Juraj Jakubisko

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Juraj Jakubisko

Juraj Jakubisko (born 30 April 1938, Kojšov, Czechoslovakia current Slovakia) is a Slovak film director. In his movies he managed to catch life's most beautiful colors, unhide the poetry behind the ordinary and to be ahead of his time without forgetting his roots. “In Jakubisko films the irrational, mysterious and sensational seems to be as natural as the life itself, although not all of us are able to have Jakubisko ́s eye, enabled to see that mysterious, unexpected and fantastic even in simple ordinary daily life“ - Federico Fellini. Thanks to his typical handwriting, full of allegory, fantasy and visionary imagination, about Jakubisko is written as about an artist, who with his magical realism in this part of the world means in the film the same, what Gabriel García Márquez in the literature of the Latin America. Juraj Jakubisko attracts the international attention thanks to his experimental films.

He is currently based in Prague.[1]


Before entering the film industry, Jakubisko taught still photography at a Bratislava secondary school for applied arts and worked for a television in Košice. In 1960 he moved to Prague where he attended the FAMU (Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts),[2] studying direction under Václav Wasserman's tuition. He graduated in 1965. After his studies Jakubisko worked with Alfréd Radok at the Laterna magika[3] theater in Prague and began winning international acclaim with his experimental short films before making his first feature Crucial Years or Christ's Years (Kristove roky, 1967).

The promising career of the young director was heavily crippled by the communist regime. He managed to complete only 3 films before he was sidetracked in the difficult period following the Soviet-led Warsaw Pact invasion which crushed the Prague Spring reform period in Czechoslovakia. During that period, he made a few documentaries. Fortunately the situation got gradually better so that he could film Three Sacks of Cement and a Live Rooster (Tri vrecia cementu a živý kohút, 1976) although it was not released until 1978.

He returned to feature film-making with Build a House, Plant a Tree (Postav dom, zasaď strom, 1980). Jakubisko earned international acclaim with the epic A Thousand-Year Old Bee (sometimes mistranslated as "millennial"; Tisícročná včela, 1983). This movie was a real event for the country. People of all ages went to see it in mass and the tickets were sold out for many weeks after its release. Since then he won further international awards and earned great respect worldwide. Another popular film still played in TV is Perinbaba.

Jakubisko is often also credited as a screenplay writer as he usually co-writes or writes the scripts of his movies.


A lot of gossip and curiosity has been generated regarding his project Bathory. The film stars Anna Friel as Elizabeth Báthory, a 16th-17th century Hungarian countess, who some argue was one of history's most prolific mass murderers. She was reputed for example to have bathed in the blood of young Slovak women. Famke Janssen was originally cast in the title role.

In addition to being Jakubisko's first English-language film, Bathory was reported as the most expensive motion picture production in the history of Czech or Slovak cinema, involving investments of numerous companies around Europe.

In 2007 it was reported that two former production staff members, Jan Milic and Karel Lupomesky, stole a copy of Bathory from studios in Prague and were threatening to release it on the Internet if they weren't given GB £12,000. They were soon apprehended and the film was recovered, apparently without being prematurely leaked online. After their trial, the pair were given eight and ten month suspended sentences for trying to blackmail producer Deana Jakubisková-Horváthová.

Bathory world premiere was held at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival, Czech Republic on July 10, 2008. The film was declared as the most successful film of the decade in the Czech Republic and the most successful film of all time in the Slovak Republic. As well won numerous awards around the world e.g.: World Fest Houston - (2011) / The best historical film - Special Jury Prize REMI and the best artistic achievement - Gold Award REMI, at Monaco Film Festival - (2010) - The Best Artistic Achievement, the Price of Slovak Film Academy - SUN IN THE NET (2010), the best art direction, costumes, the best actress in the main role, the Price IGRIC - Slovakia - (2009) - for the artistic side of the film, CZECH LION - (2009) the most successful film, the best artistic achievement of the year, the best designer and concept art, the best costume designer.

In the Present[edit]

In 2013 Jakubisko published the first part of his autobiography book Zive stribro.

Currently, the director is working on the preparation of fairy tale Mother Frost 2. It would be the sequel of Perinbaba. The film is scheduled for theatrical release in fall 2017 / beginning 2018.[4]


for full filmography check imdb

Personal awards[edit]

Juraj Jakubisko was awarded at more than 80 international film festivals.




  • Czech Republic Czech Lion Awards 2008
    • The best artistic asset of the year
    • The best artist and artistic concept
  • Slovakia Igric Award
    • Award for the Artistic Design of the Film
  • Portugal Associazione Culturale Premio Elsa Morante
    • Premia Elsa Morante, Cinematography award



  • Czech Republic Czech Lion Awards 2002
    • Personal award for outstanding achievements in cinematography and lifetime artistic contributions to Czech Cinema
  • Slovakia The Main Government Award
    • Pribina Cross, Second Class


  • Slovakia X. IFF Art Film Trenčianské Teplice
    • Golden Camera award for outstanding achievements in cinematography and lifetime artistic contributions to Slovak Cinema



  • Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia Film Parade of Juraj Jakubisko in Beograd
    • Zlatni Pečat Jugoslovenske Kinoteke (Golden Seal) for Major Contribution To The Advancement Of Art In Film (awarded by The Yugoslavian Cinematheque)














  • Paris (2000), France
  • Berlin (2004),Germany, Italy (2004)
  • Prague (2004, 2005), Czech Republic
  • Miro Gallery, Bratislava (2009), Slovakia
    • Presidential palace, Bratislava (2009), Slovakia
  • 6 exhibitions (2010), Czech Republic


External links[edit]