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Vojtech Jasny, Award-Winning Czech Filmmaker, Dies at 93

Czech filmmaker Vojtech Jasny, director of “All My Good Countrymen,” which won the best director prize at Cannes in 1969, has died. He was 93.

According to the Associated Press, Slovacke divadlo, a theatre he frequently visited, said that Jasny died Friday, and a family representative confirmed his death to the CTK news agency.

Jasny was a prolific part of the Czechoslovakian new wave in the ’50s and ’60s, though he left the country following its invasion by the USSR in 1968. He directed several films while living in other European countries, and eventually relocated to Brooklyn, New York in the ’80s.

Though it received critical acclaim, “All My Good Countrymen” was banned in Jasny’s home country following the invasion due to its depiction of the brutal effect of USSR communism on the Czech people.

Jasny was also presented with the Cannes Special Jury Prize in 1963 for “The Cassandra Cat.”

In his review of Jasny’s 1999 film “Gladys,” Variety‘s Steven Gaydos wrote, “Even if Vojtech Jasny weren’t one of the fathers of modern Czech cinema, ‘Gladys,’ his five-years-in-the-making documentary about psychic New York centenarian Gladys St. John-Colegrove, would still be a sure bet for doc fests and a must-see video item for students and fans of paranormal explorations.”

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After settling in the U.S., Jasny lectured at Columbia University, as well as teaching at the School of Visual Arts and New York Film Academy. In 2002, he participated in “Broken Silence,” a five-film documentary project commissioned by Steven Spielberg’s Survivors of the Shoah Visual History Foundation, with the segment “Hell on Earth.” Jasny’s father was killed by the Nazis at Auschwitz during WWII.

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