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Diamonds of Night to be presented at Cannes festival

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Prague, April 23 (CTK) – Digitally restored Czechoslovak film Diamonds of the Night, Jan Nemec’s work from 1964, will be presented within the Classics section at the Cannes International Film Festival, Michal Bregant, director of the Czech National Archive (NFA) that restored the film, told CTK on Monday.

The Diamonds of the Night, which was the first feature film directed by Nemec (1936-2016), will be presented in the section together with legendary films such as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Bicycle Thieves, The Apartment, Grease, The Big Blue and Driving Miss Daisy, Bregant said.

After Ikarie XB 1 (1963), directed by Jindrich Polak and also known under the alternative title of Voyage to the End of the Universe, Diamonds of the Night are the second Czechoslovak film recently presented within the Cannes Classics section that shows restored works by world renowned film makers.

The Czech audience will see the restored film at the Karlovy Vary international festival in early July, and it will be screened in Czech cinemas as of late August.

The digital restoration enables to see the film in its original quality from the time of its premiere in 1964.

Before launching the digitisation, NFA experts examined the film negative and several copies from various periods, and also looked into archive documents and the period press to reconstruct the circumstances of the film’s shooting and premiering, NFA’s restorer Tereza Frodlova said.

The Diamonds of the Night, an adaptation of Arnost Lustig’s novel, won the Grand Award at the film festival in Mannheim-Heidelberg in 1964, which was one of the first international successes of the Czechoslovak New Wave.

It was one of the first works by 28-year-old Nemec, a distinctive Czechoslovak film maker of the 20th century, who left the country after the hardline Communist regime imposed a ban on him in the early 1970s. After returning home following the collapse of communism, he sought a new style and approach to audiovisual expression.

His works in the digital period also showed originality and specific style. They were awarded, for example, at the Locarno festival in 2001.

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