The films of Richard Linklater (and perhaps any film, any artwork, any city) can be explored through a lens of change over time, whether the span is nine innings, a day, a romance, or twelve years. Prague and the Czech Republic have roots in the Middle Ages and were shaped by the Renaissance, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Post-WWII Eastern Bloc and, since the 1989 "Velvet Revolution," a parliamentary republic which, today, is challenged by populist conservative leaders.

Journey as a member of Austin Film Society's Delegation to the Czech Republic for a week-long curated experience immersed in a cross-cultural conversation about "Change over Time" within film, art, architecture, culture, and culinary experiences with creatives from Austin and other American cities and the cosmopolitan Czech Republic. After three full days exploring the cultural riches of Prague, the highlight will be VIP access to the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF) honoring Richard Linklater and the Austin Film Society, including black-tie opening night festivities, a special reception honoring Linklater and the Austin Film Society, and introductions to international and innovative Central European film releases. 

 CREDIT: James Shaw/REX/Shutterstock

CREDIT: James Shaw/REX/Shutterstock


Tour dates: June 25-July 2, 2018 (Come Early/Stay Late Options Encouraged!)

The delightful city of Prague, our first stop, is noted for art and architecture spanning six centuries, as well as lively food and shopping scenes. A medieval layout spirals outward with notable Baroque, Rococo, and Art Nouveau landmark buildings and a few modern and contemporary edifices (including Frank Gehry's swinging "Fred and Ginger" building, housing a luxury hotel). The Art Nouveau master Alphonse Mucha (1860-1930) has major works here, but the city is also noted for cubism and modernist abstraction in painting, photography, and design.

Karlovy Vary is a hot springs spa town a few hours drive from Prague though a lovely countryside, where the charms include spa parks, spa woods, and scenic overlooks. Our central attraction is its International Film Festival, which presents debuts of new features and important documentaries, as well as inclusions of artistic projects by independent directors, productions coming out of little known film industries, retrospectives, and an overview of Czech film output during the past year. KVIFF provides a special film menu.

ITINERARY

Friday, June 22 or Saturday, June 23 - Depart US for "Prague Prequel Package"

Fly a day or two early to get a jump on jetlag, get adjusted, and more acquainted with Prague, a city with centuries of history.  Our team will meet you at the airport, get you settled at the hotel, and assist you with restaurant reservations, guided tours, concert tickets, etc. (Costs to be billed separately)

Sunday, June 24 - Depart US for "Prague Jetsetter / Just In Time Plan"

Fly overnight Sunday arriving Monday morning, "just in time" for the official start of the tour

Monday, June 25th - Meals: C, D

(On this itinerary, B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, C=Cocktails, and D=Dinner included.)

Morning: "Jetsetters" arrive in Prague "just in time."  Our team will meet you at the airport and get you settled at the hotel

4:30 Neighborhood stroll (optional)

6:30 Cocktails, Conversation, and Dinner

Gather for spectacular rooftop view of the city for drinks and dinner with an introduction to the Czech Republic, and an exploration of the theme of the AFS/KVIFF trip theme, "Change over Time."

Welcome dinner with brief remarks from cultural luminaries from the Prague art and film worlds.

Tuesday, June 26th - Meals: B, L, D

Morning: Sleep in or explore on your own.

Lunch together at a fun farm-to-table restaurant.

Spend the afternoon exploring highlights of Czech modern and contemporary visual art and design (including early abstraction, cubism, nationalism and socialist realism, political and conceptual art) with experts associated with the Czech National Gallery.  Includes museums, galleries, and public sculpture walking tour.   Evening on your own for shopping, dining, or a concert.

Wednesday, June 27th - Meals: B, L

We'll depart the hotel mid-morning for a food and drink culture tour exploring Czech culinary traditions and innovative developments found in Prague today.  We'll visit the food markets, meet farmers, chefs, brewers, and distillers, and build a meandering, multi-course meal with visits to various kinds of restaurants and vendors.  If you happen to still be hungry, dinner is on your own.  Our evening event will be a special contemporary performance, followed by a nightcap and nibbles.

