FERO (František) F E N I Č
Film and television director, screenwriter and producer, director of the film and television company FEBIO Ltd., director of the FEBIOFEST international festival of film, television and video.
Born in the East Slovak village of Nižná Šebastová, Prešov district (East Slovakia) into a farming family; he is the youngest of five children.
After leaving secondary school in Prešov (1966-69) he studied journalism for three years at Comenius University's Philosophical Faculty in Bratislava (1969-72).
In 1972 he was accepted at Prague's Film and Television School (FAMU), where he completed his studies in film and television documentary direction in 1978. During his studies at FAMU (1977) he spent six months studying at the Centro sperimentale di cinematografia in Rome.
After a year's military service (1978-79) at Czechoslovak Army Film in Prague, he was employed (1979-86) as a director at Slovak Film Production's Short Film Studio in Bratislava (with the exception of 1984, when he worked for the Barrandov Film Studios in Prague). In March 1986 he had to interrupt his film work and leave the Short Film Studio for "political unreliability and anti-Communist views".
In the years 1986-92 he worked free-lance. For the majority of this period he was employed as a tourist guide for the Youth Travel Office (with the exception of 1989, when he worked for a spell at Barrandov Film Studios while filming his second feature-length film).
In December 1991 he founded his own independent film and television company, FEBIO Ltd., which was launched in March 1992 and, since 4 April 1992, has been producing original writer-director documentary films. He remains its director to this day.
Apart from his own screen-writing and directing work (approx. 30 short films, 2 medium-length films and 4 feature films: Juice Novel, Strange Beings, Czech Soda and the TV film Shores of Grace), he wrote and headed the television projects GEN, GENUS, OKO [The Eye], V.I.P. - Influential People, Czech Soda, Window to Our Neighbours, Slovak Window, How Are They Doing..., Confession and Travel Mania.
In 1993 he founded the FEBIOFEST festival of independent film, television and video which, within only a few years, has become the largest event of its kind in the Czech Republic. He has been the festival's director since it was established.
After famous Czech publicist Pavel Tigrid, he became the second person to receive the prestigious "1 June 1953" award for his social and current affairs journalism, presented by Plzeň City Council "for the support of democracy and for consistent defence of human rights via the press, radio and television".
He has lived in Bohemia since 1972, and became a citizen of the Czech Republic in 1993.
- 1957 - 62
Primary school, Nižná Šebastová, Prešov district, Slovakia, 1st - 5th grades
- 1962 - 66
Primary school, Ľubotice, Prešov district, Slovakia, 6th - 9th grades
- 1966 - 69
Secondary school, Prešov, Konštantinova St., Slovakia, 1st - 3rd grades
- 1969 - 72
Philosophical Faculty, Comenius University, Bratislava, Slovakia, Department of Journalism, 1st - 2nd years
- 1972 - 78
FAMU [Film and Television School of the Academy of Performing Arts], Prague, CR, Department of Documentary Film, 1st - 5th years (Jan-June 1977: Centro sperimentale di cinematografia, Rome, Italy)
- 1978 - 79
Czech Army Film, Prague, military service, working as assistant director
- 1979 - 86
Slovak Film Production, Bratislava, Slovakia, Short Film Studio, director (of this, several months in 1984 - Barrandov Film Studios, Prague, film director)
- 1986 - 92
Free-lance work /director + Youth Travel Office tourist guide (of this, several months in 1989 - Barrandov Film Studios, Prague,
- 1992 - to the present
Film and television company Febio Ltd., General Manager, film director
FEBIOFEST international festival of film, television and video, director