Czechoslovak film clubs began to emerge spontaneously during the second half of the 1950s. It soon became obvious that, given the lack of information resources, their lecturers needed to receive some basic training. Therefore, in 1964, when film clubs were already organised under the Czechoslovak Film Institute, the first film club seminar was held. About fifty film club representatives gathered in Čimelice (or in Písek from the second edition onwards). They were shown the films that were not available for distribution and were accompanied with expert introductions and lectures. Apart from providing professional education to film club representatives, the aim was to allow them to gather and share their experience.


In 1975, the event was renamed Summer Film School, and it began to grow. It was still intended only for members and lecturers of film clubs, having taken place in one organising cinema or film club. However, the public interest grew bigger and bigger. The programme consisted of the films purchased for film clubs, films from the Czechoslovak Film Institute or films from the KVIFF, archives or embassies. The Czechoslovak Film Institute produced educational materials, published a non-periodical newsletter, etc. Summer Film Schools started to be attended by filmmakers who could meet up with the passionate and enlightened audience there.
Summer Film School had to move several times over the years, mostly for technical and organisational reasons (cinema renovations, capacity, etc.). From Písek it moved to Hořovice, Uherské Hradiště, Strážnice, Světlá nad Sázavou, Trutnov, and finally, in 1992, it anchored in Uherské Hradiště (except for 1997, when it was moved to Jihlava due to floods).


The post-revolution influx of attractive foreign films and videotapes led to a significant decline in interest in the festival (only 250 participants in 1992). Therefore, it was inevitable to open it to the general public. From 1993 onwards, the festival programme, along with the accompanying and expert programme, continually expanded, international film stars began to visit Uherské Hradiště and the festival quickly developed into one of the biggest and most popular film events in the Czech Republic.


In 2008, due to economic problems, the management of the Association of Czech Film Clubs and Summer Film School had to be replaced. A new programme concept was created, along with an effort to make the festival more professional and create a stable economic and organisational background. The key partnership with the town of Uherské Hradiště was strengthened. Every summer, thousands of filmgoers arrive in the heart of Moravian Slovakia and thousands of locals visit the attractive accompanying events, such as concerts, theatres, workshops, book readings, lectures, discussions, film lessons, open-air cinemas or events for children. Thanks to Summer Film School, Uherské Hradiště has become one of the major spots on the cultural map of the Czech Republic.


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