Producer Petr Bílek accepts the Best Picture award for Brothers. Photo: Facebook / Český lev

‘Brothers’ nabs Best Picture at 2024 Czech Lion Awards; ‘Restore Point’, ‘Volga’ score big

Brothers, the Czech Republic’s official submission to this year’s Oscars, was selected as Best Picture at the 31st annual Czech Lion Awards, the Czech Republic’s version of the Academy Awards. Celebrating the best of Czech cinema and also television, the annual awards are organized by the Czech Film and Television Academy and were presented this year during a gala ceremony on March 9, 2024, at Prague’s Rudolfinum.

Directed by Tomáš Mašín, Brothers tells the story of anti-communist resistance fighters Josef and Ctirad Mašín and their daring escape to West Berlin. Praised by some as heroes and labelled murderers by others, director Mašín (himself a distant relative of the titular brothers) doesn’t shy away from some of their more controversial acts.

Despite being nominated for a total of 15 Czech Lion Awards, however, Brothers only brought home Best Picture. No other Best Picture in Czech Lion history was as little-awarded in other categories as Brothers, with Jan Švankmajer’s 2000 winner Little Otik coming closest with a total of two awards.

The sci-fi film Restore Point, which premiered at last year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival and has gone on to play at festivals worldwide, took a total of five Czech Lion Awards, including Best Cinematography, Best Editing, Best Sound Design, and Best Production Design.

The TV series Volga, a comedy-drama that follows a chaffeur in communist Czechoslovakia during the 1970s and 1980s, picked up five awards of its own, for Best TV series, Best Actor (Kryštof Hádek), Best Supporting Actor (Tomáš Jeřábek), Best Costumes, and Best Makeup. Volga‘s recognition at this year’s Czech Lion Awards is the best performance for a TV production since Agnieszka Holland‘s miniseries Burning Bush swept the awards back in 2014.

“The reaction to our series has confirmed for me that Czech society is very divided in opinion,” Volga creator Jan Pachl told reporters after the awards ceremony. “On one hand, this is good, but sometimes it seems to me like a committed protest at any cost and misunderstanding from the younger generation. For example, we were accused because of some scenes from sexism, but that was the image of that time.”

Simona Peková was named Best Actress for her performance in She Came in the Night, which also won Best Director for Tomáš Pavlíček and Jan Vejnar. Milena Steinmasslová was named Best Supporting Actress for her turn as an aphasia survivor in The Exhale.

Miroslav Janek‘s documentary All Ends Well, which sheds light on the intricate world of bee colonies and beekeeping, was named Best Documentary, while Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light nabbed Best Animated Film.

A special honorary award at this year’s ceremony was presented to cinematographer Vladimír Smutný, who was recognized for his exceptional contribution to the craft. Smutný’s work spans four decades, and he has received eight prior Czech Lion awards for Best Cinematography, including for his work on The Painted Bird, Barefoot, Flower Buds, and Tobruk.

Holland’s Green Border, a Czech co-production set on the border between Belarus and Poland, also received a special award for Exceptional Feat in the Area of Audio-Visual Arts.

Here’s the full list of winner and nominations for the 2024 Czech Lion Awards:

Best Feature Film

  • Brothers – WINNER
  • We Have Never Been Modern
  • She Came at Night
  • The Exhale
  • Dance, Matilda

Best Documentary Feature

  • All Ends Well (Všechno dobře dopadne) – WINNER
  • Blix Not Bombs
  • My Paradise Is Darker Than Your Hell (Moje nebe je horší než tvoje peklo)
  • The Visitors (Návštěvníci)
  • The Great Nothing (Velké nic)

Best Director

  • Tomáš Pavlíček, Jan Vejnar – She Came at Night – WINNER
  • Tomáš MašínBrothers
  • Tomáš MašínThe Exhale
  • Petr Slavík – Dance, Matilda
  • Matěj Chlupáček – We Have Never Been Modern

Best Actress

  • Simona Peková – She Came at Night – WINNER
  • Tatiana Dyková Vilhelmová – Brothers
  • Jana Plodková – The Exhale
  • Regina Rázlová – Dance, Matilda
  • Eliška Křenková – We Have Never Been Modern

