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Jan Kallista • Producer

“People are being overfed with grand spectacles”

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- Jan Kallista, of Czech outfit Film Kolektiv, reveals to Cineuropa the plans for his latest project, Restore Point

Jan Kallista  • Producer

Cineuropa met up with producer Jan Kallista, of Czech firm Film Kolektiv, to talk about his latest project, Restore Point, which will be the first feature-length outing for Robert HlozRestore Point is genre fare, which is currently underrepresented in Czech cinema.

Cineuropa: What stage is your project Restore Point at?
Jan Kallista
: We are currently at the stage where we have received a development grant from the Czech Film Fund and MEDIA, just one month ago in fact. Right now, we are getting ready for location scouting and preparing the casting sessions, and we are putting the finishing touches to the script. The discussions with the writers should continue until September. Since the project is, broadly speaking, a sci-fi, we are also working on some concept art, paving the way for how the film’s world should appear, the visuals and what the architecture will look like. We want to be as prepared as possible beforehand with our concept art. Our team has already visited the market in Hong Kong, and our project was picked from among 500 other projects, so we consider this a success. Now we have been selected for Frontières, the Canadian market.

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Since Canada is part of Eurimages now, and because our project is designed as a genre film, I would like to seek a co-production there – for example, having post-production done there would be great, since they have a well-developed system for supporting post-production in Canada. We could shoot part of the film in Central Europe, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia or Poland. Of course, if another European partner wants to come on board, such as Germany or Switzerland, we will not be bound by locations. So we could shoot here and do the post-production in Canada.

Do you also plan to shoot on sound stages?
The majority will be shot on location, since we will only be modifying the actual locations very slightly during post-production. Our project won’t be like The Fifth Element. The story is set in the near future, so there won’t be any major visual tweaks. If we found a suitable co-production partner, or perhaps if Barrandov Studios boarded the project, maybe we could build the film’s “recovery system” in a studio; however, given the budget, we will try to shoot as much material as possible on location. We do not have specific scenes in the story long enough to justify the building of set pieces, financially speaking. The story is not that location-specific; we are able to adapt to different environments, and the script works in many places.

What is the preliminary timeframe of your project looking like?
I would like to close development in the summer and simultaneously work on financing. In autumn, I would like to apply for production grants and minority support in co-producing countries – the Czech Republic, Slovakia and maybe Poland. And we should finish the financing next year and start pre-production in the middle of next year. If everything goes without any major hiccups, we could enter the production stage and principal photography next autumn. And then there will be at least six months of post-production. I have to say, though, that we have received positive reactions to our project, and we already have a couple of letters of intent from European companies, so the feedback has been good. 

What do you think the reason is for the positive feedback?
Now is the time to make this kind of genre film, which in our opinion is simple and humble, but one that still works with the audience. People are being overfed with grand spectacles.

Is Restore Point a speculative fiction?
You could call it speculative fiction or genre fiction. There is a bit of science, but we do not want to define our project as a science-fiction. We will aim for something between a Scandinavian vibe and Children of Men, although not set in a dystopian world. We want to make our fictional world as real as possible, reflecting how our world could look in 30 years’ time. We want to keep colder tones in the movie, but it will certainly be no Minority Report, as the main part of the story takes place outside the city, since it’s a crime-thriller. The technologies will be from the future, but we are not making a spectacle of them; mobile technology will be much more developed, and cars will be electric.

Many European projects are turning to transmedia storytelling. Is this also the case for Restore Point?
We do not think the classic multimedia model is suitable for our vision, but we might develop the story into an episodic narrative. The premise of the story enables it to be adapted into comic books or even videogames, but those are different projects requiring additional financing, and right now, we are focusing on the financing and the production of the film itself.

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