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AFO | Academia Film Olomouc je mezinárodní festival populárně-vědeckého a dokumentárního filmu | Academia film Olomouc
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Guests’ Echoes

Guests’ Echoes

Lawrence M. Krauss
Theoretical physicist, professor, author of bestsellers like The Universe From Nothing, winner of many international awards, the main guest of AFO 49 and 50

"The AFO festival is remarkable in so many ways: the professionalism attached to every event, the energy and enthusiasm of the audiences, the excitement generated by the films, discussions and associated events, and the remarkable hospitality shown to the presenters and filmmakers. The screening of our film was a delight. To fill up a large auditorium full of members of the public, and then to follow that with an exciting Q&A with great questions, and then to celebrate with so many people late into the evening and still have a full house for a noon lecture the next day was amazing. Doing Czech national television in a chapel attached to the festival site was also an experience I will always remember. It was a wonderful time in a wonderful environment, and I look forward to returning."


Nigel Marven
The popular British biologist, filmmaker, BBC collaborator, AFO 43’s main guest

"I have many affectionate memories of the Olomouc Festival. The knowledge and enthusiasm of the assembled filmmakers was exceptional. The questions following my presentation on a career of presenting and producing wildlife documentaries were astute, and many fascinating discussions followed. The town itself is wondrous, medieval walls surrounding a flower-filled park, squares with sculptures and fountains. I hope one day to go back."

Jennifer Gardy
Scientist and popularizer of science, assistant professor at the University of British Columbia, television presenter and writer, guest of AFO 49

"AFO2014 was electrifying! The calibre of films was extraordinary, the lineup of speakers and special events was impeccably curated, and the nightly gatherings in a lively club space pulsing with the sounds of science-based beats and the tastes and smells of crazy molecular cocktails… it all made for a completely unique and inspiring experience. To see full houses at screening after screening for science documentary films was amazing, and is testament to the hard work the festival staff put into the event. It’s seamlessly run and enormously fun, and I’d go back in a heartbeat!"

Pamela Gay
Astronomer, writer and podcaster focusing on new media, guest of AFO 49

"Rarely are science and art mixed as well they are at the AFO. In a low-key environment, the movers and shakers of both science and documentary film mix as they discuss their own research and creations with attentive audiences. The films presented represent the best in science communications from around the globe, and the accompanying demonstrations, lectures, and panels make science a joy. My own experience at AFO49 was a mixture of stimulating conversations interspersed with challenging films, and punctuated with laughter, curious audiences, and hospitality. What was particularly of note was the mix of classic content with new media. From movies filmed in remote locations by videographers who melt into their environments, to presentations by YouTube science sensations, all the best in moving (science) pictures was represented."

Jiří Chýla
Professor and scientist, member of the Academy Council of AS of the CR, deals with the theory of elementary particles

"I have heard of AFO but I could not imagine the beautiful atmosphere pervading the entire festival or the overwhelming interest of both young and older audiences in various films and lectures on scientific topics. Perfect organisation, pleasant setting, beautiful town - I will gladly return."

Michael Londesborough
The British scientist working for the Institute of Inorganic Chemistry AS CR, co-author and anchorman of PORT

"Olomouc is, without question, one (there are many in the CR) of the most beautiful towns in the Czech Republic. A walled city that is a genuine pleasure to walk through, stop for a coffee or a beer, observe the grandeur of its architecture, and enjoy the serenity of its gardens. If one adds to this the opportunity of watching dozens of top-class scientific documentaries in the presence of a young and vibrant intellectual atmosphere at AFO...well, the sum total of the experience is wonderful. Needless to say I thoroughly enjoyed my time at AFO 2010. The organizers are committed, enthusiastic, passionate and energetic. The University buildings in which the festival is held are cosy and attractive. The vibe is buzzing and fizzing with youth and intelligence. Lots of scientific fun to be had by all!"

