé Digital Apotheosis by Brazillian directors Rodrigo Alves and Lais Lima, and North Korea World 2019, a peek into the rarely-seen country by Chinese filmmaker Guyuan Tian.

Jury members for the Prague Youth Film Festival include longtime Prague expat and Star Wars producer Rick McCallum, British director Kirk Jones (Waking Ned Devine), New Zealand cinematographer Michael Seresin (Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban), German cinematographer Rene Richter (Head Full of Honey), Czech production designer Petr Kunc (The Hypnotist), and the Czech Film Commission’s Pavlína Žipková.

The Prague Youth Film Festival has been founded by Paul and Petra Ratner, who were previously responsible for Prague’s 48 Hour Film Project from 2011-2018, a challenge that gave filmmakers just two days to produce a short film from conception to production to its premiere in cinemas. 

Petra Ratner is also currently the Director of Operations for the Sarasota Film Festival in the US.

All films screening at the Prague Youth Film Festival will be in English or with English subtitles. 

Tickets to films at this year’s Prague Youth Film Festival can be purchased individually from GoOut. Screenings to films at the American Center are free of charge.


Lead photo from Freedom in the Air. Trailer for the film:


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 and tips on mindfulness sourced from ancient principles at

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