Boylesque and The Killing of a Journalist to premiere at Hot Docs

30 March 2022

Czech Film

Boylesque and The Killing of a Journalist to premiere at Hot Docs

Czech Film

Boylesque and The Killing of a Journalist to premiere at Hot Docs

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Hot Docs Canadian International Documentary Festival will give floor to world premiere of 2 Czech minority co-production films. Polish-Czech Boylesque by Bogna Kowalczyk will premiere in festival's main section, International Spectrum. Danish-American-Czech The Killing of a Journalist by Matt Sarnecki was also selected to premiere in International Spectrum section. Hot Docs programme also includes two festival favourites Museum of the Revolution in World Showcase and I Am Trying To Remember in Shorts.

The biggest documentary festival in North America, which will run April 28 - May 8, 2022, selected for its main competition, International Spectrum, Polish-Czech feature documentary Boylesque. The doc tells a compelling story of Lula, a Polish activist against the communist regime, and an openly gay man in a conservative and homophobic Polish society, who tries to escape loneliness in his golden age and embarks on a journey that brings romantic sadness and carefree joy.

Director of the film is Bogna Kowalczyk, who graduated from the Lodz Film School in Direction of Animation, and Boylesque is her feature documentary debut. Kowalczyk worked on the film with producers Tomasz Morawski, Katarzyna Kuczyńska of Polish HAKA FILMS, HBO (represented by Izabela Łopuch on Polish side and Hanka Kastelicová on Czech side) and Jakub Košťál & Vratislav Šlajer of Czech company Bionaut. The Czech Film Fund supported the project in minority co-production scheme with EUR 32 000.

Hot Docs' International Spectrum also gives floor to world premiere of American-Danish-Czech co-production documentary The Killing of a Journalist which focuses on a brutal murder of a young investigative journalist and his fiancée at their home in Slovakia. Their deaths inspire the biggest protests in the country since the fall of communism. The story takes an unexpected turn when a source leaks the secret murder case file to the slain journalist’s colleagues. It includes the computers and encrypted communications of the assassination’s alleged mastermind: a businessman closely connected to the country’s ruling party.

Matt Sarnecki is a producer and a filmmaker at the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), where he focuses on making of documentaries and investigation explainers. His documentary Killing Pavel, about the murder of investigative journalist Pavel Sheremet in Kyiv, Ukraine, won the Investigative Reporters and Editors Medal in 2017 and the DIG Award (Italy) in 2018.

The Killing of a Journalist is made as Danish-American-Czech co-production with Signe Byrge Sørensen of Final Cut for Real (Denmark) acting as main producer. Co-producers include Got Fat Productions (Denmark), OCCRP (USA) and Zuzana Kučerová of Czech company Frame Films. As a project in the making, The Killing of Journalist was backed by the CFF with EUR 36 000. World Sales are handled by Cinephil (Shoshi Korman).

Festival also included two Czech festival favourites in this year's edition. Both Musem of the Revolution and I Am Trying To Remember premiered at the IDFA last fall and in Toronto, both films will be screened in Northamerican premiere.

Feature documentary debut by Serbian director Srđan Keča, Museum of the Revolution, was made as Croatian-Serbian-Czech co-production and deals with incompleteness through the story of a never-finished Yugoslavian memorial and three marginalised people living in its basement.

The film, which is selected for the World Showcase section, is produced by Vanja Jambrovic of Restart (Croatia). Czech producer Lukáš Kokeš of nutprodukce (supported by the CFF with EUR 12 000) co-worked on the film with Serbian partners of Uzrok. World sales of the film are handled by Lightdox (Anna Berthollet).

In documentary short I Am Trying To Remember, Iranian actress and film director Pegah Ahangarani recalls her childhood in Iran through memories and a camera footage taken by a favourite family friend who took part in Iranian revolution, became a political prisoner and was later forgotten by his closest and erased from the family photograph.

The film, produced by Kaveh Farnam of Czech-based company Europe Media Nest, world-premiered at IDFA 2021 in the Competition for Short Documentary, and this time will enrich Hot Docs' Shorts section.

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