moderator: Paulina Dobosz
Petr Zelenka is a Czech playwright, screenwriter, and film and theater director. In his early youth, he was a bass player and songwriter for the punk band V noci (At Night). He made his first attempts at film in the late 1980s and early 1990s at the Faculty of Film and Television at the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. After completing his studies, he worked as a playwright at Barrandov Studios and made films for Czech Television. He made his debut with the mockumentary Mňága - Happy End, a fictional story about the real-life band Mňága a Zdorp, which managed to elude the control of the major record labels. His Buttoners, which won five Czech Lions, brought him international acclaim after being screened at festivals in Thessaloniki and Valladolid. He also wrote the screenplay for David Ondříček's hugely popular film Loners. He is also known for the stage play Tales of Common Insanity, which he wrote and directed for Prague's Teatr Dejvicki in 2001 (it has been translated into many languages and performed in England, Japan, Poland, Russia, Serbia, Hungary, and Slovakia, among other places). Another of his plays, Coming Clean, was written for the Stary Theater in Krakow, which also provided the setting for his own version of The Brothers Karamazov, set an abandoned factory in Nowa Huta. Zelenka is known for his black humor and uninhibited imagination, as well as his ability to portray people teetering between mediocrity and madness.