Three debut projects supported by the Czech State Cinematography Fund
by Martin Kudláč
- The Fund will support the three feature debuts with the most potential
The Czech State Cinematography Fund supports the domestic debut feature films of directors under the age of 35 where at least 50% of the expenses are covered by a Czech producer or co-producer. In the last call, the Fund received nine submissions for financial support, allocating a total of 6 million crowns (approximately €221 thousand). In evaluating the projects, the Fund takes several criteria into account, including whether or not the project contributes to developing quality and artistically and socially progressive Czech cinema, contributes to fortifying Czech cinema in an international context and lends support to the up-and-coming new generation of filmmakers. As debut projects are a special case, the Fund decided to adapt its selection criteria slightly for these. Since the submitted projects were not quite ready to enter the production phase, the potential, imaginativeness and personal means of support for the project were also taken into account.
In the end, three projects were announced to be receiving the financial backing of the Fund. Graduation piece Filthy by Slovakian-born FAMU student Tereza Nvotová, who already has acting and directing experience (in the case of the latter, of short and documentary films) under her belt, is one of them. Nvotová, who also co-penned the script for upcoming sci-fi comedy Mars (see news), is now getting ready to shoot her psychological drama about rape and the inner struggle of the teen protagonist with the trauma while the culprit “gains love from her close ones.” The project was praised for its authenticity and has received 2.5 million crowns (approximately €92 thousand) while the total budget is expected to reach 8.6 million crowns (approximately €317 thousand).
The second beneficiary is Adam Sedlák’s first feature, Domestic, about moral and physical breakdown. Sedlák has made several short films and earned his degree with 31-minute comedy L.H. (acronym for The Lord of Shits) which was nominated for best student film. The script for Domestic already won 250,000 crowns (around €9 thousand) at this year’s Film Foundation script competition. The story revolves around Roman, a domestic worker who’s in a second-division cycling team. Due to lack of funds, he trains by himself, starting by putting up an oxygen tent in his bedroom, which his wife considers an obstacle to conceiving a child. Soon, doping also enters the equation. The unconventional combination of drama and comedy was applauded for its atypical style and structure, uncommon in Czech cinema. Domestic has received funding of 2 million crowns (approximately €73.8 thousand) of the 3 million crowns (approximately €110 thousand) originally requested for its 6.5 million crown budget (approximately €240 thousand).
The lack of genre production in Czech cinema is made up for in part by the last project to have received funding, sci-fi film Overview, which follows the protagonist on a journey around the Moon and to the Sun. The Fund granted 1.5 million crowns (approximately €55 thousand) for the project although the filmmakers applied for 5 million crowns (approximately €184 thousand) to go towards the 20 million crown budget (approximately €738 thousand). Two other projects, The Absence of Closennes, which was written and is set to be directed by Josef Tuka, and Snowing by Kristina Nedvědová, scored enough points in the evaluation to be eligible for funding, but they were not granted support due to the limited funds available.