Double triumph at the festival in Milan!

Italian Milan hosted the international sports film festival "40th Milano International FICTS Fest" from November 7th to 11th. It was the culmination of a global series of festivals, including the SPORTFILM LIBEREC, which is the second oldest among them. Two Czech films made their mark in Milan among the 140 selected films worldwide. The jury awarded a Mention d'Honneur to the film "Martin Škrtel: Buď, alebo," and the main prize, Guirlande d'Honneur, in the documentary category went to the Czech Television film "Případ Modrý."

The FICTS festival concluded with the announcement of results at Palazzo Lombardia on Saturday, November 11th. The award for the Czech Television documentary "Případ Modrý" (2023, ČT, dir. Roman Vávra) was received personally by the Czech Television dramaturge Martin Novosad from the festival president, Prof. Franco Ascani. The trophy for the creators of the film "Martin Škrtel: Buď, alebo" (2023, VDN Promo, dir. Petr Větrovský) will be brought back from Milan by the program director of SPORTFILM and president of FICTS CZ, Jakub Bažant.

The compelling narrative of Blanka Modrá, directed by Roman Vávra, about the courage and pure character of her father, the most famous hockey goalkeeper of the 40s, whose life was destroyed by the communist regime, captivated not only the jury in Liberec and Milan but also critics and, above all, viewers. Even weeks after its premiere, it still holds a rating of 91% on the Czech-Slovak Film Database. "We are pleased that Bohumil Modrý's story will not be forgotten under the sands of time, but also because of the incomplete interpretation of events related to the intimidating process with Czechoslovak hockey players in the 1950s. Perhaps this narrative will help us all remember who the real heroes of our history were and why we should remember their names," said Martin Novosad, dramaturge of Czech Television, after the conclusion of the ceremonial presentation.

For the second time in a row, director and producer Petr Větrovský also celebrated success. Once again, with a captivating story of an excellent athlete and top footballer. Following his film about Jan Koller, the jury recognized the narrative about Martin Škrtel, the long-time captain of the Slovak football team, who, thanks to his determination, willpower, and perseverance, made his way from the small village of Ráztočná to DC Liverpool. Petr Větrovský sees the award as confirmation of the purpose of his efforts to introduce fans to great sports personalities through feature films. "Just like with Honza Koller, we may have managed to uncover what influences an excellent athlete, how he deals with his own and fan-related negative emotions, and what a football professional experiences in private. Martin Škrtel is not Van Damme, but he certainly belongs among the greatest sports personalities."

The current 26th edition of the SPORTFILM LIBEREC festival has once again achieved success. The Czech Republic succeeded in 2019 with a film about the history of basketball titled "Zlatý podraz," followed by the documentary "Mr. Kriss" by director Adolf Zika about a young breakdancer and illustrator Kristián Menso, and last year, three films succeeded— "Zátopek," "Poslední závod," and "Jan Koller: Příběh obyčejného kluka." Czech Television significantly contributed to most of the awarded