Production fever reaches new heights
by Sakis Kontos
With 23 films currently in production or post-production and 31 scripts in development, the following two years could prove a turning point for the Czech film industry. This briefly sums up the presentation of forthcoming domestic projects made during a Czech Film Centre panel before foreign industry professionals at the Finále – Festival of Czech Films (April 23-28).
Not all of the country’s top brass agreed to present their films to the panel, however. Commercially successful directors such as Filip Renc, who is shooting his latest feature, Na vlastni nebecpeci (lit." At your own risk"), in the Czech Republic and the Balkans and Jan Hrebejk, who is currently considering filming not one but three as yet unspecified projects opted to stay away, knowing that they hardly need such an event to attract investors or filmgoers to cinemas.
Still, the message was clear: if all goes according to plan the country could soon be producing an average of 25 features a year, up from the current 20. The average movie budget remains between €800,000 and €1m.
Except for the almost guaranteed audience interest in Renc’s or Hrebejk’s projects, industry insiders believe that at least half a dozen of the films presented in Pilsen could have a serious impact at the box office within the next 24 months.
These should include: Tobruk, a war drama by Václav Marhoul; Saxana, the film version of one of the most successful TV Series ever, by Václav Vorlicek; Goat Story – Stories of Old Prague (Kozí príbeh – povesti staré Prahy), an animated feature in the spirit of Hungarian hit District by Jan Tománek; Kajínek, the story of real-life celebrity criminal, by Ivan Fila; Country Teacher (Venkovský ucitel) by award-winning director Bohdan Slama (Something Like Happiness [+see also:
interview: Bohdan Slama
interview: Pavel Strnad
film profile]); and Return of Angels (Návrat andelu) by Robert Sedlacek (Rules of Lies).
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