Czech and Slovakian films and projects heading to the Croisette
by Martin Kudláč
- Czech minority co-productions feature in the Cannes line-up, while a number of Slovakian projects have been included in the gathering’s industry programme
The Czech Republic will be represented both in the main competition and in Un Certain Regard at the upcoming Cannes Film Festival via two minority co-productions with France, both staged by Czech producer of French heritage Artemio Benki, of production outfit Sirena Film. The title in the main competition is Personal Shopper [+see also:
interview: Artemio Benki
interview: Olivier Assayas
film profile], the latest effort by Olivier Assayas, who is once again collaborating with US actress Kristen Stewart in a film described as “a ghost story from modern-day Paris’ world of fashion”. “We proved to be a good co-producer on the film Marguerite [+see also:
interview: Xavier Giannoli
film profile], whose French producer also produced two of Assayas’ earlier movies. So it is about building a good reputation but also about contacts… In addition to excellent locations, the incentives and support for minority co-productions from the State Cinematography Fund also helped,” says Benki about landing the project. Meanwhile, the debut feature by Stéphanie di Giusto, The Dancer [+see also:
film profile], set to screen in the Un Certain Regard section, revolves around Loïe Fuller, a dancer at the Folies Bergère music hall in Paris at the turn of the 20th century, who also provided inspiration for Toulouse-Lautrec and the Lumière brothers.
Cannes Classics will introduce the recently restored 4K version of Icarus XB 1 (also known as Voyage to the End of the Universe), the famous 1963 sci-fi film by Jindřich Polák, adapted from Stanislaw Lem’s novel The Magellanic Cloud. “We were captivated by the power of this unusual journey into the universe – a crusade for our mind and senses… The quality of the restoration work is high, and it is defined by a respect for historically important aspects of the film medium,” commented Gérald Duchaussoy, Cannes Classics coordinator. The French-American period drama Valmont by Czech filmmaker Miloš Forman has also been selected for the line-up, albeit representing France.
Besides the festival programme, movies from the Czech Republic will also be seen as market screenings at the Film Market. These include Petr Václav’s harrowing yet darkly comic parable We Are Never Alone [+see also:
interview: Petr Vaclav
film profile], starring Karel Roden; the feature debut Laputa [+see also:
film profile] by emerging director Jakub Šmíd, about the younger generations and their struggle to grasp adulthood; the feature-length animation Pat & Mat [+see also:
film profile] by Marek Beneš; the 3D family film Aldabra by Steve L Lichtag, which follows the fates of animals in a documentary style; and the Danish film Satisfaction 1720 [+see also:
film profile] by Henrik Ruben Genz, on which the Czech Republic served as a minority co-producer.
Projects from Slovakia can be found in the industry programme of the Film Market. At the Producers Network, Slovakian producers will bring works in development to the networking platform, such as Power, a political-psychological thriller directed by Mátyás Prikler and written by Marek Leščák, a Slovakian-Czech-Hungarian co-production about the “secret machinery of politics”; the coming-of-age tale Summer with Bernard by Martina Saková, which was presented earlier this year at Febiofest (read the report); Stand Up by Juraj Bohuš, a road movie revolving around three generations; the documentary Singing House, which zooms in on an infamous case of “social terrorism” perpetrated within the bounds of the law; Peter Bebjak’s upcoming project, the crime-thriller The Line, which is currently in pre-production; and Iveta Grófová’s long-awaited sophomore feature, She Is a Harbour, currently at the post-production stage. Doc Corner will also host several Slovakian titles, such as Difficult Choice, a documentary by acclaimed filmmaker Zuzana Piussi about the marketing strategies typically employed before elections; the docu-fiction Waiting Room by Palo Korec, an observation on various women and their fates; and Okhwan’s Mission Impossible (read the news), among others.