Nellis gearing up for Lidice
by Theodore Schwinke
16/03/2009 - Czech director Alice Nellis has cast Karel Roden in the main role of her upcoming film Lidice.
Roden last week received the Czech academy award for Best Actor for his performance in Filip Renc's Guard No. 47 [trailer]. Roden previously had been nominated for the award four times. He is known internationally for his baddie roles in such major films as RocknRolla [trailer], Hellboy and The Bourne Supremacy.
Based on a script by historian Zdenek Mahler, Lidice is a bit of a departure for Nellis. While her previous films have been intimate, and often humorous, character sketches, Lidicedeals with a grim historical event — the massacre of the Czech village of Lidice by German troops in 1942. Some are comparing the project to Andrzej Wajda's Katyn [trailer, film focus].
In the film, Roden will play a man who escapes the massacre only because he is in prison for murder. Other cast members include Zuzana Bydzovska (A Country Teacher [trailer, film focus]), Martha Issova (Night Owls) and Ivan Trojan (The Karamazovs [trailer]).
Planned as a Czech-Polish co-production, the project has a CZK 65m budget, CZK 20m of which comes from the Czech state film fund. Adam Dvorak of Bioscop is Czech producer. The film is also backed by public broadcaster Ceska televize and the Czech Ministry of Defence.
Producers are currently scouting locations and intend to begin shooting in autumn, with a planned release in autumn 2010.