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FUNDING Czech Republic

Czech Film Fund supports a raft of new domestic projects

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- Period sports drama Zatopek and minimalist social romance Mistakes are among the best of the films evaluated by the fund

Czech Film Fund supports a raft of new domestic projects
Director David Ondříček, whose project Zatopek has been funded by the Czech Film Fund

The Czech Film Fund is supporting the production of 9 domestic feature-length fiction projects out of the 26 applications submitted (hailing from 25 production outlets), with total funds reaching €2,5 million. As always, there was a wide range of genres and topics offered by the domestic film industry, including period dramas, biopics, genre films, films for children and young people, as well as one arthouse project.

The highest amount of support, €588,235, was awarded to the producer-director David Ondříček (In the Shadow [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, Loners) for his project, Zatopek, based on the script by Alice Nellis. Ondříček recently received acclaim for the two-part television film, Dukla 61, which retells the story of the biggest Czech mining tragedy of the second half of the 20th century. The director refers to Emil Zátopek, the long-distance Czech runner who won three gold medals at the 1952 Summer Olympics in Helsinki, as “a Forrest Gump of athletics”. However, Ondříček’s work is not just a sports biopic, but also a political and family drama, and he is also working on a modern documentary for Czech Television which also focuses on the athlete. Belgian and Finnish co-producers are now involved in the project, with shooting expected to start next year.

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Jan Prušinovský’s latest project (following on from The Snake Brothers [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jan Prušinovský
film profile
]
), the romance and minimalist social film, Mistakes (read the industry report), received the second highest project evaluation, alongside funds totalling €274,509, on top of funds previously received from the Czech Film Fund supporting the film’s development. Meanwhile, Bourák, a rockabilly film with elements of black comedy, to be directed by Ondřej Trojan, and David Jařab´s Snake Gas, inspired by Joseph Conrad´s Heart of Darkness (read the industry report), both received €392,157 apiece. It was also decided that Terrorist, by Radek Bajgar, a black comedy-come-thriller where we see an elderly lady make a stand against evil, would be an attractive project for cinemagoers, for which it was awarded €78,631.

The same funds were approved for the adaptation of young-adult book, Orange Days, to be directed by Ivan Pokorný and co-produced by a Czech-Polish-German team. Silent Companion by Pavel Göbl, which embraces a kaleidoscope of genres such as magic realism, high art and elements of folk, reflecting the contemporary world, received €313,725, while Ivan Fíla’s historical drama Principle Kriegel or the Man Who Stood in the Way, a film about “a man who opposed the Soviet power”, was granted €392,157. Last but not least and completing the line-up of supported productions is Scream is a Beautiful Song, a drama which focuses on the relationship between two individuals who are each withdrawn in their own lonely worlds. This new project by scriptwriter Beáta Parkanová (who will make her directorial debut with Moments at the upcoming Karlovy Vary International Film Festival) and director and producer Viktor Tauš, received a total of €39,216 from the Fund.

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