Funding News: Summer 2021

22 June 2021

Film Industry

Funding News: Summer 2021

Film Industry

Funding News: Summer 2021

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In June, the Czech Film Fund granted the support for development of fiction features and for development of documentary films for the second time this year. In fiction category, the Council divided altogether EUR 346 000 (CZK 9 million) among 12 projects by talented young guns as well as experienced authors and supported mainly coming-of-age stories and family dramas. In case of documentary films, the Fund supported 9 projects, mostly focused on current topics, portraits and Czechoslovak history.

Development of fiction features

The highest amount (EUR 38 000) in this call went to Recordwoman, which tells a story of talented athlete in 1930s Czechoslovakia who fights not only her sport opponents but also the confusion about her gender identity, based on true events. The film is produced by nutprodukce, written by their long-time collaborator Štěpán Hulík (Burning Bush, Wasteland) and it will be directed by Martin Krejčí (Fricasse, Quinzaine des rèalisateurs, 2003).

Scriptwriter and director Ivo Trajkov (Rapl, Honey Night) also deals with Czechoslovak history in his drama, Nightingale Behind the Bars (Slavík za mříží), about a priest who organizes independent church activities behind the Communist regime’s back. Production company Balkanfilm received EUR 34 000 for development of the film.

The Czech Film Fund granted EUR 33 000 also to nutprodukce for the development of a new project of internationally-acclaimed director and scriptwriter Ondřej Hudeček (Peacock – Sundance FF 2016, Short Film Special Jury Prize; Nagano Tapes). The Thief (Poberta) promises dense crime drama, focused on an incompetent leader of a Czech smalltown gang.

The Council of the Czech Film Fund also provided support for several family dramas in this call, of which the highest support went to The Orgon Project (Projekt Orgon). The film, directed by Martin Dušek (Old-Timers) and produced by Negativ (company was granted EUR 31 000), follows mother dissatisfied with life who enters the “Slavs” sect. In co-operation with Silk Films and with support EUR 27 000 from the CFF, FAMU graduate Šimon Holý prepares Chica Checa, a reunion of aging mother living in Czech village and her son who just came back from New York. Furthermore, Adam Martinec (Anatomy of a Czech Afternoon, Czech Lion Award 2020 for best short film) and Matěj Paclík of Breathless Films were granted EUR 19 000 to develop a family relationship story in a lighter comedy-oriented form in Pig Slaughter (Mord), which is focused on one quirky family tradition.

While Beata Parkanová (Moments) will tell a relationship drama in four episodes in her new intimate drama Bears, produced by love.FRAME, Azyl Productions and Bontonfilm Studios (backed with EUR 33 000), Martin Pavol Repka prepares his debut feature Invisible Loss (Neviditelná ztráta) in production of Sirius Films Manual. Their observation of relationships inside a family coping with a tragedy was supported with EUR 18 000.

Three films with teenage heroes were also supported in this call – Nightmares (Můry), Alice and the Black Queen (Alice a černá královna) and On the Other Side of Summer (Na druhé straně léta). Nightmares is a horror-themed project of directors Tomáš Pavlíček (Bear With Us) and Kateřina Karhánková (Fruits of Clouds – Best European Short Animation award at the Cinekid Festival 2017; Hungry Bear Tales – Annecy 2020) which focuses on two 13-years-old girls who are unable to enjoy parents-free weekend because of a younger brother and a bugbear under his bed. Prague-based company MasterFilm was backed by the CFF with EUR 37 000.

While director Marina Andree Škop (My Grandpa Is an Alien) in her coming-of-age story, Alice and the Black Queen (produced by 8Heads Productions and supported with EUR 34 000), follows a girl who escapes from reality into the world of computer games, Vojtěch Strakatý (participant of the Czech Film Springboard with Eternal Peace in 2019) tells a story of bored teenage girls who discover a mysterious portal in the middle of the lake in On the Other side of Summer. Production company Aerofilms received EUR 24 000 for development of the film.

Last but not least, scriptwriter Lucie Wimmerová and director Tereza Kopáčová co-work on adaptation of Pavla Horáková’s novel The Theory of Strangeness focused on a woman, intellectual and scientist, who comments on the world around her with significant cynical gaze (FILM KOLEKTIV received EUR 18 000).

Development of documentary films

The highest support in this call (EUR 35 000) was granted to To Sun and Horizon (Slunci a obzoru), directed by Jana Počtová (Non-Parent, K2 My Way) and produced by Punk Film. This formally ambitious film combining documentary and animation reflects private and public history of Czechoslovakia in 1930s and it is based on the travel diary of the director's grandfather.

Another diary-inspired film supported in this call is Monaco. Experienced documentarist Dušan Trančík (When the Stars Were Red, nominated for Berlinale’s Golden Bear in 1991) prepares a reconstruction of a Monaco trial, which took place in communist Czechoslovakia and which is based on a diary of one of the convicts. Viktor Schwarcz’s company Cineart TV Prague was granted the amount of EUR 17 000 for development of the film.

Three documentaries reflecting current social issues were also backed by the CFF. Model M follows a group of scientists who decided to help Czech government for free and create a working system for mathematical modelling of the coronavirus epidemic, which the government did not take into the account. The co-operation of directors Erika Hníková (Every Single Minute, currently in postproduction), Josef Krajbich and the company Negativ received EUR 19 000.

While Andrea Culková (Grief, H*ART ON) and Duracfilm teamed for Citizen’s Assembly, the second part of their environmental trilogy supported with EUR 18 000, this time focused on practical options for tackling the climate crisis, Bára Jíchová Tyson (Talking About Adultery) will explore the influence of culture and environment on our identity in Through the Eyes of a 100-year-old Child (Očima stoletého dítěte). Her documentary essay, produced by Alice Tabery’s CINEPOINT and supported with EUR 19 000, will follow Czech-American family which moved from New York City back to the Czech Republic.

The trending topic among the applications were also portraits of significant figures of Czech society – all three of them received circa EUR 15 000. The support received Pavel Štingl (A Sarcophagus for a Queen) who develops Being a Poet (Být básníkem) about Nobel Prize-winning Czechoslovak writer, poet and journalist Jaroslav Seifert in production of K2. Petr Záruba (Traces of a Landscape, Visions du Réel 2020) prepares If Only It Wasn’t So Dark Around Here (Jen kdyby nebyla kolem taková tma), a portrait of a Czechoslovak composer and conductor Vítězslava Kaprálová in co-operation with CINEPOINT. And Markéta Sehnalová joined forces with Analog Vision to make her debut and reveal a personality hidden behind popular Czech singer Nikola Mucha.

Last but not least, FAMU graduate Violette Deffontaines will answer the question „How a knitted cap with a significant viperous pattern became a symbol associated with African revolutionaries?” in the film The Double Life of Zmijovka (Dvojí život zmijovky), produced by D1film and granted EUR 19 000.

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