Thursday, June 28th - Meals: B, L, C

After breakfast, we'll explore "Change over Time" in the urban design and architectural history of Prague.  Our starting point will be the deconstructivist/"New Baroque" Dancing House Building (1992-1996) co-designed by Frank Gehry, one of the city's few contemporary structures.  As we walk along the river, we'll stop at selected junctures to dig deeper into "What Happened Here" at key points in the development of the city and the shifting building methods and architectural styles.  Our tour will include the Old Town city square, Little Quarter, Jewish Quarter, New Town, and the famous Charles Bridge.  The influence of foreign trends such as Art Nouveau and Bauhaus will be explored, as well as a study of the unique development of Cubist Architecture and design.  We'll take the tram for dinner together in a noted modern restaurant with exciting located in an up-and-coming warehouse district.

Friday, June 29th - Meals: B, L, D

Morning departure by coach to the town of Karlovy Vary, a few hours drive from Prague through farmland.  We'll be greeted by our Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF) host guides for an orientation and introduction to this year's Film Festival, check in to our hotel, and perhaps consider a spa treatment or free time for a shopping stroll.

At 6 PM we'll join the motorcade to the red carpet for the Opening Night Black Tie Gala ceremony and festivities celebrating the Austin Film Society and the select roster of international and Central European narrative and documentary films.  The evening includes a star-studded ceremony, a symphony concert, and festive opening party.

Considered one of the most important film world events in Europe, KVIFF is a destination for generations of established and emerging film artists and shares with the Austin Film Society a commitment to Make/Watch/Love Film.  Over the course of our time at KVIFF we'll be part of special events and receptions for Richard Linklater and the Austin Film Society and leading European film directors, actors, and artists.

Saturday, June 30th - Meals: B, C

Morning: Sleep in or Spa Morning on your own

Brunch Celebration with AFS leaders and special guests

1:30 Czech Film Classic screening with AFS Intro by a Czech film expert

4:30 - 6 PM Guided walking history tour of Karlovy Vary

Evening: More Films and dinner on your own

Sunday, July 1st - Meals: B

Homeward Bound or Film Lover Extension:

Morning: Films or Spa options

Homeward Bound Option:

Noon: Hotel Check-out

1:00 PM Coach transfer to Prague

3:00 PM arrive Prague Hotel

Afternoon end evening: Prague finale options including shopping, bar hopping, or boat tour

Film Lover Option:

Stay LONGER in Karlovy Vary for MORE Films...(separate costs TBD)

Monday, July 2nd - Meals: B

Homeward Bound Option: transport to the airport for return flights to the U.S. or your next destination in Europe

Film Lover Option: More Films! (separate costs TBD)

Tuesday, July 3rd - Meals: B

Film Lover Option: More Films! (separate costs TBD)

Etc., Etc., Etc...

Tour Highlights

  • Deluxe hotel accommodations and foodie experiences in Prague and Karlovy Vary (airport transfers included)
  • Private guided Prague art, film, and cultural experiences
  • Luxury bus transport to Karlovy Vary, one of Europe's great spa towns
  • Meetings with experts in the Czech film and art worlds
  • VIP events and access at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (KVIFF)

What's Included

  • Seven night accommodations
  • Meals as indicated on itinerary (four dinners, three breakfasts, and three lunches)
  • Museum entrance fees
  • Guided tours
  • KVIFF passes including Opening Night Black Tie Gala Event

The total in-Czech-Republic portion cost of this experience (deluxe lodging, luxury transportation, meals, guides, entrance fees, KVIFF film festival passes, etc) is $5,000 per guest.

This tour is contingent on a minimum of eight participants.  The maximum number of participants is fifteen.

Payment in full due date: 28 February 2018

* $1,500 single supplement charge

* itinerary subject to change according to unforeseen circumstances / opportunities. On this itinerary, B=Breakfast, L=Lunch, C=Cocktails, and D=Dinner included. For cancellations after payment, partial refunds may be available depending on recoverable expenses at the time