workshop Ztracený čas. The winning film of Young Academy 2022 by director Ondřej Erban highlights the enormous amount of time spent on computers and mobile devices. "For the first time in my life I wrote and shot a film which is less of a drama. It’s an exaggerated story with a pinch of humour."

workshop Dezinformace. In his film, director and Young Academy 2022 winner Adam Martinec draws attention to the fact that people can succumb to misinformation under the influence of loneliness, social media pressure and fear. "Unfortunately, the impact of fake news on relationships within the family or other close relationships is not a subject of a public debate."

workshop Young Academy in collaboration with T-Mobile announces winning short films on digital wellbeing | 20 September 2022

winners In just a few weeks, winners of the Directors Workshop 2022 Adam Martinec and Ondřej Erban will begin the production of their short films produced by Pavel Picek from Armada Films and Petr Oplatka from Creative Embassy. Congratulations!

forum Take a look at the snaps from the first edition of the Young Academy Forum. The three-day event took place on April 5–7, 2022, and was jointly curated by Young Academy and the Pragueshorts Film Festival. Lectures, screenings, and presentations took place in the Bio Oko and Světozor cinemas in Prague as well as in Kino Pilotů in Vršovice and Kino 35.

workshop Pitch Day is behind us and so is the initial collective phase of this year's Directors Workshop. We saw nine unique approaches to the theme Balanced Digiatlization. As a result, selecting the projects for the realisation was especially difficult for the jury. Thank you to all mentors, participants and guests!

forum We invite you to the first edition of the Young Academy Forum. The three-day event is a joint project between the Pragueshorts Film Festival and Young Academy. A three-day program comprising lectures, screenings and presentations will take place in Bio Oko and other Prague cinemas from 5 to 7 April 2022. Meet interesting personalities of advertising production, creators of award-winning TV series, and many other inspiring guests. Read more

about young academy

Advertising is a growing industry and an opportunity for young creators. But it's also a world of allure and collective loneliness – and sometimes also masked boredom. Let's pause for a moment and ask your ideas what kind of environment they live in. Couldn't they use more time? Don't they need more patience? Wouldn't they like to hear feedback from more experienced colleagues? And don't they want to have a chat with your friends' ideas? The Young Academy is an ideas lounge where your creative process will feel at home.

To create is to search. But why search alone? At the Young Academy we're not looking for proven ideas or the best recipes. Rather, we strive to connect all those who have a sense of craft and aesthetic, promoting care, curiosity, and honesty in advertising. At the core of our events is an open dialogue between the established and emerging generations of creators. In collaboration with innovative brands, we organize the Directors Workshop giving young directors the opportunity to work for a real brand and contribute to solving a real problem by telling a meaningful story. Together with the Pragueshorts Film Festival, we run the Young Academy Forum, where local and international guests offer a taste of their approach to the field.

The Young Academy is a startup project of the Audiovisual Producers' Association (APA), whose mission is to cultivate the working environment in the film and advertising industry. The Young Academy builds on the work of the Young Directors competition, with the aim of connecting the widest possible circle of people interested in audiovisual advertising.

2022 forum

2022 forum
talks, screenings, presentations

The first edition of the inspiring Young Academy Forum was prepared by the Young Academy together with Pragueshorts Film Festival. The Forum included a series of lectures and presentations dedicated to the whole spectrum of approaches to the development and production of short audiovisual works, whether in the field of film, television or commercial production.

The programme in four Prague cinemas (Bio Oko, Kino Světozor, Kino Pilotů, Kino 35) featured the following guests:

Jára Moravec
Jason Felstead
Total Refusal (Robin Klengel a Leonhard Müllner)
Jan Malíř
Petra Vaněk Svarinská
Vica Kerekes
Ladislav Krapek
Jan P. Muchow
Timothée Hochet

The long-term goal of the Forum is to provide the youngest generation of filmmakers with new impulses for creative approaches to audiovisual production and to present innovations in the film medium in a variety of conditions and uses. The project also provides a meeting and networking space for a community of filmmakers who share an interest in the short format and present a selection of distinctive short films to the public.

Young Academy Forum 2022 was made possible with the support of the Association of Producers in Audiovisual, the State Cinematography Fund and T-Mobile.













director's best friend

2022 workshop

We aim to discover emerging talents among the youngest generation of directors and help them to stay focused on what's most important: filming.

The Young Academy supports young talents in finding their own approach to storytelling. In the world of advertising, a successful creator must withstand a variety of influences while maintaining their unique vision. The Directors Workshop is a place for your ideas to hatch and grow. It is a space for curiosity, doubt, trials, and errors. Because in the creative process, there are no mistakes or absolute right answers.

