30 March 2022
In the first months of 2022, the Czech Film Fund granted the support for development of fiction features and for development of documentary films. New pieces are being prepared by Agnieszka Holland, Julius Ševčík, Beata Parkanová, Petr Vaclav, Helena Třeštíková or Martin Páv. Furthermore, End of the World, the feature project by Ivan Zachariáš, received support from the Eurimages Fund.
In the first development call of the year, the Czech Film Fund supported 10 fiction features, including two highly ambitious biopics about prominent figures of the Czech past. Directed by Agnieszka Holland, Kafka is planned as a Czech-Irish co-production, with Šárka Cimbalová of Prague’s Marlene Film Production as main producer. The film, which received EUR 40 000 from the CFF and was recently presented within the Berlinale Co-Production Market, will be a dazzling kaleidoscope that dramatizes the famous writer’s life and imagination in a series of stand-alone vignettes spanning Kafka’s life.
Julius Ševčík is preparing a sequel to the award-winning film A Prominent Patient (12 Czech Lion Awards, 2016) that focuses on the important Czechoslovak politician and ambassador, Jan Masaryk. Working under the title A Prominent Patient 2, the filmmakers will focus on the final period of Masaryk's life, starting woth the rise of the communists in Czechoslovakia and ending with Masaryk's still unexplained death. Rudolf Bierman’s company IN Film Praha was granted the highest amount in this call, EUR 49 200.
The support EUR 34 000 received Jan Vejnar’s Head Nurse, produced by Kamila Dohnalová of Last Films, which was last fall awarded at Thessaloniki’s Agora and took part in our Czech Film Springboard Programme. A story presenting the serious topic of the disease of Czech health care system is written in the form of a dark comedy. Another promising young director, Adam Sedlák, takes a closer look at another pressing topic of these times – cases of sexual violence in the privileged environment of Czech politics and the legal system. Close Friends, supported by the amount of EUR 32 000, is produced by Jakub Jíra of Shore Points who also worked on Sedlák’s debut, Domestique (2018) and his upcoming second feature BANGER. (2022).
While director Beata Parkanová, in collaboration with producer Tomáš Hoffman (INFINITY PRAGUE), will follow the fate of two colleagues travelling together in the Bulgarian mountains in the project A Cry as a Beautiful Song (granted EUR 36 000), documentary filmmakers Lukáš Kokeš and Klára Tasovská will focus on the story of a family stranded on their way home from a holiday abroad. For their first fiction feature project, which is being prepared under the title The Road (Silnice), Lukáš Kokeš of established Czech company nutprodukce received amount EUR 31 600.
The Council of the CFF also supported three films that thematize the relationship between parents and their children in different ways. In Animal (Zvíře), director and scriptwriter Milada Těšitelová tells a of a young woman who tries so hard to conform to the demands of society that she finally gives birth to a child – a cat. Producer Julie Žáčková of Unit and Sofa received EUR 38 000 for the development of the film. While Nora (granted EUR 37 200), directed by Martin Krejčí and produced by nutprodukce, follows a woman whose new-born child changes her plans of escaping from the prison, Dance with a Bear deals with the difficult decision of parents to bring a child with Down syndrome into the world. The project, supported with EUR 28 000, is directed by Jitka Rudolfová and produced by Jindřich Motýl of LUMINAR FILM.
Last but not least, Matěj Paclík of Breathless Films (granted EUR 34 000) joins forces with FAMU student Marie Antoňáková to produce her debut There Is Something Between Us, which focuses on everyday hardships of millennials.
In February, the Council of the CFF distributed among the projects the full amount (EUR 77 000) allocated in this call. The supported projects include new docs by Helena Třeštíková, Petr Vaclav, Martin Páv, Johana Ožvold or Apolena Rychlíková.
World-famous auteur, Petr Vaclav, ventures into documentary waters to focus on both cosmic and terrestrial migration and the future of humanity. Up (Nahoru), produced by Jan Macola of Mimesis Film, received the highest amount in this call, EUR 22 000. And another celebrated auteur, Helena Třeštíková, prepares yet another promising documentary, Bára B. A time-lapse film depicting thirty-five years in the life of working emancipated woman, a singer and a mother – Bára Basiková, is produced by Kateřina Černá and Pavel Strnad of Negativ (supported with EUR 14 400).
Another 3 documentary films will also be made about other Czech personalities of various professional backgrounds – Helena Všetečková will shoot a story of a deceased legendary filmmaker Karel Vachek (project Vachek is produced by Radim Procházka of Kuli Film and granted EUR 18 000), Tereza Daniell Adámková and Tomáš Pertold of Perfilm are preparing The Glass Room (Skleněný pokoj) about a prominent Czech politican Olga Richterová, and Hana Pinkavová will tell a story of Czechoslovak climber Dina Štěrbová – Close to the Sky (Blízko nebe) is produced by Viktor Schwarcz of Cineart TV Prague and received the amount of EUR 20 000.
While in Removed Motherhood, director Apolena Rychlíková and producer Lukáš Kokeš of nutprodukce (granted EUR 16 000) bring a look at one of the most controversial and at the same time most taboo parts of Czech modern history - the forced sterilization of Roma women, Martin Páv and Jan Bodnár of Media Voice will tell the story of a Roma community living on the fringes of society and determined by their environment, without opportunities, without chances, who nevertheless try to help each other and dig themselves out of the worst. Dajori – The Last Station (Dajori – konečná stanice) received EUR 14 000.
In Hunt the Invisible (Lovit neviditelné), Johana Ožvold follows a man who interprets the environmental crisis as a crisis of the senses caused by inattention (Jakub Košťál of Bionaut received EUR 16 000 for development), Tomáš Klein focuses on research/experimentation in palliative care and administration of psychotropic substances in Advanced Death (Smrt nanečisto). Producer Kristýna Michálek Květová of Cinémotif Films was also granted EUR 16 000 for development of the film.
Last but not least, Ondřej Šálek teams up with Marek Novák of Xova Film to focus on cyberbullying in Sick with Freedom (Nemocni svobodou, EUR 13 800), and director Marcel Halcin and producer Ondřej Lukeš of Breathless Films (EUR 11 800) follow in What Burdens You, Dear Boy? (Co tě tíží, chlapče milý?) a story of a man who seriously injured three men in a fight. One of the causes of the incident was his post-traumatic stress disorder, which is a result of his military deployment in Iraq.
Later in March, the Board of the Management of the Eurimages Fund agreed to support a group of minority co-productions, and this time, one Czech film appears among the supported projects.
Ivan Zachariáš stands behind Czech-Slovak co-production drama End of the World, which tells an original story of Uncle Igor, a son of Russian aristocrats, and his 9-year-old grandson Tonda, taking place during complicated times around 1968. The project, which is produced by Martin Růžička & Jindřich Motýl of LUMINAR FILM, was supported by the Eurimages fund with EUR 276 000.
10 October 2022