Best Actor

  • Kryštof Hádek – Volga – WINNER
  • Oskar Hes – Brothers
  • Jan Nedbal – Brothers
  • David Prachař – A Sensitive Person (Citlivý člověk)
  • Karel Roden – Dance, Matilda

Best Supporting Actress

  • Milena Steinmasslová – The Exhale – WINNER
  • Karolína Lea Nováková – Brothers
  • Denisa Barešová – The Body (Její tělo)
  • Annette Nesvadbová – She Came at Night
  • Martha Issová – We Have Never Been Modern

Best Supporting Actor

  • Tomáš Jeřábek – Volga – WINNER
  • Václav Neužil – Restore Point
  • Stefan Konarske – Brothers
  • Jiří Rendl – She Came at Night
  • Antonio Šoposki – Dance, Matilda

Best Screenplay

  • The Exhale – Alice Nellis – WINNER
  • Brothers – Marek Epstein
  • She Came at Night – Tomáš Pavlíček, Jan Vejnar
  • Dance, Matilda – Nataša Slavíková, Petr Slavík
  • We Have Never Been Modern – Miro Šifra

Best Cinematography

  • Restore Point – Filip Marek – WINNER
  • Brothers – Friede Clausz
  • A Sensitive Person – Dušan Husár
  • The Exhale – Anna Smoroňová
  • We Have Never Been Modern – Martin Douba

Best Editing

  • Restore Point – Jarosław Kamiński – WINNER
  • Brothers – Petr Turyna
  • The Exhale – Michal Hýka, Filip De Pina
  • She Came at Night – Jakub Vansa
  • We Have Never Been Modern – Pavel Hrdlička

Best Sound Design

  • Restore Point – Lukáš Ujčík, Samuel Jurkovič, Jan Šulcek – WINNER
  • Brothers – David Titěra, Viktor Ekrt
  • She Came at Night – Michaela Patríková
  • Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light – Péter Benjámin Lukács
  • We Have Never Been Modern – Pavel Rejholec, Peter Hilčanský, Tomáš Zůbek

Best Music

  • Dance, Matilda – Michal Pavlíček – WINNER
  • Restore Point – Jan Šléška
  • Brothers – Karel Havlíček
  • A Sensitive Person – Jonatan Pjoni Pastirčák
  • We Have Never Been Modern – Simon Goff

Best Set Design

  • Restore Point – Ondřej Lipenský – WINNER
  • Brothers – Milan Býček
  • A Sensitive Person – Stella Šonková
  • We Have Never Been Modern – Henrich Boráros
  • Volga – Jan Vlasák

Best Costumes

  • Volga – Vladimíra Pachl Fomínová – WINNER
  • Restore Point – Ivan Stekla, Eliška Krejzová
  • Brothers – Ján Kocman
  • The Chambermaid (Služka) – Katarína Štrbová Bieliková
  • We Have Never Been Modern – Jarmila Dunděrová

Best Makeup

  • Volga – Martin Valeš, Jana Bílková, Martin Větrovec – WINNER
  • Restore Point – Vladimír Wittgruber
  • Brothers – Adéla Anděla Bursová
  • A Sensitive Person – Andrea Štrbová
  • We Have Never Been Modern – Lenka Nosková, Martin Jankovič

Best TV Film or Miniseries

  • Mathematics of Crime (Matematika zločinu) – WINNER
  • Into the Darkness (Cesta do tmy)
  • Docent

Best TV series

  • Volga – WINNER
  • #annaismissing
  • Good Morning, Brno! (Dobré ráno, Brno!)

Best Animated Film

  • Tony, Shelly and the Magic Light (Tonda, Slávka a kouzelné světlo) – WINNER
  • Dede Is Dead (Deniska umřela)
  • Electra

Best Short Film

  • Atestace – directed by Jan Hecht – WINNER
  • Jsme v tom spolu – directed by Anna Wowra
  • Osmý den – directed by Petr Pylypčuk

Magnesia Prize for Best Student Film

  • Electra – directed by Daria Kashcheeva – WINNER
  • Deniska umřela – directed by Philippe Kastner
  • Doprovázení – directed by Vojtěch Konečný
  • Jsme v tom spolu – directed by Anna Wowra
  • Osmý den – directed by Petr Pylypčuk

Lead photo: Producer Petr Bílek accepts the Best Picture award for Brothers via Facebook / Český lev

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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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