The Directors Workshop is intended for directors under 35 who want to get hands-on experience working for an established brand and contribute to solving an existing problem by telling a meaningful story. Each year, the workshop is defined by one strong partner – a brand that brings context and themes to the workshop. This year’s format is branded content with a maximum length of 2 minutes.

The selection of workshop participants is based on registered reels in any genre of the following forms: video clip, advertisement, branded content, short film. Selected participants will go through the practical segments of the workshop: the brief day with the workshop partner, group work on the treatment, individual consultations with mentors, and the open pitch presentation of the final work. Up to three of the most interesting ideas will proceed to realization in the professional facilities of established production companies.

The Directors Workshop is a place of open discussion and communication, where a sincere interest in the opinions of others brings inspiration to quality creation. The goal of partnership in advertising is for the creator to understand the client and for the client to inspire the creator.

Applications until: 28 February
Shortlist announcement: 7 March

All applicants gain unlimited access to the Young Academy Forum, which the Young Academy will be running in April in collaboration with the Pragueshorts Film Festival. The program of the forum comprises many inspiring interdisciplinary meetings, masterclasses, and talks.

Digital optimism
How does digitization change people?
Benefits and responsibility

2022 workshop theme

Progress and innovation have always provoked a broad public debate. For some, technological development is a symbol of society’s steady movement forward, while others urge caution. Although it may seem at first glance that these are two separate worlds, emotions and technology go hand in hand. Just as the introduction of electricity and the development of the railways fundamentally changed the world in the nineteenth century, at the beginning of the twenty-first century we are witnessing even deeper changes.

Thanks to the internet, almost the entire world is connected, and a growing portion of our lives is taking place in the virtual space. From year to year, the amount of shared content and joint tasks that require an internet connection is increasing, as are the requirements for connection quality and speed. High-speed network coverage is key to keeping up. But our society is diverse. Some are comfortable with the rapid development of communication technologies and feel like a fish in water on the internet network, while others look at progress with skepticism and worry about whether the machines are going to replace us and whether we can still express love face to face – as we did before.

Whatever our attitude, life without the internet and smart devices is hard to imagine. Digitization has countless dimensions. What are the benefits and challenges for society that come with digital identity, e-learning, online business and culture, augmented reality, the digitization of public services, the internet of things, or remote access to machines? And what does all this mean for an individual’s life story?

open call

We are looking for young directors who would like to develop this theme into branded content which will become part of the public debate through the communication channels of our partner (T-Mobile). Does the theme of the workshop appeal to you? Are you under 35? Sign up for the 2022 Directors Workshop and work your way up to shooting your own spot.

2022 mentors

2022 graduates

ondřej erban

I was born in 1986, and with the exception of the six months I spent in the Netherlands, I’ve lived my whole life in Prague. I studied screenwriting at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts (FAMU), and like many others I used to idealise the institution a little, which changed slightly once I started studying there. Nevertheless, I’m glad I had the opportunity to attend FAMU. Without it I would never have come to where I am today. The school gave me a great deal.

My filmmaking idol is Gaspar Noé. His films are a great inspiration to me. In my work I’ve also been influenced by Lars von Trier, Andrea Arnold and the Dardenne brothers (especially in their early period). My greatest filmmaking success to date has been the short film Sto dvacet osm tisíc (One Hundred and Eight Thousand), which among other matters was shown at the Cannes Film Festival and won a Czech Lion award, specifically the Magnesia Award for the Best Student Film. As a result, all had high expectations of my next film Protihřáč (The Opponent), though the film didn’t entirely succeed in living up to them. Nevertheless, I believe that thanks to this experience I’ve learned a considerable amount, and have developed my directing style a little further.

In cinematography it applies that the greatest milestones are linked with technological progress: advances in sound recording, the transition to colour film, the invention of the digital camera etc., and so as a director I welcome new innovations in connection with digital technologies, and am curious to see what they will bring. At the same time, however, I have a weakness for the aesthetic of 16 mm analogue film. With regard to my relationship to digital technologies on a personal level, in recent months I’ve decided to limit the time I spend on Instagram. I started to have the feeling that everyone around me was making advances, while I was just sitting at home and scrolling.

terézia halamová

I was born in 1997 in Nitra, in western Slovakia. Moving to Prague was a big and important step for me, but I still continually return to my homeland in my memories, which I draw upon ceaselessly. I am study film direction at FAMU, and the school (and the whole experience of moving to Prague) has absolutely changed my life. I came to Prague at the age of eighteen, and so the school shaped me in all aspects of my development. In part practically, in that I learned the basic essentials about film, both its history and about filmmaking by creating short films.

