Czech director Frantisek Vlacil was best known for his 1965 feature Marketa Lazarova, which in 1998 was named the greatest Czech film of all time in a poll of critics and filmmakers. Born in 1924, Vlacil began his career in puppet animation, and made a number of educational and training films before directing his first feature in 1960, Holubice (The White Dove). Despite the wide acclaim of Marketa Lazarova, Vlacil was banned from making feature films through much of the 1970s; he instead focused on making short subjects for children. In 1979, he was permitted to return to feature filmmaking, and released his final film, Mag (The Magician), in 1988. Vlacil died in Prague in 1999.