Czech films in development: first half of 2020

24 July 2020

Film Industry

Czech films in development: first half of 2020

Film Industry

Czech films in development: first half of 2020


In the past few months, the Czech Film Fund supported the upcoming projects in development in various calls. Here is a summary of what is important to know.

Fiction features

In February 2020, the Council of the Fund decided on 24 projects which applied in the call for development of fiction features. Twelve projects mostly of young authors and promising newcomers were supported altogether with the sum CZK 27 million (EUR 1 million).

The highest support, CZK 1,3 million (EUR 48 148), was granted to V bouři a větrech (In Storm and Winds). Lukáš Masner’s debut film about a forgotten episode of eighteenth-century Czech missionaries in Greenland is produced by Kuli Film.

Another five of supported projects will be fiction feature debuts for its directors or screenwriters – such as new Štěpán Altrichter’s film A Furious Beauty, written by a newbie Eliška Kováříková and produced by moloko film; Můrka (Little Moth), a fairy tale directed by Tomáš Kratochvíl and produced by Silk Films; Backwoods, an absurd drama written by Evženie Brabcová an produced by; Homeland, a clash of former Sudeten Germans with Czech character directed by Marek Čermák and produced by Frame Films; Vánoční film (A Christmas Film), an absurd family portrait by Tomáš Janáček, produced by Background Films.

Full list of supported projects


In February, the Czech Film Fund also granted for development CZK 4,5 million (EUR 166 667) to 10 documentary projects. Most of the films are portraits focused on distinctive personalities.

The highest sum CZK 600 000 (EUR 22 222) granted in this call received documentary Blix by Greta Stocklassa (her debut documentary Kiruna – A Brand New World premiered at Visions du Réel 2019) and Pink Productions. The documentary follows Swedish diplomat and nuclear expert Hans Blix.

Three documentary portraits of internationally-known Czechs were also supported in this call. Jan Bušta’s Gott, produced by m3 Films, is focused on a famous Czech singer Karel Gott. Petr Horký’s Remek, produced by Piranha film, tells a story of the first Czech astronaut Vladimír Remek. Kafka v Tatrách (Kafka in the Tatra Mountains), produced by Sirena Film, follows Prague-born author Franz Kafka on his recovery stay in the Slovak Tatra Mountains where the writer was treated for tuberculosis.

Full list of supported projects


In March, the Council supported 4 projects which were granted altogether CZK 3,21 million (EUR 118 889) for development. The highest sum received family feature film Přátelé z tajemného lesa (Friends of Mysterious Forrest), directed by Lenka Ivančíková and produced by animation people.

The full list of supported projects

Co-production Markets

Several Czech projects in the stage of development appeared at co-production markets and industry events, or took part in training programmes. Here is a summary of what is important to know.

One of the most significant documentary panels held in Czech Republic, East Doc Platform, awarded 4 Czech projects. Jan Kratochvíl's Czech-French art documentary Comfortable Century was honored with DOK Leipzig Preview Award, and received Special Mention in the main category. HBO Europe Co-production Award belongs to The Taste of Celibacy by Libuše Rudinská. The Golden Funnel Award, Ex Oriente Fine Cut Award and DAE Pitch Talent Encouragement Prize received Slovak-Czech How I Became a Partisan. Sheffield/Doc Fest Award went to The Visitors by Veronika Lišková (Daniel’s World).

Long-awaited Tereza Nvotová’s drama with elements of horror, The Nightsiren, was presented at Frontiéres Finance and Packaging Forum. The project was also granted support from Eurimages in June 2020. Nvotová’s debut Filthy premiered at IFF Rotterdam in 2017 was awarded Best Film at the Czech Film Critics’ Awards of the same year.

Two Animation projects, both directed by successful young author Martin Smatana, represented Czech cinema at the industry programme Mifa Pitches of Annecy International Animation Film Festival. The first one is Smatana’s partly autobiographical film Hello, Summer which shows a misery of a family on vacation by the sea. The short was supported by the Czech Film Fund for the development stage with EUR 17 778 and it is produced by the director himself.

After the success of The Kite (world premiere at Berlinale’s Generation, 2019), producer Peter Badač ( came with an idea of animated children´s series I Want to Know! which emulates The Kite both in terms of storytelling and visual style, and on which he works with the director Martin Smatana and two other experienced writers.

On the verge of summer

Another project of Peter Badač from will be presented at Sofia Meetings 2020, held online at the beginning of July. A debut fiction feature project Backwoods, directed by Evženie Brabcová, is part of Plus Minus One Projects selection. Written by Evženie together with Ben Tuček, the film tells the phantasmagorical story of family ghosts, wild boars, and the end of the world, which we each imagine differently. An existential, surreal drama with documentary elements offers a glimpse into a dystopian land while also dealing with transience, memory and love.

The sixth ever and first online edition of Future Frames organized the European Film promotion in co-operation with Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. Czech Film Center, as a divison of the Czech Film Fund, nominated Czech candidate for the programme – and this year's Czech representative was Adam Martinec with his social drama Anatomy of a Czech Afternoon, produced by Matěj Paclík from Breathless Films in co-production with FAMU.

Five Czech films and co-productions appeared in the official selection of this year's KVIFF's Eastern Promises. At Works in Progress, the Czech Republic is represented by the Iranian-Czech-Slovak drama Absence, co-produced by Jordi Niubó from i/o post on the Czech side. Ali Mosaffa's drama tells a story of a man who arrives in Prague, far away from his troubled family life in Tehran, and immerses himself in research into his father’s past as a communist expatriate in Czechoslovakia. First Cut+ program, showcasing projects that previously participated in First Cut Lab programs, introduced Lithuanian-Czech Runner, directed by Andrius Blaževičius, which is focused on a young girl willing to do anything it takes to help her dissapeared boyfriend.

In the Docs in Progress programme, two Czech documentaries in the post-production stage were presented during the industry days. While Every Single Minute, directed by Erika Hníková and produced by Jiří Konečný from endrofilm, focuses on family that is trying to raise a future athlete from a little boy, Adéla Komrzý's The Intensive Life Unit, produced by Pavla Janoušková Kubečková from nutprodukce, observes an issue of an alarming 80 % of terminally ill people who die in hospitals without the choices of how, when and where they want to spend their last moments.

Last but not least, Andrea Culková's Fragile Beauty of Masculinity which is produced by Duracfilm and which focuses on a wife who has learned to swim in the sea of aimless risks and macho gestures of her husband, was presented in Works in Development – Feature Launch.

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