However, after a few years what I’ve begun to appreciate most is the most important thing the film school could give me, namely the people. To this day, the fellow students I met there continue to shape the whole of my experience at the school, and I draw upon these contacts constantly. My greatest pleasure so far has been the making of my bachelor’s film Zazpívej (Sing, 2020), because I was given a large amount of freedom in its creation, and (thankfully) had sufficient resources in order to realise my visions as I wished. Of course, looking back I’d make the film differently now, but I know that at the time when it was made, the final form of the film was in concordance with my idea at the time, which reached a large number of viewers and resonated with them. And in my view, that’s the greatest success an artist can wish for.

bart klimsza

I was born in November 1993 in Český Těšín, on the Czech border with Poland. As a result, I’ve been struggling with the issue of nationality since I was born. From the age of six I lived in Prague, then in Zlín, and now I’m once again living in Prague. In social situations I’ve often been faced with the question: do I feel myself to be Czech or Polish, a Silesian or a Praguer? Or even a native of Zlín, Třinec or Těšín? I see myself as simultaneously all and none of the above, and this is ideal.

I studied film and television production at secondary school in Panská, after which I went on to study film direction and screenwriting at Tomas Bata University in Zlín. At school I understood that everyone has a different way of thinking, and creates different types of works, and so competition in art makes no sense to me. After two years of studying I left the school, since I lacked any kind of distinctive mentor who could broaden my perception of the world, my abilities, who’d listen to me and help me find the path I’d decide to set out on. As a consequence my work has been influenced by the various different people, environments and contexts I move in – my parents, friends and colleagues, as well as philosophers, politicians and fools, just like I’ve also been influenced by love, humour and education.

Digital technologies and their positives and negatives are a part of our society’s transition to a new era of development. Overall my stance towards them is rather positive. And this also applies from a director’s perspective. I love Teradek!

adam martinec

I come from Silesia, from the foothills of the Jeseníky mountains. People are undoubtedly in some way influenced by their origins, but I believe that this is only a small part of a much bigger whole. I studied to be a tour guide, then I went on to study philosophy. Now I’m studying film direction, and my parents are looking forward to the day when it’s all over and I go out and find a real job. I’m currently studying at FAMU, and the school has absolutely met all the expectations I had of it. In my work I’ve certainly been influenced by Tomáš Klein, Jan Němec, Jasmína Blaževič and Bohdan Sláma.

As a director I always endeavour to give 100%, and it makes no difference whether I’m making my own film or working on a commercial project. I couldn’t sleep at night if I knew that I’d cut corners somewhere. I’d enjoy filming essentially anything and anywhere. My primary goal is a good result, when I succeed in creating something worthwhile. I’d also like to work exclusively with people who I like or respect. My greatest success is that right now I’m able to pay the rent on my own flat. On the other hand, I feel ashamed when I act like a fool. I’m also addicted to social networks, and it annoys me that I’m constantly reaching for my phone. Nonetheless, I appreciate every moment when technology makes my life easier. Sometimes it seems like magic.

david payne

What did you study?

I studied archaeology of prehistory and the Middle Ages at the Faculty of Arts, Charles University, and then film direction at FAMU, both bachelor’s degrees. But I’ve forgotten all the archaeology I studied! Perhaps I haven’t forgotten so much from direction yet.

Do you have a particular goal you’d like to achieve through your work?

I’d like to make a good serial. Although I thoroughly enjoy going to the cinema, and I go there often and regard it as an experience that can’t be substituted, the fact is that today is rather the age of streaming platforms; people simply don’t go to the cinema so often these days. And thanks to its much better footage, the television format now has unprecedented opportunities for working with narration. But I’d also like to make a music video some time, or to work with a form that completely liberates me from narration.

What’s your approach to digital technologies? In your personal life and from a director’s point of view.

I was born at the end of 1993, and digital technologies have been a big part of my life since childhood. For example, as a small boy I was into web design – I moved onto other things later, but over the course of time this interest transferred to VFX compositing, which is what I do professionally today. For a director it’s an invaluable experience, because it’s increasingly hard to avoid visual effects – and above all there’s no good reason to avoid them; they open up immense possibilities. But without doubt I agree that digital technologies (mainly in the form of social networks) distract us and shorten our attention span.

valeria recmanová

I was born in Vienna, but from the age of three I grew up in Prague. My mother is Italian, and we often moved around. Even now I feel rather like a nomad, with a constant need to discover something new. I find it hard to identify my home as one specific place. It’s rather a kind of feeling I carry with me. I studied film direction at Tomas Bata University in Zlín, and now I’m at FAMU. To date I’ve been primarily filming my own works, most often short films. I consider my greatest success to be the fact that I’ve learned to be open to things. I try to understand the perspectives of people who are different from me.

