by Martin Kudláč
- Cineuropa met up with the Czech Republic’s Producer on the Move, Tomáš Hrubý, of Nutprodukce, to discuss the evolution of the country’s market in recent years, among other topics
One name – Tomáš Hrubý – stands out behind successful Czech projects such as the miniseries Burning Bush [+see also:
film profile], which dominated the Czech Lion national film awards, the animated short satire Pandas, which won a prize at Cannes’ Cinéfondation, and the acclaimed documentary Show!.
Hrubý co-founded the production company Nutprodukce in 2009. He is currently co-producing a new project helmed by Agnieszka Holland, Game Count, based on the novel Drive Your Plough Over the Bones of the Dead by Polish writer Olga Tokarczuk, and is also producing a new documentary directed by Martin Krejčí, Silently Waiting, about Eva Olmerová, who is considered to be one of the most talented Eastern European jazz singers of all time.
Cineuropa: Last year was quite intensive and successful for you. Burning Bush was an unprecedented success at the Czech Lions and was primarily chosen to represent the Czech Republic at the American Academy Awards for Best Foreign Language Film. Pandas travelled the world’s festivals and snagged awards following its original success at Cinéfondation. Show! was praised equally by critics and the general public. How do you see the last year?
Tomáš Hrubý: I hope that the next will be even better.
Nutprodukce is a relatively small company, yet it has managed to grow rather fast in the domestic landscape. What is the current situation in the Czech market?
Honestly, I have no idea; the Czech market is for me an overly broad term. I do not know whether cinema is vanishing or not, although I know that now is a good time to make TV productions and that people are still going to the cinema – and, as in the last few years, they will come to the cinema to see a good film in ten years’ time.
How has the situation evolved over the last few years?
People are going to the cinema less than they used to, and thanks to piracy and the internet, fewer and fewer DVDs are being sold. In my opinion, producers are not able to be flexible on this, and there is also a lack of centralised places where Czech film could be available on VoD.
What are the pros and cons of the domestic environment?
Burning Bush was originally made as a miniseries, and the phenomenon of high-quality TV is quite common around the world. Will there be an ebb of talent and a refocusing on TV in the Czech Republic as well?
Certainly, but I would not call it an ebb.
What are the upcoming trends in Czech production?
More high-quality TV and more quality low-budget fan projects.
Besides working in the production company, you are also studying production at FAMU, the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague. How would you compare your formal education and your work experience?
As two completely different things.