PRAGUE — The Czech TV industry now has its own splashy award ceremony, the Elsas — and it’s already causing controversy.
The show’s host, pubcaster Czech TV, swept 12 of the 13 awards, raising eyebrows at terrestrial rivals TV Nova and Prima after the glitzy ceremony at Prague’s Lucerna Great Hall was televised live on Oct. 30.
Prima and Nova entered in all the categories except animated show and original drama, for which they did not have eligible shows in the past year.
But they scored zero. The only outside win went to pay channel HBO 2, which won foreign feature honors for “Conspiracy,” dubbed into Czech and retitled “The Conference at Wannsee.”
The category for animated show was dropped for lack of sufficient jury votes.
Neither TV Nova nor Prima would publicly join the industry buzz criticizing the Elsas.
Czech TV’s Martin Krafl defended the awards, saying: “We were not the ones who gave out the awards. It was the Vachler Art Co. who organized it. We are proud of winning so many awards.”
A 25-member jury from the Czech Film and Television Academy judged the awards, says Martin Sprinc of Vachler Art.
The Elsas, which grew out of an Internet-based competition, were created by Petr Vachler, the force behind the Czech Lion awards, the local version of the Oscars.
Vachler, whose own movie review program, “Kinobox,” won the magazine show category, has trumpeted the awards as an incentive that will foster quality original local broadcasting.
That, at least, should be music to Czech ears. Other than talkshows and the wildly popular “Superstar” talent searches on Nova, auds have little in the way of their own shows and for years endured ancient “Bay Watch” episodes dubbed into Czech.
The night’s big winner was “PF 77,” about a Czech communist regime’s efforts to counter the Charter 77 protest movement. It won original drama, director (Jaroslav Brabec), actress (Vlasta Chramostova) and actor (Miroslav Taborsky).
“PF77” (Czech TV)
Original Drama Director
Jaroslav Brabec, “PF77” (Czech TV)
Original Drama Script
Eduard Verner “And by Death Alone” (Czech TV)
Original Drama Actress
Vlasta Chramostova, “PF77” (Czech TV)
Original Drama Actor
Miroslav Taborsky, “PF77” (Czech TV)
“Events” and “Commentary” (Czech TV)
“By the Pool” (Czech TV)
“Kinobox” (Czech TV)
“Bolek Polivka’s Managerie” (Czech TV)
Bolek Polivka (Czech TV)
“Travelmania” (Czech TV)
“Conference at Wannsee” (HBO 2)
“Buena Vista Social Club” (Czech TV)
No prize (only Czech TV programs nominated)