In this year’s second call, the Fund supported three films: Il Boemo, Forest Killer (Lesní vrah) and The Diplomat (Die Diplomatin) and distributed a total amount of CZK 5.1 million from the endowment fund among the three films. The Prague Film Fund, established as an endowment fund by the Prague City Council, provides grants to both films and series. The essential condition of the endowment fund remains unchanged: Prague in films or series must be portrayed as herself and applicants must ensure international distribution of their projects.
All projects submitted in the second 2019 call were feature films and Czech co-productions. The genres of submitted projects ranged from period biography through contemporary dramas to comedy. “The diversity and quality of the projects prove the film industry is increasingly aware of the Fund’s activities, which actively support the promotion of Prague locally as well as internationally,” said Hana Třeštíková, the Prague councillor for culture, monument care, exhibitions and tourism.
The Administrative Board chose three projects to support: Petr Václav’s Il Boemo received the highest grant of CZK 3.5 million. This period drama about Josef Mysliveček, a native of Prague and one of Europe’s most important opera composers during the second half of the 18th century, portrays Prague as the artist’s muse and life-long inspiration.
“As a child, Josef Mysliveček lived in Sova’s Mills and later took over the mill, located near the western end of Charles Bridge. About 240 years later I used to go to a house opposite the mill for violin and piano lessons. Sova’s Mills were also my favourite landmark, which I observed from the windows of the film academy. When I worked on the screenplay about Mysliveček’s life in Paris and Rome many years later, I was convinced that our common Vltava background would help me understand his character and his journey to Italy,” said Petr Václav on the project he has been working on for more than ten years.
Il Boemo is a Czech-Slovak-Italian co-production and received significant financial support from the Czech State Fund for Cinematography, as well as grants from the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage MiBAC and several Italian regional film commissions.
The minimalist drama Forest Killer (Lesní vrah)by director Radim Špačekis the second supported film. It maps the last year of Viktor Kalivoda’s life, the “forest killer” who shot dead three people in 2005. Oleg Mutu, cameraman of the Romanian New Wave (4 months, 3 weeks, 2 days, United States of Love, Donbas ) will also contribute to the film’s creation. “Architect Jaroslav Otruba insists that the visual appearance of the Prague Metro is essential for the film. During the location scounting of Prague’s subway, the DOP Oleg Mutu, was particularly impressed with the Metro’s A line,” said the film’s screenwriter and producer Zdeněk Holý.
The film aspires to enter the broader European cinema scene by stepping away from the typical Czech production style. The timeless theme of “the evil in each of us” transcends the boundaries of Czech provincialism and strives to reach European audiences. The film received an endowment grant of CZK 800,000.
The same amount was awarded to the German television film series The Diplomat (Die Diplomatin). The Accident is the fifth film in the crime series, and the third taking place in Prague, where the main protagonist Karla becomes the German ambassador. As in previous episodes, her job will lead her to investigate a crime.
The popularity of the Diplomat series, broadcast by the ARD, is evidenced by a high viewership in Germany – the premiere of the last episode was seen by 6.5 million viewers (22 % share of the total viewership in Germany at the time).
New project applications can be submitten between 15 January and 15 February 2020. More information on the first 2020 call here (in Czech).