PRAGUE — The Czech Lions, the Czech Republic’s top national film kudos, have been struggling for primetime viewership of late — but this year’s edition has piqued international interest, thanks to an apparent scam by a mystery Jim Carrey impersonator.
The highlight of the first few minutes of the awards’ live broadcast on pubcaster Czech TV Saturday night was the introduction of Carrey by the show’s moderator, followed by the appearance of a tall, tuxedoed figure who strode onstage, offered a toothy grin and launched a tube of confetti glitter before quickly exiting the stage without a word.
Audience members looked bemused, many assuming the appearance was a film biz joke of the kind Czech galas often employ. But following the show, which gave its main prize to social drama “The Way Out,” host Jan Sverak initially insisted to inquiring reporters that the man was indeed Carrey.
Only later did Sverak and Czech Lion officials acknowledge they were scammed by the figure, whom they said arrived with security and a translator. Fortunately, he wasn’t paid for his appearance, they added.
No word yet on whence the mystery man came or what may have motivated the stunt.
The event’s 22nd edition honored Petr Vaclav with the director nod for “The Way Out,” along with screenplay and cinematography honors for the pic’s gritty portrayal of a Roma family struggling against marginalization in the Czech Republic’s eastern province of Moravia. “Nowhere in Moravia,” a wry look at small-town claustrophobia, won actor and actress prizes for Ivan Trojan and Klaudia Dudova.