Olmo Omerzu editing his latest feature-length project
- The winner of the 2019 Czech Lion for Best Director is working on his as-yet-untitled latest project, which will mark a departure from his previous coming-of-age-focused stories
Slovenian-born, Prague-based writer-director Olmo Omerzu was in the midst of shooting his latest feature-length film when it was interrupted by the outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic. Omerzu nabbed the Best Director gong at the Czech Film Critics’ Awards last year (see the news) for his work on the coming-of-age drama Winter Flies [+see also:
interview: Olmo Omerzu
film profile], which was named Best Czech Film of 2018 by the Czech Film and Television Academy (see the news) and was ultimately voted to be the Czech bid for the Academy Award for Best International Feature Film in 2019 (see the news). Principal photography on his new outing was halted 20 days into shooting. Omerzu then resorted to going into the editing room to work on the shot footage. The film crew will soon return to the set to shoot the remaining ten days’ worth of material, wrapping on 14 June.
Producer Jiří Konečný, of Czech outfit endorfilm, who has produced all of Omerzu’s movies since his graduation film, which doubled as his feature debut, A Night Too Young [+see also:
interview: Jiří Konečný
film profile], called on the same creative team that was behind the award-festooned and critical acclaim-winning Winter Flies, including cinematographer Lukáš Milota and Slovakian editor Jana Vlčková, who also served as a script consultant. Petr Pýcha, who wrote Winter Flies, co-penned the script for this latest film with the director. While the new film marks Omerzu’s fourth project under Konečný’s guidance as a producer, it represents the most significant detour from his trademark storytelling style, which regularly featured a child protagonist within some form of coming-of-age genre framework.
The story follows the ageing patriarch and owner of a family company, an electronics factory, who sacrificed his whole life for the firm. He finds out that his long-time accountant stole huge sums of money, and she became a victim of an online scam. This situation has a severe impact on the protagonist, his whole family and the future of the company. “We are trying to describe the present time and its transformations, the difference between generations, and globalisation, where it is almost impossible to uncover a culprit who launches attacks using a fake, virtual identity,” reveals Omerzu in the director’s notes.
Besides the main protagonists, the patriarch and the accountant, the owner’s children also play decisive roles – a bitter son seeking his father’s approval in both his private and professional life, and a scorned daughter to whom the father does not want to hand the reins of the company, simply because she is a woman. Omerzu calls the film a drama with a strong comedy element, “a hidden irony which lies in realism itself. [...] I would like to create the most plausible portrait of the characters and the social environment in which they operate, to create an environment that will not only serve as a backdrop, but which will also correspond to the time during which the story takes place,” he adds.
The film is being produced by Jiří Konečný, of endorfilm, and co-produced by Slovakian outfit Punkchart Film (with the involvement of Ivan Ostrochovský, who co-produced Omerzu’s previous two feature-length projects), Slovenia’s Cvinger Film (Rok Biček) France's Melocoton Films (Hélène Mitjavile) and Czech Television. The Czech Film Fund, the Slovenian Film Centre, RTV Slovenia and the Slovak Audiovisual Fund have supported the project.
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