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Jan Hřebejk

Jan Hřebejk (Czech pronunciation: [ˈjan ˈɦr̝ɛbɛjk]; born 27 June 1967) is a Czech film director.


Life and careerEdit

Born in Prague, Hřebejk graduated from high school in 1987 and continued his studies at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague (FAMU) from 1987 to 1991, majoring in screenplay and dramaturgy.[1] He was at FAMU alongside Petr Jarchovský, also his classmate from high school and subsequently a frequent collaborator as a screenwriter.[1]

While at FAMU, Hřebejk directed and produced two short films, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Experience (1988) and 1948 AD (1989),[1] from scripts written by his classmate Petr Zelenka. His professional directorial debut was a short film for Czech TV, You Do Nothing Because You've Got No Good Reason (1991), also written by Zelenka. His films caught the attention of viewers and critics, and entered student film festivals.[1]

Also while still at FAMU, Hřebejk and Jarchovský wrote a comedy screenplay inspired by Hřebejk's background at a pioneer summer camp, entitled Let's Sing A Song (also known as Let's Sing All Around).[1] This screenplay was filmed in 1990 as a full-length feature by director Ondřej Trojan and cameraman Asen Šopov.[1] In 1992 Hřebejk filmed a version of his FAMU graduate thesis, an interpretation of Egon Hostovský's The Charity Ball.[1]

This was followed by Big Beat, a rock and roll comedy set in the 1950s and Hřebejk's first major box-office success. The film was written by Jarchovský, based on a story by Petr Šabach, and won four Czech Lion awards, including Best Film and Best Director for Hřebejk.[1] In 1996 Hřebejk directed a children's TV series, Where Stars Fall, which was syndicated around Europe.[1] The following year Hřebejk and Jarchovský won awards from the Film and Television Association and the Literary Fund for their contribution to dramatic television programming, for three episodes they wrote for the TV series Bachelors.[1]

The writing and production team behind Big Beat subsequently reunited for two further films, Cosy Dens (Czech: Pelíšky; 1999) and Divided We Fall (Czech: Musíme si pomáhat; 2000), both of which became enormously successful within the Czech Republic.[1]

His 2009 film Kawasaki's Rose was selected as the Czech entry for the Best Foreign Language Film at the 83rd Academy Awards,[2] but it didn't make the final shortlist.[3]



  • The Charity Ball ("Dobročinný večírek", 1992)
  • Czech Soda ("Česká soda", 1993–97) – show, TV-series
  • GEN: The Gallery of the Nation's Elite ("GEN: Galerie elity národa", 1993–94) – documentary
  • GENUS ("GENUS", 1995–96) – documentary
  • 60 ("60", 1996) – documentary
  • How's the Living ("Jak se žije", 1997) – short documentary, TV-series
  • Where Stars Fall ("Kde padají hvězdy", 1996) – TV series
  • The Last Concert ("Poslední koncert", 1997)
  • The Window ("Okno, 1997) – short
  • The Good News ("Dobrá zpráva", 1997)
  • Tomorrow There Will Be... ("Zítra se bude..., 2010) – opera


  • Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Sex But Were Afraid to Experience ("Co všechno chcete vědět o sexu a bojíte se to prožít", 1988") – student movie
  • Whisper ("Šeptej", 1996) as Woody
  • Year of the Devil ("Rok ďábla", 1996)
  • Amazing Rock'n'roll in the Czech Republic, or Go Jack, go ("Úžasný rokenrol v Čechách aneb Jeď, Honzo, jeď", 2002) as Himself
  • The Operation Hockey ("Operace Hokejdo", 2004) as Himself
  • The Greatest of the Czechs ("Největší z Čechů", 2010) as předseda grantové komise
  • The Freaky Years of the Czech Film ("Rozmarná léta českého filmu", 2011) – documentary, as Himself

Other contributionsEdit

  • Let's Sing A Song ("Pějme píseň dohola", 1990) – writer and narrator


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h i j k "Divided We Fall – creators". Ceska Televize. Retrieved 1 April 2018.
  2. ^ "Czech film Kawasaki's Rose to compete for Oscar". ceskenoviny. Retrieved 2010-09-30.
  3. ^ "9 Foreign Language Films Continue to Oscar Race". Retrieved 2011-01-19.

External linksEdit