Czech project ’Merican Chick wins top screenwriting prize
by Martin Kudláč
- The Krzysztof Kieslowski ScripTeast Award for the Best Eastern and Central European Script went to Czech duo Viktor Tauš and Evita Naušová at Cannes
Czech film director, screenwriter and producer Viktor Tauš and his screenwriting colleague Evita Naušová won the top prize in the ScripTeast programme at Cannes, for the film ’Merican Girl. The story revolves around a defiant circus girl in the 1980s who is kidnapped from the USA and taken back to communist Czechoslovakia. The project follows in the thematic footsteps of recent Czech titles scrutinising life under the oppressive communist regime, such as Andrea Sedláčková’s Fair Play [+see also:
film profile]. The last film that Tauš not only produced but also directed, Clownwise [+see also:
film profile], featured a reunion between three friends that used to perform as clowns in communist Czechoslovakia. One of them returns to Prague after having been away for years, in order to bring the gang back together for one last performance. The film was nominated for the national awards in eight categories, winning Best Supporting Actor.
The ScripTeast Advisory Board praised the script of ’Merican Girl for its “ring of authenticity, as well as presenting an entertaining and ultimately life-affirming account of a teenager’s search for freedom during the 1980s. The main character, a defiant circus girl, is a memorable creation who refuses to give in to the oppressive institutions and society she has to endure back in communist Czechoslovakia after being kidnapped from her freewheeling life in America. The script offers a thoughtful examination of life before the Velvet Revolution, as well as the promise of an exhilarating cinematic odyssey.” ’Merican Girl is also intended for worldwide audiences.
Tauš currently has his hands full, as he is developing two projects: firstly, the feature debut by Michal Kollár, The Red Captain [+see also:
film profile], is a thriller about the malpractice of the Secret Police in blackmailing the Church, set against the backdrop of the dissolution of Czechoslovakia. The film is based on a novel by bestselling Slovak writer Dominik Dán. The second project, under the working title The Gardening, will be a family-orientated saga split into three features by screenwriter Petr Jarchovský and director Jan Hřebejk, and should mark a return to the quality of their best works, the critically and publicly acclaimed Divided We Fall (which won six national awards and was nominated for an Oscar) and Cosy Dens (awarded at Karlovy Vary).
The Krzysztof Kieslowski ScripTeast Award for the Best Eastern and Central European Script is bestowed each year upon the best screenplay. In this year’s close competition, the Advisory Board also highlighted another project: the Special Mention went to the Romanian script for Life Beats Reality, written by Andreea Valean, for “its anarchic style, originality and unflinching honesty in telling the unique story of a filmmaker using a camera to save his family”.