Jakub Kohak was born in Prague. He originally studied athletics, but soon decided to swap the running track for a less healthy life behind the camera. The 30-year-old director won a place at the Prague Film Academy and shot a series of quirky films, which were selected for the opening of the Czech Film Festival in 2002. While at film school, Kohak created a test spot for a Prague glasses company, which was spotted by Stillking Films, who signed him as a commercials director three years ago.

Kohak has directed many spots through Leo Burnett in Prague, including "Charles Bridge" for The Endowment Fund, which was shortlisted for the New Directors Showcase at Cannes 2002, two spots for Elite Coffee, shortlisted at this year's Cannes, and "white light", a spot for Chevrolet Niva.

"My last campaign was for the Kooperativa insurance company and consists of five ads filmed in four days, my biggest commission to date. Each spot tells a true-life story and the reel was processed in classic film style.

"I carried out extensive casting in the Czech Republic and Slovakia to recruit a handful of professionally trained actors. What all the spots have in common is the process used for the parting shot. When each story ends, the camera discreetly pans to the side of the screen and fades.

"When I worked on a commercial for the Automobile Club of the Czech Republic, I wanted to shoot and cast the ad in the style of a 50s Czech film. 'Funeral' was shot using a classical film technique, grading the film from print, rather than video, to give it an authentic quality.

"'Devil' for Vitana, a Czech dehydrated foods company, was a lot of fun to film. We shot it in a documentary style. The brief was to show how naughty, but nice, its cake mix is. I picked a large square with a park in the centre of Prague, dressed 15 actors as devils and shot them in various situations.

They did everything from beg on the street to queue at the unemployment office. Since I am an actor too, I wanted to play a devil. But the shooting schedule was so tight that unfortunately I couldn't both act and direct."

- Jakub Kohak was talking to Rachel Nouchi.

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