28th Ji.hlava International Documentary Film Festival

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Kings of Šumava
Kings of Šumava
Kings of Šumava
Kings of Šumava

Kings of Šumava

director: Kris Kelly
original title: Králové Šumavy
country: Czech Republic, Ireland
year: 2019
running time: 70 min.


Josef Hasil, nicknamed King of the Bohemian Forest, was a cross-border smuggler between communist Czechoslovakia and the West, and later an agent for the CIC news service. His actions are the central theme of a film created using narrative animation resembling modern film noir, conversations with witnesses, and shots of the beauty of the mysterious Bohemian forests. In places, the documentary also takes on the qualities of a Hollywood action film, which contrasts with the burden of moral decisions of an individual and the relentless power of the totalitarian regime. Almost detective-like investigation is framed by the Bohemian myths and legends that are still told of the man today.

"Kings of Šumava poetically explores the duality of hero, villain and reunites former Czech immigrant Vlasta Bukovsky and infamous Czech people smuggler Josef Hasil." K. Kelly


Belfast based artist, writer and director Kris Kelly works with mixed medium animation, film and visual effects to produce an emotionally rich visual language. Kris’ writing and directing debut Here to Fall was nominated for a film BAFTA in 2013. His work and unique visual style has featured in numerous BAFTA, Greirson, IFTA and Emmy award winning productions.

more about film

director: Kris Kelly
producer: Vratislav Šlajer
photography: Jaromír Kačer
editing: Anna Johnson Ryndová
music: David Holmes
sound: Peter Hilčanský
Ministerstvo kultury
Fond kinematografie
Město Jihlava
Kraj Vysočina
Creative Europe Media
Česká televize
Český rozhlas