Critical Series

The extended edition of the documentary Krátký Film (Short Film), which was produced as part of a series of shows for Artyčok TV, deals with the questionable privatization of film enterprise Krátký Film and its modern consequences. While it was still a government monopoly, Krátký Film produced hundreds of cartoons and puppet animations, thousands of documentary programs, instructional and advertising films, and more than one and a half million newsreels. When Jan Knoflíček, a former economic deputy at the Central Directorate of Czechoslovak Film proposed the transformation of the enterprise into a joint stock company in 1990, his proposal was approved despite the fact that it was extremely flawed – it included neither property inventories nor a way to deal with production rights. Krátký Film a.s. did not succeed in the new market conditions. By the end of the 1990s, the company’s debts exceeded CZK 400 million and it could not boost its film production. The insurance company Česká Pojišťovna was the majority owner of Krátký Film at that time but they lost control of the company to the financial group PPF, which sold the leveraged company to businessman Richard Beníšek for less than CZK two million in 2005. Not only did a crisis manager appropriate the entire film library, which held over 50,000 films, but he also took film puppets and other artifacts from Kratochvíle Chateau which were part of Czech animation history. At that time the value of the collection was estimated to be between CZK 90 million and 135 million. The current owner of Krátký Film does not operate any exhibitions or screening rooms which are open to the public. His profits mainly come from the sale of the broadcasting rights to all the legendary animated films, while he is under no obligation whatsoever to pay fees to the State Fund of Cinematography.

Here you can express yourself. (*required)