A film director and graduate of the documentary film department at the FAMU school. He is the son of the well-known screenwriter, actor and playwright Zdeněk Svěrák, who has written the screenplay for nearly all his son’s feature-film projects.
Jan Svěrák enjoyed immediate success with his short environmental film Ropáci (Oil Gobblers) for which he received a student Oscar. In the 1990's, he developed into one of the most successful Czech directors.
He is the director of both the most expensive (Tmavomodrý svět, or Dark Blue World) and the cheapest (Jízda, or The Ride) films in the modern history of Czech cinema. In 1996, he received an Oscar for the film Kolja, or Kolya, which was the first Oscar to be won for the cinema of an independent Czech Republic (the break-up of Czechoslovakia occurred in 1993). The success of Kolya was followed by a major foreign co-production, Dark Blue World, which recounted the fates of Czechoslovak pilots in the British air force during the Second World War.
- 1988 – Ropáci (Oil Gobblers)
- 1994 – Jízda (The Ride)
- 1996 – Kolja (Kolya)
- 2001 – Tmavomodrý svět (Dark Blue World)