I’m currently focusing intensively on audiovisual work, and my long-term goal is undoubtedly to make films. However, I’m aware that there are many different paths leading to this goal, with all kinds of diversions. My primary goal is therefore to make use of all the interesting opportunities that come along in life.

I maintain a distance from digital technologies. I believe that all those minor details of interpersonal communication, such as the possibility of touching, of looking someone in the eye, are in fact an essential part of our lives, which digital communication robs us of. From a director’s point of view I can’t turn my back on all that. It’s a global theme that defines our time, and as an artist I have to remain receptive to it. There’s something fatal in it, which in many respects is inspiring.

david semler

I was born in Prague in 1990. From the time of my adolescence, I tried to get out of here to a bigger and more vibrant city, or to somewhere warm by the sea, to a place where society is more tolerant and the laws are more accommodating to minorities. I’ve tried out all of these places, but every time I’ve ultimately returned gratefully to Prague. Over the course of time I found that I ought to appreciate my homeland and the culture I come from, and that instead of running away from what I don’t like I should try to change it. I embarked on my studies of screenwriting at FAMU after completing my studies of Czech and English at the Faculty of Arts of Charles University.

In my first years at FAMU I was a little disconcerted by the seemingly lax regime that prevailed at the school. It was only over the course of time that I realised that I didn’t need a drill and a firm hand for me to learn something, but rather that I need strong internal motivation and the desire to further my education, to improve, listen and create. As a director I’ve so far focused exclusively on my own original work. As a scriptwriter I work on projects to order. I take my influences from all the good films and books that I’ve seen or read. In addition, however, I’ve also been influenced by consultations with enlightened script editors and co-writers, who have helped me develop my works.

I’m ceaselessly fascinated by contemporary and future technologies. I’m aware of their potential risks, but I follow with interest where progress is taking us. Paradoxically though, as a person and as a filmmaker I don’t rely to such an extent on digital technologies, and I do not utilise anything like all the options they offer at present. I’m at my most satisfied when I can take a break from all digital devices at least for a moment, and engage in some sporting activity in a natural setting.

insar shaken

I was born in Kazakhstan, but I’ve lived in Prague since the age of four. I set the plot of my first two feature-length screenplays within the environment of a steppe which we once crossed on the journey to Astana (the capital of Kazakhstan). We travelled through complete emptiness for a full ten hours, and I wanted to convey that feeling somehow. After studying politics and law, I finally came to study screenwriting and dramaturgy at FAMU, where I’m now completing my master’s course. At school I miss a greater emphasis on dramaturgy and craft. In addition to school, I’ve been influenced by a whole range of diverse artists. It’s always someone different, but all round I probably most admire Paul Thomas Anderson. I consider it my greatest personal success that I’ve recently begun to like myself. My greatest failure is that it took me so long. I’d like to see my next film screened in an outdoor cinema somewhere by a lake. I have a weakness for hot summer evenings.

Digital technologies are a slightly more refined version of television. You can spend a lot of time on them that you’ll never get back. The worst is that some people might spend four hours a day like that, but when you add it up, then in eighty years of life that comes to ten years spend by your screen, which is insane. From a director’s point of view, I think that now filmmakers are in a much more difficult position in terms of maintaining the viewer’s attention. Today people prefer to unwind on Instagram than to sit and watch a more demanding film. During some films I’ve even caught myself feeling the need to check my telephone to find out what’s going on, instead of concentrating on the plotline.

petr vlček

I was born in Prague in the autumn of 1998. Prague is my first and strongest point of contact with culture. Some flee from the noise and bustle of the big city. I myself fell in love with it, and within the greatest frenzy I’ve found my own peace. It’s a kind of symbiosis. The city lives around me, and I live within it. I hope that in time I’ll return to it at least part of what it’s given me.

In my work I’ve been fundamentally influenced by the video library where I used to go to borrow films with my parents. I regard my success as consisting in the fact that so far I’ve been able to study and do what I most enjoy and find fulfilling. In retrospect I slightly regret wasting time on things that didn’t fulfil me. People are simply afraid to say “no” to some offers. My parents are artists. Thanks to them I know that it’s no easy matter to make a living only from my own creative work, and that I have to constantly choose between what I want to do and what I have to do. In future I’d like to achieve greater personal and professional freedom. My goal is to make films, to be self-sufficient and engage in projects that I find meaningful. I view digital technologies as a positive development, but I try to approach them with caution and respect.

