Alice Nellis tries her hand at fairy tales
by Martin Kudláč
- For her next project, Alice Nellis will be adapting a Czech fairy tale for the silver screen
Among the projects receiving support from Eurimages is the upcoming film by Alice Nellis; the director succeeded in getting €280,000 for the development of her fairy-tale movie, Seven Ravens [+see also:
film profile]. Last year, Nellis made Revival [+see also:
interview: Alice Nellis
film profile], a comedy about a group of elderly rockers who try to revive their past fame as the Czech Rolling Stones. She is one of the few domestic female directors making high-profile films. Her previous movies have been very heavily imbued with femininity and topics related to parenting in the modern age (for example, in Mamas & Papas [+see also:
film profile], Little Girl Blue [+see also:
film profile] and Perfect Days).
The fairy-tale-in-the-making marks a shift towards a new genre for the director, which will also be a period production. The screenplay, written by the director herself, is mostly based on a fairy tale by 19th-century Czech writer Božena Němcová, as well as on works by the Brothers Grimm. The story revolves around Bohdanka, the daughter of a baker whose wife has cursed her seven sons, turning them into ravens in a sudden outburst of rage. The protagonist has the chance to undo the spell, thus saving her brothers. She encounters a number of characters, exposes past lies and puts lives back on track during her quest.
“My intention as a director is to shoot a classic fairy tale that relies on a strong design concept, bold and authentic acting, and a well-written script. We would like to make a film which could be seen by the whole family,” explained Nellis.
Shooting began in winter 2013 and will continue until spring this year. Besides having a top-quality screenplay, another important aspect is the use of epic scenery. This means that there will be a lot of location shooting in Czech and Slovak castles, villages and scenic towns in order to capture the best of local mountains, forests and reefs, as nature also plays an important role in the film. The budget is estimated at €1.85 million, and the project is being produced by Ester Honysová of Honys Motion and co-produced by Slovakia’s Et Cetera Group/Attack Film. The premiere is tentatively planned for winter 2014, with Bontonfilm handling distribution.