The Czech Republic picks Home Care for the Oscars race
by Martin Kudláč
- The feature debut by Slávek Horák has been chosen as the Czech nomination for Best Foreign-language Film
The Czech Film and Television Academy has selected Slávek Horák’s feature debut, Home Care [+see also:
interview: Slávek Horák
film profile], from among 39 fiction, documentary and animated features as the country’s Oscar nod for the 88th Academy Awards. Contrary to expectations, the critically acclaimed social dramedy The Snake Brothers [+see also:
interview: Jan Prušinovský
film profile] by Jan Pružinovský, which was also longlisted for the 28th European Film Awards and was the favourite candidate for the Oscar nomination, ended up as the academy members’ second choice.
“Slávek Horák has had opportunities that no one else has had for a long time. After Karlovy Vary, an unprecedented number of film festivals were interested in his film. The reactions of the Americans that saw Home Care prove that the theme itself has the potential to connect with viewers; in addition, foreign reviews have been very positive,” said Tatiana Detlofson, who promotes European cinema on the other side of the Atlantic, before the academy revealed its choice. Home Care is the story of selfless nurse Vlasta, who puts the wellbeing of the patients entrusted to her before her own needs. A sudden twist of fate in Vlasta’s life prompts a change, and she has to come to terms with her own mortality. Itis a surprisingly uncomplicated, yet very effective, humane drama that is not solely about dying.
“The international response to the film proves that Home Care can communicate really well with its audience all over the world. From the very beginning, this was our aim – to tell an emotional story that would be set in a typical local (Moravian) setting (exotic for the rest of the world), and still it would be universally understandable. I wanted to create a strong story with lots of moving and funny moments, a film that would make the audience feel they should live better, more intense lives and see more things around them,” explained the director.
Home Care was world-premiered at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, where Alena Mihulová, the film’s female lead, won the Best Actress Award. It has been picked as one of the candidates for the Flash Forward Audience Award in Busan, where it will have its international premiere, and has also been picked by festivals in Vancouver, Mannheim, Los Angeles, Haifa, Luxembourg, Spain, France, Estonia, Egypt and Croatia.
The film was produced by TVORBA Films in co-production with Fog ‘n’ Desire Films, Czech Television, Svoboda&Williams and Slovakian outfit Sokol Kollár. Financial support was provided by the Czech State Cinema Fund and the Slovak Audiovisual Fund. Domestic distribution is handled by A-Company Czech.