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Czech sci-fi comedy Mars to enter post-production soon


- The Czech film crew has been shooting the movie in a Mars simulator in the desert in Utah

Czech sci-fi comedy Mars to enter post-production soon
The Mars film crew at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival (© KVIFF)

Czech genre production is starting to fare better. The recently premiered horror-western The Greedy Tiffany [+see also:
film profile
 the feature debut by Andy Fehu, received a warm critical and audience reception, while Petr Jakl’s found-footage supernatural thriller Ghoul [+see also:
film profile
was released in the United States early this year. Another genre production is currently rolling – this time, it is a sci-fi comedy entitled Mars. The director and co-writer is Benjamin Tuček, who has been involved in an enormous variety of works, ranging from co-writing the war drama Protektor and Polski Film [+see also:
film review
film profile
to writing, directing and co-shooting the documentary Tantra, which takes a peek behind the curtain of tantric seminars, and The Plan, an investigative documentary on the value of public space.

Written by Tuček and Tereza Nvotová, Mars tells the story of a space commander trying to save the only Martian base, but since the space programme has run out of funding, he is forced to accept a proposition by a rich man who wants to get married on the Red Planet. The financial situation and NASA’s rejection of the mission, owing to it being too risky, force the commander to recruit Eastern European astronauts who have been through the theoretical training but lack any real experience. The film’s logline predicts that it will be “the mission that will grip the world”.

From April until May, the film crew was shooting in the Mars Desert Research Station simulator, located in Utah. “I came up with the idea for the story, and together, the architect Ondřej Doule and I submitted the project for a competition held by the Mars Society, and we won,” the film’s producer, Zdeněk Janáček, explains to Cineuropa. An additional shoot is currently scheduled for the autumn, due to take place in the Czech Republic just before the material is rushed into the editing room.

Janáček is producing the film for Nyasa Films International, a Prague-based non-profit organisation supporting the film education and self-expression of Malawian artists through cinema. Mars is his first non-African production. “I will soon turn 40, and I am starting to realise that I belong to the generation that will never see Mars. Politics rules over space and the Earth. The idea that future generations will watch our film on Mars, giggling, entertains me,” Janáček told Cineuropa, adding, “I did not want a film where space would play the role of the enemy. That’s why I like a line from the film: ‘If you love Mars, Mars won’t let you die’.”

The movie does not yet have a sales agent attached, although negotiations are under way. After its presentation at Works in Progress at the 50th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, “most of the negotiations were postponed until the film’s rough cut”, says the producer. This cut should be ready in spring 2016, while the film should hit domestic theatres in summer or autumn next year. 

Basque Cannes
Ex Oriente Film
Jihlava Film Fund

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