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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Czech Republic

Robert Sedláček ready to release his latest thriller, Statute of Limitations

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- Karel Roden leads the cast of the Czech director’s latest outing, which currently finds itself in pandemic-related theatrical limbo

Robert Sedláček ready to release his latest thriller, Statute of Limitations
Statute of Limitations by Robert Sedláček (© DONart)

The pandemic year of 2020 rewrote many production plans: among them was that for the Czech crime-thriller Statute of Limitations. The film’s production was put on hold seven days before the first clapperboard was due to slam, as the Czech government declared a state of emergency and adopted measures to halt the spread of the coronavirus in early 2020. The film crew regrouped for a September shoot and then wrapped principal photography in early October 2020. Director Robert Sedláček and his cast experienced déjà vu when the local premiere, originally set for early February 2021, had to be put on hold for the very same reasons that caused the original shoot to be postponed.

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Czech television and film director Sedláček was attached to direct the crime-based morality tale revolving around the topic of guilt and suffering. Sedláček’s previous project was the television crime miniseries North for Czech Television, set 20 years after the Velvet Revolution. The miniseries follows a young, idealistic crime investigator and deals with the topics of justice and injustice. The director’s latest big-screen project was the period biopic Jan Palach [+see also:
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. Statute of Limitations, inspired by real events and penned by the director himself, is closer in feel to Sedláček’s crime miniseries, and in it, the protagonist, Radek, returns to Prague after 20 years to come to terms with his past. The story is based on the fact that the Czech Republic (and Romania) has its statute of limitations for murder set at 20 years, meaning that a perpetrator of said crime won’t be prosecuted after this period.

Czech actor Karel Roden, who is known internationally for his roles in Hellboy and The Bourne Supremacy, and for his voice acting in the video game Grand Theft Auto IV, stars in the leading role of Radek. He is looking for a young woman and is being helped in his pursuit by an ambitious radio host. The host takes advantage of the situation and wants Radek’s story exclusively for her night-time show. However, she will become entangled in the bleak story herself.

The film addresses the topic of “expired” crimes and their effect on the lives of the survivors. Vilma Cibulková and Igor Bareš star alongside Roden, with Barbora Bočková appearing in her first big-screen role here (Bočková will also appear in the period biopic Zátopek [+see also:
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film profile
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later this year). The film was shot mostly in Prague at night, with some scenes shot in Malibu. DoP Jan Šuster, the cinematographer on Sedláček’s film Jan Palach, the miniseries North and the found-footage horror Ghoul [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Petr Jákl, lensed the crime-thriller.

Statute of Limitations was produced by Jiří Tuček, of Czech production outfit DONart. As mentioned above, the local premiere has been postponed from the original February date owing to the nationwide theatre shutdown. Falcon handles the local distribution.

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