The Academia Film Olomouc festival had its last traditional outing in spring 2019. This year, it will come back with a bang; from 26 April to 1 May, it will permeate the atmosphere in Olomouc with the finest from popular science documentaries and guests and a rich accompanying programme loaded with music and activities for kids. AFO is the bearer of hope and happier tomorrows after the challenging season of the pandemic. No wonder hope is the central topic of this year’s festival.
“To hope is to believe that a person can contribute to improving things around them. This particular belief is the universal motivation of the entire world of science but is also crucial for the future of humankind and the civilisation as a whole,” says Ondřej Kazík, Head of Programming, on the main topic of this year’s festival. “We want to show the general public science, research and technology as fascinating and vitally important fields of human activity and inseparable parts of our culture and society while staying keeping the mood light and open-minded,” continues Ondřej with defining the primary task of the festival as a platform for popularising science through science documentaries.
Hope is an umbrella concept of this year’s festival covering several programme sections. The topic of Adaptation makes an appearance again, as it has been with us since the first pandemic festival year of 2020. The programme also encompasses the following sections: The Zone, Here’s to Health!, Talent in Science, and Science in Pop Culture. The integral part of the festival are the competition sections screening the latest releases in popular science documentaries. “We want to attract viewers to visit the screenings in person again and enjoy the expert introductions and follow-up discussions on science issues, posing questions and collectively answering them,” adds Ondřej.
The central theme is also reflected in the visual identity of the 57th AFO festival. The dominating visual element is a yellow Band-Aid with the word “HOPE” (or “NADĚJE” in Czech) on it. The Band-Aid is positioned to cross out the second part of the rather gloomy inscription “HOPELESS”. “This year’s AFO is centred around hope. Personally, I see this hope in connection with our efforts to unify a divided society, solve environmental problems, overcome the imminent economic challenges or even heal our own wounds. Last but not least, it is also the hope of bringing AFO back to the people after more than two years. Our posters incorporate many symbolic Band-Aids, which you can peel off and use to “heal” whatever you find appropriate,” Radim Měsíc comments as the creator of this year’s visual identity. The light shining through the darkness is the hope we have been waiting for and can now find in this year’s AFO design.
AFO will come back to the familiar venues frequented by the visitors in the past – UP Arts Centre (Konvikt), Metropol Cinema, Regional Museum in Olomouc, etc. Mark your calendars for 26 April to 1 May and come back to these locations to join the festivities celebrating hope and festivals making their way back to their former, physical glory!