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PRODUCTION Slovakia

Slovakian director Ivan Ostrochovský readying his promising sophomore feature, The Disciple

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- On the heels of his international breakthrough with his feature debut, Koza, the Slovak director is working on another ambitious project

Slovakian director Ivan Ostrochovský readying his promising sophomore feature, The Disciple
The Disciple by Ivan Ostrochovský

Slovakian documentarian-turned-fiction filmmaker and producer Ivan Ostrochovský enjoyed his international breakthrough with his fiction feature debut, Koza [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ivan Ostrochovský
film profile
]
, in 2015. At that time, Ostrochovský was already working on his sophomore feature, The Disciple, which has been in development since 2014 and is currently being produced. The final cut is expected to be finished later this year, with The Disciple eyeing a release in 2019. The film is being shot in black and white and in a 4:3 ratio, thus also marking a change in form compared to his feature debut. In addition, the director will be trading long takes for shorter takes lensed by Juraj Chlpík (Blind Loves [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
A Hole in the Head [+see also:
trailer
interview: Robert Kirchhoff
film profile
]
), abandoning the documentary feel of Koza. The co-writer of Ida [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pawel Pawlikowski
interview: Pawel Pawlikowski
film profile
]
, Rebecca Lenkiewicz, contributed to the script written by the director and Marek Leščák, while experienced Romanian actor Vlad Ivanov has been cast for the project.

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From a hybrid of fiction and documentary in Koza, Ostrochovský is now taking on a period fiction film set during the period of normalisation in Czechoslovakia. In 1980, two friends apply to study at a Roman Catholic seminary in order to escape the moral devastation of society in the communist regime. They soon discover that the seminary is controlled by Pacem im Terris, an organisation of clerics willingly collaborating with the regime. The director himself has revealed that The Disciple is a universal story about good and evil, not an observation of a life during normalisation. He also expects that the crime elements and the slightly controversial topic will attract a larger audience.

The Disciple is a co-production between Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Ireland and Romania, and in 2015 participated in the KVIFF’s Pitch & Feedback, Connecting Cottbus and Arras Days, where the project won the CNC Award for Best Project. The Slovak Audiovisual Fund, the Bratislava Self-Governing Region (Slovakia), the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic, the Czech Film Fund, Eurimages and the Romanian National Film Center have supported the project.

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