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JIŘÍ MENZEL  /born on 23 February 1938 in Prague/

Jiří Menzel is one of the most famous Czech film and theatre directors, however he also works as a theatre and film actor. He studied film direction at the Prague film school FAMU from 1958 to 1962, in the period that brought a complete new generation of artists referred to as the “Czech New Wave”. His graduation film was Our Mr. Foerster Died. A short story The Death
of Mr. Baltazar, a part of the film Pearls of the Deep was his first commercial work. He appeared as an actor in some of his films (Closely Watched Trains, Capricious Summer, Those Wonderful Movie Cranks) and also in films by other Czech, Hungarian, Polish, Austrian and French directors. He gained the Golden Medal at the IFF in Virgin Island, USA for acting in Chytilová’s film The Apple Game in 1977. He also played one of the main roles in Costa Gavras’s film La Petite Apocalypse.

Jiří Menzel is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAAS),
a founding member of the European Film Academy and the Czech Film and TV Academy. In from 1990 to 1992 he was the head of the Department of Direction of the Prague film school FAMU. He gives lectures to American students of film schools who come to Prague for study stays.
He was the head of the Studio 89, a division of Short Film Prague until 1998 and was appointed President of the ALFA TV Council (the First Foundation for Central and Eastern European Cooperation). He was the art director of Vinohrady Theatre from 2000 to the end of March 2003.

Jiří Menzel has also been involved in theatre direction since 1965. The Mandrake in the Činoherní klub was his first success. He was based there until 1995 and there produced Three Involved, Noises Off, Audience, Beggar’s Opera, The Marriage of Figaro. He appeared in Bedtime Story
as an actor.

Apart from the Činoherní klub and Vinohrady Theatres he also staged unforgettable plays
at Bez zábradlí Theatre and in Český Krumlov. He has directed plays in theatres in Switzerland, Germany, France, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Bulgaria, Croatia, Hungary and Italy. He prepared The Mandrake for Swedish Television.

Jiří Menzel’s memories were published as “Capricious Years”in 2013. “Don Juans” is Menzel’s latest film.