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Huba gets Czech Lion

Martin Huba (left) and Jiří Menzel both received Czech film awards.
photo: ČTK

SLOVAK ACTOR Martin Huba was awarded the Czech Republic's most prestigious acting prize, the Český Lev (Czech Lion) Award, for his supporting role in the film Obsluhoval jsem anglického krále (I Served the King of England) by director Jiří Menzel in a ceremony in Prague on March 3.

The award was given out by the Czech Film and Television Academy, which evaluated 20 films in total, and chose the prominent artist for his performance in the role of the head waiter, Škřivánek. The film - a tragic comedy based on a well-known novel by Bohumil Hrabal that tells the story of Jan Dítě, a waiter who becomes a millionaire and owner of a hotel, but loses everything when the communists seize power - received 11 nominations in total, and won four. As well as Huba, the winners included Jiří Menzel for best director, Jaromír Šofr for best cinematography, and the film for best picture of 2006.

Costume designer Milan Čorba was the second Slovak nominated for a Czech Lion, but he came home empty handed.

Škřivánek was the role Huba had always dreamed of playing. "When I read Hrabal's novel for the first time a very long time ago, something about Škřivánek made me eager to play him," Huba said in an interview with the ČTK news wire.

Longital opens for The Frames

SLOVAK alternative band Longital opened for Irish band The Frames during the Austrian part of the latter's recent world tour. The Irish music legend, led by Glen Hansard, tested Longital - made up of Slovak duo Dano Salontay and Šina, who are formerly known as Dlhé diely - during its February concerts in the Czech Republic. The Austrian tour consisted of stops in Linz, Graz, Vienna and Salzburg. Afterwards, The Frames continued on to the USA and Canada, the TASR news wire wrote.

World music distribution companies, CD Baby in the United States and ARS2 in Poland, have included Longital's latest album, Výprava/Voyage, into their catalogues.

In April, Longital will introduce its new video clip by Slovak documentary filmmaker Marek Šulík made from materials shot during its February concerts in Poland.

Kňažko steps down as TV Joj director

AFTER REACHING an agreement with the owners of the private TV Joj station, Milan Kňažko, 61, left his post as general director on February 28. "I've decided to leave because I want to take up acting again, and have received some interesting offers," Kňažko told the SITA news wire.

"Mr. Kňažko's performance of his duties for the last four years and the power of his personality and charisma, which he brought at a time the television needed it most, deserve great honour and acknowledgement," TV Joj executive director Matej Rybanský said. "The television certainly wishes to cooperate with him in the future."

Milan Kňažko was one of the leading personalities of the movement that led to the fall of the communist regime in the former Czechoslovakia. He started as the general director of TV Joj on January 28, 2003, and was present during a number of its successful projects.

"I'm pleased with the success of the Inkognito show, as well as the fact four times as many viewers are watching the news programme," Kňažko said.

Slovakia on the map for more stars

THE LIST of star performers giving concerts in Slovakia has been growing longer. The latest addition is George Michael, who will rock the Inter stadium in Bratislava on May 25. The Slovak press has already described his performance, the first one in Central Europe during his 25-year career, as the concert of the year.

The famous singer will arrive to Slovakia from Budapest and, since the next concert is planned for May 28 in Germany, perhaps stay in the Slovak capital to confirm his reputation as a party boy.

And on June 22, Bratislava will also welcome one of America's leading singers, Tori Amos. She will perform at the Incheba Expo Arena as part of the promotional tour for her latest album, American Doll Posse, to be released in early May.

Prepared by Jana Liptáková

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