Three fresh talents for Forum
Three films from the Czech Republic and Slovakia selected for the Forum sidebar of the Berlinale (February 10-20) – two of them directorial debuts – explore the stress on personal lives caused by economic or political constraints.
Matchmaking Mayor examines a single-handed attempt to boost birth rates in a Slovak village. The mayor of Zemplínské Hámre tries to save his community by offering financial awards to the parents of newborns and exhorting residents, via the village's public-address system, to make babies. Matchmaking Mayor explores the themes of poor planning which were at the center of director Erika Hníková's previous films The Beauty Exchange and I Guess We'll Meet at the Eurocamp. The Czech-Slovak coproduction is produced by Endorfilm and distributed by CinemArt.
The House is an intimate drama about intergenerational conflict. An unfulfilled architect is building a house for his 17-year old daughter, hoping to convince her to stay in their home town. Debut director Zuzana Liová's script for The House received the Krzysztof Kieslowski ScripTeast Award in 2007. A Czech-Slovak co-production, the film is produced by Fog’n’Desire Films and stars Miroslav Krobot and Taťjana Medvecka.
Eighty Letters is another debut which tells the story of a divided family. Producer-director Václav Kadrnka based the story on his own memories of growing up in the late Socialist era. After a man emigrates to England, his wife and child plan to join him. The film's events, seen from the boy's perspective, take place over the course of a single day.
Also in Berlin, visitors to the European Film Market will find an additional four Czech films: Little Knights' Tale, sold by NonStop Sales; Kooky [+see also:
film profile], represented by Fandango Portobello Sales; 3 Seasons in Hell [+see also:
film profile], sold by The Yellow Affair; and Walking Too Fast [+see also:
interview: Radim Spacek
film profile], produced by Bionaut FIlms. Simply Cinema will also present a trailer for their upcoming release Leaving, directed by former Czech President Václav Havel.
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