Seven films leave Finale competition


    Leading Czech domestic film festival Finále opened its doors Monday in Plzen but unexpectedly, seven of 19 films scheduled for competition have pulled out. Some were pulled because producers fear unfavorable reviews while others are pursuing an international festival strategy rather than a domestic one.

    Most of the films that were pulled will be screened in a special out-of-competition section. Among them are several slapstick comedies such as A Catfish Summer by Michal Krájnak, which didn't get favorable reviews and has drawn only 65,000 viewers five months after opening.

    Festival director Ivan Jáchim said international ambitions are also keeping some films out of the Finále (www.filmfestfinale.cz) lineup, giving as an example Country Teacher by Bohdan Sláma, which has been picked up by international distributor Wild Bunch.

    Such is the case as well with another high-profile film, The Karamazov Brothers by Petr Zelenka, which won't be shown at all. "We would like to apply for some international festival," Zelenka told the Czech daily Denik. "Finále has international journalists flocking to it and each negative review in the foreign press can harm the film."

    The festival runs through April 27.