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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Slovakia

Dark Slovakian political thriller The File enters development

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- Producer Wanda Adamik Hrycová readies a political thriller fictionalising true events, written by Peter Balko and directed by Jonáš Karásek

Dark Slovakian political thriller The File enters development
A promotional image for The File

Political thrillers inspired by true events are trending in Slovakia. Amnesty [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, focused on the geo-political tectonic shift of the Velvet Revolution, recently premiered, while Mariana Čengel Solčanská and Rudolf Biermann teamed up on political thriller Scumbag [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, echoing the murder of a young journalist and his fiancée, and Mátyás Prikler is readying the political drama Power, seemingly inspired by a more obscure domestic incident (read the news). In addition, Slovakian producer Wanda Adamik Hrycová — who has already produced a successful film of this ilk, The Line [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Andrey Yermak
interview: Peter Bebjak
film profile
]
— is working on The File, a political thriller that does not hide its source events. The finishing touches are being put to the final version of the script, while the whole project should be financed by the end of 2020, producer Wanda Adamik Hrycová confirmed to Cineuropa.

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Written by Peter Balko, who wrote The Line and is currently working on folk horror Mother of the Night (read the news), the script of The File follows a successful businessman and CEO of a financial group whose entrepreneurial ventures are prospering, mostly due to his influence and a well-oiled corruption scheme. However, the life of the powerful oligarch is turned upside down after his dealings are exposed in the transcript of an audio-file: the apartment where he was meeting and corrupting politicians was wiretapped by intelligence service. The damage control he is therefore forced to engage in will reveal how far he is willing to go in order to stay in power. The scriptwriter describes the story as a dark political thriller, a psychological drama and a parable about the state of contemporary society. The fictionalized story revolves around an actual file called Gorilla (which was the working title of the project), whose 39 hours were leaked in their entirety this year.

Jonáš Karásek, of Amnesty, is tapped to direct the dark and stylish thriller — he already directed a film in a similar style, The Candidate [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
. Karásek reveals, in the director’s note, that together with DoP Martin Žiaran — who is lensing Hrycová’s ambitious television project The Slavs (read the news) — he aims to situate the story into impersonal interiors at the beginning of the film, while moving outside after the affair becomes public, not shying away from black and cynical humour. Karásek adds that, despite the grim story, the film’s message is supposed to be positive.

The project recently won the Screen International Best Pitch Award at Industry@Tallinn & Baltic Event (read the news). Producer Wanda Adamik Hrycová told Cineuropa that they have co-producing partners from Poland and Finland on board the project.

The File is produced by Hrycová for Wandal Production and MAC TV (Television Joj). The Slovakian Audiovisual Fund supported the project. The film’s budget is €2.3 million. Negotiations with sales agents are under way.

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