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Kratky Film restructures

Czech production and distribution company Kratky Film Praha a.s., which owns the Bratri v triku and Jiri Trnka animation studios, has been substantially restructured. The company has been struggling financially since 1994, and has been facing possible bankruptcy since 1997, a measure prevented by a recent investment from insurance company Ceska Pojistovna, now the majority shareholder in Kratky Film. The restructuring has also caused a management shake-out. At Kratky Film, Karel Hajek is the new general manager and CEO, replacing Jan Knoflicek; Jiri Porubsky is the new executive and financial director/COO, and Alexander Jerie is the new sales director, replacing Jiri Busek. John Riley, who was in charge of international sales, has also left Kratky Film. Prague Academy of Performing Arts animation professor Jiri Kubicek has replaced Jiri Sojak as head of the Bratri v Triku cartoon studio, and Michal Havlik has replaced Jiri Vanek as head of the Jiri Trnka puppet film studio. "I am very happy to realize that with all the changes in the company, there has also come an enormous enthusiasm from all employees," said general manager Karel Hajek. "I am sure that it will help us to manage the prospective problems which might still come." Kratky Film owns rights to hundreds of animated films it has produced or co-produced at Bratri v triku and Jiri Trnka animation studios since 1945, yet due to financial circumstances these films have hardly been distributed internationally. Now, with new investment capital, the company hopes to utilize the library, as well as to sell revived animated productions such as Zdenek Miller's cartoon series "The Mole" and the stop-motion "Fireflies."