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Robert Sedláček • Director

Men in the Rut: The call of the wild

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Robert Sedláček  • Director

Men in the Rut is a comedy set in a remote village literally at the end of the road. To gain the prime minister's support in their quest to steer a highway through their town, the residents invite the political leader to an international deer-calling contest and ply him with slivovice. The local champion deer-caller is reluctant to compete, however, and the contest itself is threatened by a series of wacky misadventures.

Men in the Rut is Robert Sedláček's follow up to Rules of Lying, for which he won a Czech Lion for Best Screenplay in 2006. It was released last year in the Czech Republic by Bonton Film and in Slovakia by TatraFilm. The film screens in Karlovy Vary this summer as part of Variety Critics’ Choice: Europe Now!

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Charlemagne Youth Prize

Cineuropa: Tell us about the origins of the story. Where did the idea come from?
Robert Sedláček: Once I was at the real deer-calling championship of Europe and I got the idea that this contest was a metaphor of other exhibitions that consider themselves as world-known and crucial, like film festivals.

Mouřínov is a real town in southern Moravia. Why did you choose to set the film there?
Mouřínov is perhaps one of the only bigger villages in the Czech Republic where the road really ends. I know this village because I come from the countryside near there. The situations from the film are absolutely true. We shot there in the houses of local inhabitants and in the office of the mayor.

The contestants in the film are calling the red deer (Cervus elaphus). How did you produce these sounds?
The calls you hear in the film are produced by real people, many of them even directly in the scene as we filmed it.

Men in the Rut seems to be part of a long tradition of rural comedies which includes Jiří Menzel's My Sweet Little Village. Is this a fair comparison?
I do not distinguish the genre of rural comedies and I tried to create a different approach than Menzel used in My Sweet Little Village. I do not share his view and poetics.

In what films or filmmakers do you find inspiration?
I find inspiration in everything I see. Even things that I do not like and that are against myself. It would be useless to mention particular names.

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