Robert A. Rosenstone
The Professor of history, California Institute of Technology; specialized in Spanish history and history of revolutionary movements; AFO 43’s guest

"Of several film festivals in which I have taken part as speaker, panelist, judge, or simple observer, the one in Olomouc was the most intellectually stimulating and intense. With none of the glitz of Los Angeles, the exoticism of Hawaii, or the lavishness of Rabat, Academia Film focused on the serious issues of scientific content, which were then widely and hotly debated in the halls of the university, the coffee shop, and restaurants scattered around the town. This is not to say the festival did not have its fun side -- at least there was enough drinking, eating, and partying to satisfy my own appetite.
This was also true of the many films screened. The variety of documentaries was astonishing and included works from the heavily serious to the playful to the provocative. My only regret was that I did not have time to see all of the films, but that too is a plus, leaving one hungry to return for more. Finally let me say I was impressed with the fact that the festival spread all over the town and included outdoor screenings of feature films for those who did not make it into the university auditoriums. I know of no festival where the community seemed to be so engaged."


Glenn Starkman
Professor of physics and astronomy and director of the Institute for the Science of Origins and of the Center for Education and Research in Cosmology and Astrophysics at Case Western Reserve University, AFO 47’s guest

„Spending several days at the AFO was a great pleasure. It was exciting and stimulating to interact with wonderful filmmakers and great fellow scientists in an relaxed friendly environment.   The film students were wonderful hosts and guides. And I never imagined that I would ever be simultaneously translated into Czech! I look forward to future opportunities to attend the festival. Congratulations on your 48th year!“

Jeff Lieberman
The holder of two scientific patents, author of robotic sculptures, Time Warp anchorman, AFO 44’s guest

"I had a wonderful time at the Olomouc film festival; the films were engaging, the town was beautiful, and most importantly, the people were inspiring and stimulating. I feel honored to have been a guest!"

Will Roscoe
Co-founder of a number of LGBT organisations, active participant of the political events supporting the LGBT movement. He also focuses on the third gender among the North American Native tribes, especially the berdaches and the so called people with two soulsy, AFO 48’s guest

„The AFO festival is a world class event. The films selected are extraordinary. I was especially impressed by the caliber of the dialogue between audience and presenters. The whole event is beautifully organized and presented, and a great opportunity to network with colleagues from around the world. It was an honor for me to present my work as part of the festival and to be part of a truly ground-breaking program on third genders. I left with new ideas and new friends—and lovely memories of the beautiful city of Olomouc. To the Academia Film Olomouc...děkuji!!“

Lumír Ondřej Hanuš
The professor at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem, the member of the AFO47 jury

“Academia Film Olomouc was already very popular during my studies. Not only students but also other people liked it and it did not need any promotion. We all waited for the spring to come and with it this event. Many years have passed since then and every year from my relatives and friends I hear the best reactions on the films they have seen. That is why I decided to be in a jury last year and I was not surprised that the quality of the films has increased rapidly since my study years. The halls were crowded with spectators and the visitors of the lectures did not hesitate to discuss long after its planned ending. I was literally absorbed by the event and I felt sorry that on AFO I could not be at two places simultaneously. So I think that this event does not need any recommendations or promotion. It would be good though if the visitors understood that many organizers are behind this event and that it is their effort, diligence and their free time that make this even as it is.”

Dáša Sephtonová
The manager of the scientific competition FameLab in the Czech Republic, AFO 47’s guest

“The festival Academia Film Olomouc gave me a chance to spread the information about an international competition for scientists called FameLab. Apart from this it brought to me a number of really interesting meetings with films and great people. I intensely cooperate with some of them since then. The last but not least fact is that it influenced fundamentally all that I read the following year – in fact the great books by Carl Sagan and Richard Feynman. For me AFO47 provided a few very nicely spent days that brought many interesting and useful things to the following months.”

Dagmar Smržová
The director of the documentary Saving Edwards that on AFO received the RWE Award for the best Czech popular-science film and the Audience Award

"AFO surprised me with its friendly atmosphere, perfect organisation and the breathtaking dramaturgy. Although the festival is presented as a festival of popular-science films its scope is really wide. I found films about love, life and death there. Films about disease and the courage to face it. I liked to watch the unbelievable films about the functioning of brain, about genetics, psychology and psychiatry. I was really enthused by the AFO meetings and apart from the fact that there was always something to watch I walked to the screenings through the centre of beautiful Olomouc and I met pleasant people. Thank you for this opportunity!”

