Stoll uses the development of Czechoslovak Television
as a lens through which to track the country along its path from democracy to Nazi occupation, to communism, to revolution, and back to democracy.
The festival looked for inspiration for its current form in historical developments--in the breath of freedom with the Prague Spring in 1968, quickly tied down by the purges of normalization, and in the transformation of the communist-controlled Czechoslovak Television into a self-confident, independent public service.
The prizes changed too, as well as the methods by which they were allocated--there were juries of journalists, Czechoslovak television viewers, the Union of Film and Television Artists, the Union of Dramatic Artists, students, or representatives from developing countries.
"We were tasked with creating pilots," explained Karel Czaban, the head of Profil, "and we also believed that Profil was just the beginning, that other institutions like Czechoslovak television and Kratky film [the short film production unit] would also enter production, and that production would be divided into entertainment, drama, and education programming" ("Author Interview").
For example, scholars may wish to explore how Czechoslovak television reacted to the advent of home video, how it affected the types of films produced in the country for theatrical distribution, how it impacted on the taste preferences and conduct of Czechoslovak viewers, or how it was taken up by dissenters and amateur producers.
As noted in the introduction, Roth-Ey (2011) shows that Soviet television became associated primarily with domestic viewing, and Bren's (2010) analysis of Czechoslovak television examines how the popular serial dramas of the era, centered on everyday life, fostered a retreat into "privatized citizenship." Research on the German Democratic Republic likewise suggests that during the 1970s and the 1980s, East German television sought to promote private values through TV drama (Pfau, 2009).
The recognition of multiple plots and settings was important; as shown by Reifova, Bednarik, and Dominik (2013) in their analysis of a Czechoslovak television serial produced in the 1970s, the personal plot can be subordinated to the public plot, and in fact functions as a means of enhancing a political message rather than fostering a focus on privacy.
In 1973, the Soviets themselves had urged Czechoslovak television to increase its offerings of light entertainment in order to draw viewers away from capitalist television, which could be received in many parts of Czechoslovakia.
Bren notes that some officials within Czechoslovak television never stopped believing that socialist mass media must be primarily didactic, enlightening, and mobilizing (119-20).
Czech Television's Jarmila Svorcova, chief executive, Telexport, explained that, "CT was established in January 1992 as a successor to Czechoslovak Television
. Czech Television broadcasts 24-hours a day on two channels, CT1 and CT2.
Anonymous letters of complaint sent during the 1980s to Czechoslovak Television
headquarters in Prague (a popular recipient of citizens' gripes) reveals public knowledge of the party leaders' lifestyles.
Both specialists and laymen can be grateful for the documentary by the screen-writer Ladislav Danes Who is Karel Ancerl, made for Czechoslovak Television