Technology is not something we can choose either to have or do without in this day and age. It penetrates every realm of our life, and reflects the good and bad in us. Fear of technology springs from fear of ourselves. We worry that it might start to behave like us. A machine isn’t capable of doing good or evil. Only a human can do that.

young and grown

The Young Academy grew out of the Young Directors competition. The theme, partners, and format have changed, but one thing remains – the growing number of talents applying each year.

In 2017, our collaboration with the Art Directors Club (ADC) began. The ADC brought the theme of the commercial to the competition, and the jury focused on the directorial approach. Pavel Soukup, who later became well-known as an Emmy winner for the series #martyisdead, also placed among the three finalists.

Since 2018, the theme of Young Directors has addressed current social issues. In "Advertising needs more women!" each director came up with their own story. When Veronika Jelšíková won the main prize, she was still studying production at FAMU. She now works as a director and producer at the international company Stink.

In 2019, together with the Tereza Maxová Foundation, we raised the sensitive issue of the chances that children from children's homes have for a good life. Five participants qualified for the second round, in which they worked on the animatic of their spot. There were a lot of talents and ideas, but we could only realize one, and the award was won by director Jay Walker.

And then came covid. We passed the time in quarantine by looking for new methods and partners who, like us, are interested in education and quality in advertising. That's how the Young Academy was founded. We turned the Young Directors competition into the Directors Workshop, based on the principles of brand-film partnership.

2019 workshop
The entry of young people
from children’s homes into life and employment

2019 workshop

Many young adults are struggling through life without the safety net of a loving family. What are the hardships and challenges that these men and women face as they exit children's homes on the verge of adulthood? In 2019, we partnered with the Tereza Maxová Foundation to spark a debate about the discrimination, lack of trust, and loneliness that pervade the lives of these vulnerable members of our society. Fifteen shortlisted directors took part in the script development workshop, and the spot of Prague-based director Jay Walker was selected for realization. In the 60-second ad, we follow the day-to-day struggles of a young girl bullied and marginalized by her peers.

Nadace Terezy Maxové

Klára Králíčková
Marek Partyš
Martin Přikryl
Tereza Svěráková
Filip Malásek

Jay Walker

Terézia Halamová
Prokop Jelínek
Jakub Jirásek
Filip Knoll
Adam Kořínek
Amálie Kovářová
Adam Martinec
Jan-Karel Pavlík
Adam Koloman Rybanský
Hannah Saleh
Petr Simon
Jana Smokoňová
Šimon Štefanides
Jay Walker

Thanks to all for the great work!

ad by Jay Walker

on set


the finalists and tereza maxová


pitch day


brief day


2018 workshop
Advertising needs more Women!

2018 workshop

A glass ceiling obstructs their career path, and their pay is notably less than that of their male counterparts. Across professions, women face many obstacles, and the fight for an equal society has yet to be won. In 2018, Young Directors seized the zeitgeist and, in collaboration with the Art Directors Club, made it clear that advertising needs more women. Nine directors took part in the workshop, and three were selected to have their works realized: Matyáš Fára, Tereza Vejvodová, and Veronika Jelšíková. The latter won the Main Prize, and her ad was premiered at the annual ADC Creative Awards in Prague.


Petra Ondřejková
Tomáš Otradovec
Klára Palmer
David Suda
Jitka Bret Srbová
Julie Žáčková

Veronika Jelšíková
Matyáš Fára
Tereza Vejvodová

Oliver Beaujard
Martina Buchelová
Lucie Gukkertová
Emília Ondriášová
Luboš Rezler
Tereza Vejvodová
Kilián Vrátník

Thanks to all for the great work!

ad by Veronika Jelšíková

ad by Matyáš Fára

ad by Tereza Vejvodová

shooting day Veronika Jelšíková


shooting day Matyáš Fára


shooting day Tereza Vejvodová





2017 workshop
ADC Elixir

2017 workshop

Participants in the first year of Young Directors were faced with a tricky challenge: to promote the advertising industry itself by advertising a hair growth tonic. The finalists delivered three distinctive takes on the difference between inner and outer beauty.


Radim Vaňous
Pavel Soukup
Daniel Konopáč

ad by Radim Vaňous

ad by Pavel Soukup

ad by Daniel Konopáč