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Czech That Film Texas will host a screening of “Occupation” (pictured above)at the Price Center & Garden in San Marcos on Wednesday, April 6 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $5. The film is in Czech with English subtitles. Photo courtesy of Czech That Film Texas

Czech That Film Texas festival returns to San Marcos

Sunday, April 3, 2022

The film festival “Czech That Film Texas” returns to San Marcos with the U.S. premiere of the offbeat drama Occupation on Wednesday, April 6 at 7pm at The Price Center & Garden. Presented by San Marcos-based Big Day Pictures and the nonprofit PolkaWorks, the traveling film event celebrates its 11th year showcasing the best in contemporary Czech cinema for the Lone Star State.

Czech Cultural Attaché Jan Woska from Czech Embassy in Washington, DC, will be in San Marcos to celebrate the event’s return to in-person screenings. Wednesday’s event also marks the first visit of the Czech Republic’s main culture person in the USA to the river town. An informal reception will be held from 6:30 p.m. at The Price Center & Garden prior to the film screening.

Directed by Czech Michal Nohejl the rambunctious “Occupation” recently garnered five Czech Critics’ Choice Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director along with three Czech Lions, the country’s equivalent to the Oscars. The film’s screening in San Marcos could not be more timely in light of current events between Russia and Ukraine.

A Czech theatre group gathers in a sleepy bar to celebrate after a premiere. However, the cheerful gathering is interrupted by a drunken Russian officer. He insists on selling a can of petrol. However, when he senses the awkwardness, the hidden hatred, the cowardice, the timidity of the people there, he begins to enjoy the situation with his intrusiveness. When he takes his pistol out of its holster, things start to get crazy. The people in the bar suddenly become “freedom fighters” against the Russian occupation.

“The Russian character’s behavior will draw parallels with the current situation, albeit with a good dose of humor,” Festival Director Jeffrey Brown said from his San Marcos office. “The main goal of the event is to bring folks out for a fun night, celebrating the in-person screenings on the big screen again.” The event also offers an opportunity for locals to get together and share ideas about the current Russia — Ukraine situation in a relaxed friendly atmosphere.

Even through Texas boasts the largest Czech population in the States, many audiences might be new to films from the country and the region. The event aims to both entertain and educate, offering the only chance to see “Occupation” on the big screen, said Brown.

Additional local partners include Texas State University’s Department of Philosophy, Honors College, Department of Theater and Dance along with the Lost River Film Festival, Aquabrew and Divided Sky Roofing & Solar.

In addition to the Wednesday one-off event in San Marcos, the traveling Czech That Film Texas visits Austin every Tuesday in April at the Violet Crown Cinema and in DFW on April 29- 31 at Studio Movie Grill.

“Occupation” screens at The Price Center on Wednesday, April 6 at 7 p.m. Czech language with English subtitles. Running time is 97 minutes. Tickets are $5.

Information provided by Czech That Film Texas

San Marcos Record

(512) 392-2458
P.O. Box 1109, San Marcos, TX 78666