Lukáš Přibyl
The Czech filmmaker whose film “Forgotten Transports to Poland” was awarded the best Czech documentary film at AFO 44. One of the jurors of the Czech Competition at AFO 45

"I am glad to recollect all my visits of Academia Film Olomouc, even if I remember the late evenings in Olomouc cellars only vaguely, because of my unbelievable endurance and organizers’ effort. The organizers often take care of their guest really till the daybreak. That is also why it is a wonder that they are able to wake up the other day and run such great festival. In a word, it is obvious that AFO exists just because of the true enthusiasm and thus abounds in such atmosphere. The other reason why I like the festival so much is the fact that it was one of the first festivals where “Forgotten Transports” succeeded and where their way to audience and further awards started."

Andrew Holtz
The prestigious medical journalist, former CNN reporter, Emmy Award holder, the author of the bestseller „House M.D. vs. Reality: Fact and Fiction in the Hit Television Series, AFO 44’s guest

"My visit to Academia Film Olomouc was ideal in setting and content. It was invigorating to share time with others who create or are fascinated by the visual storytelling that tackles the scientific and technical topics of our day. The program demonstrated time and again that these topics are thrilling, alarming, amusing, touching and relevant... not at all the stereotype of murky and pedantic esoterica that is too often the image of science."


Antonella Testa
The Italian physicist, program director and manager of the Italian festival Vedere la Scienza, member of AFO 44’s International Jury

"I was invited to participate to the 44 Academia Film Olomouc, as a member of the International Jury. I accepted with pleasure: it was for me a great occasion to meet deserving people, and experience one of the most relevant events on the field. I think the core of the success of the Festival is the quality of the cultural proposal and the involvement of the students and the public, under an enlightened direction. The formula of the Festival is excellent, including screening, discussions, lectures and concerts. A lively event, all around the pretty city of Olomouc, opening university doors to the city and the public at large, bringing special guests from several part of the world to meet students and citizens. As a Jury member I received a hearty welcome, together with an excellent organisation, from my arrival to my departure. Kindness, and vividness are the key words with which I would describe my experience at AFO.
Among the several, I would finally focus on two of the main AFO features. The first is the lively character, able to propose serious cultural contents in an informal, active way positively acting on the audience, especially young audience. And the second is the ability to involve such a number of university students in the realisation of the festival, who worked seriously and with enthusiasm: a value added to the Festival and an invaluable experience for the students being part of the staff working on the Festival."


Andrew Millington
The producer of scientific documentaries, head of OMNI Communications, former BBC collaborator, member of AFO 44’s International Jury

"I recall the Festival in Olomouc 2009 well. It was well organised, and was a mix of science productions and other documentaries, clearly fulfilling different roles for you. I thought the awards ceremony, which involved professional presenters in an informal way, was entertaining and brought home the cultural goals of the festival to an audience which may not have attended all the screenings."

Mark Rissi
The Swiss director, president of World Society for the Protection of Animals, member of AFO 44’s International Jury 

"I was fortunate to be on the Jury in 2009 and had great pleasure watching and judging all those entries to the competition as I was very much impressed by the high standarts of quality and imaginative renderings of scientific topics. Due to an accident I was not able to be physically in Olomouc to present my films but colleague Bernard Safarik organised a video conference which was beamed into the movie theater. This way I was able to discuss my films with the audience while sitting in my wheel chair at home in Switzerland. I hope to be able to attend the festival in person the next time around.
I wish the organisers all the best for the forthcoming 46th festival. They are the best, no doubt ;-)."

Luboš Motl
The theoretical physicist and blogger, AFO 44’s guest

"I gave a lecture at AFO in April 2009. At that time I returned to Olomouc after 25 years and thus I was able to savour beauties of this wonderful historical city and spiritual center of Moravia. However AFO gave Olomouc a new and fresher kind of spiritual charge: enthusiasm for learning about world and stream of intellectual passion that were rolling from one corner of Konvikt to another. The organizers put in some great work and the mostly young audience proved by means of their enthusiasm, warmth and spontaneity that such events are meaningful."


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