Josef Abrhám to Receive First Actor’s Mission Award

Despite being born in Zlín, Josef Abrhám (1939) considers himself half Slovak, being the sole descendant of Slovak dramatist and Protestant pastor Jozef Hollý, author of the plays Kubo and Geľo Sebechlebský. At first it seemed that he wouldn’t end up in acting. When after graduating from secondary school he wasn’t accepted into further study, he began working at his grandfather’s brick plant. Only later was he accepted at Bratislava’s Academy of Performing Arts, and two years later he transferred to DAMU (Theatre Faculty of the Academy of Performing Arts) in Prague. In 1965 he was among the founding members of the new Prague theatre "Činoherní klub” (Drama Club), where he performed up until 1992. For another two years he acted at the National Theatre in Prague, before leaving theatre for good.

He first appeared onscreen while still a student, in Věra Chytilová’s Strop (Ceiling, 1961). Even as a young actor he demonstrated his ability to convincingly portray a contradictory and demanding role. He was then offered an interesting role in Jaromil Jireš’s Křik (The Cry), which was awarded a Special Mention at Cannes 1964. He later acted in numerous notable films, such as Každý den odvahu (Courage for Every Day, d. E. Schorm, 1964), Dita Saxová (d. A. Moskalyk, 1967), Pension pro svobodné pány (Boarding House for Single Gentlemen, d. J. Krejčík, 1970), Holka na zabití (A Girl Fit to be Killed, d. J. Herz, 1975) and Konec starých časů (The End of Old Times, d. J. Menzel, 1989).
He displayed his talent for humour in the Smoljak-Svěrák comedy Marečku, podejte mi pero! (Marecek, Pass Me the Pen!, 1976), which he followed up with several equally successful comedies such as Kulový blesk (Ball Lightning, 1978) and Vrchní prchni! (Run, Waiter, Run!, 1980). And he has appeared in roughly 150 other titles. He has also enjoyed success on the television screen, his best-known role being that of Dr. Blažej in the serial Nemocnice na okraji města (Hospital at the End of the City, d. Jaroslav Dudek, 1977). In 1993 he was awarded a Czech Lion for his performance in the musical film Šakalí léta (Big Beat, d. J. Hřebejk). The Art Film Fest International Film Festival Trenčianske Teplice/Trenčín is made possible through the financial support of the Audiovisual Fund and the European Union Programme MEDIA.   
Organizers: ART FILM, n. o., Forza, a. s. Co-organizers: the Town of Trenčianske Teplice, the City of Trenčín, the Trenčianske Teplice Health Spa General Sponsors: Dôvera Medical Insurance, AquaCity Poprad Main Sponsors: Tatra banka, Slovnaft, Veolia Voda – Central Slovakian Waterworks, OHL ŽS, Alison Slovakia; Official Transport Provider: Lancia Logistics Sponsor: DHL; Free student cinepasses provided by: Prvá stavebná sporiteľňa (First Housing-Construction Savings Bank) Sponsor of the Slovak Season section: Zlatý Bažant; Sponsors: AVI Studio, Baske Guest House, Park Hotel na Baračke Official Suppliers: HUBERT J.E., Kláštorná, GS design, Philips Media Sponsors: Slovak Television, Markíza Television, FilmBox, CSTV, Central Europe Television, Rádio Europa 2, Rádio Hit FM, Pravda, .týždeň, Markíza, Pardon, Cinemax, Kam do mesta,, Boomerang Media, SITA, euroAWK,