Czech director Vojtèch Jasný's films are noted for their fresh approach and concern for society. Born in Moravia, Jasný loved films from an early age and after spending most of WW II in a Nazi labor camp, he became one of the first to graduate from the Prague film school where he got his start directing short documentaries.
In 1954, Jasný and classmate Karel Kachyna directed Dnes Vecer Vsechno Skonci/Everything Ends Tonight. He then embarked upon a distinguished solo career with September Nights (1957), a key work in Czech New Wave cinema. Jasný became world famous the following year with his poetic feature Touha/Desire, but his best-known work is the Cannes' Special Jury Prize-winning satirical fairy tale Az Prijde Kocour/The Cassandra Cat (1963). In 1968, he again won a prize at Cannes for Vsichni Dobri Rodaci/All My Good Countrymen, another satire on life in a small Czech town. In 1969, just after the Soviets took over his country, Jasný made the powerful short film Ceska Rapsodie/Czech Rhapsody as a farewell to his country. He then left to continue making films elsewhere, none of which have earned the critical acclaim of his first films. In addition to filmmaking, Jasný taught film courses in various European schools, and in 1984, he became a film lecturer at Columbia University.