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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Czech Republic / Latvia

Tomáš Polenský’s The Pack starts filming

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- The Czech director prepares his fiction feature debut, a coming-of-age bullying drama

Tomáš Polenský’s The Pack starts filming
Tomáš Polenský (right) on the set of The Pack (© Deník Jan Karásek)

Filming has begun on The Pack, fiction feature debut from up-and-coming Czech director and FAMU graduate Tomáš Polenský, written by Irena Kocí. Set in the world of youth ice hockey, the story follows David, a 16-year-old goalkeeper who suffers from diabetes. He strives to succeed, but as an outsider in the team, he becomes a target of mounting bullying. “The injustice, humiliation and hurt keep piling up, one over the other, not unlike the spiraling scars etched into the ice by skate blades,” the film’s synopsis elaborates.

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“Rivalry is a natural part of all sports environments. That said, it must never leave the boundaries of fair play; if it does, healthy competitiveness can get out of hand, giving way to the ‘law of the pack’, with brute force becoming the only value,” says Polenský who himself spent 16 years playing ice hockey, adding “yet my own experience indicates that bullying often plays a role in youth sports organizations as well”. Polenský worked on documentary projects before, while serving as an editor and Director of Photography on other fiction and documentary projects. He is also finishing his documentary feature debut Instrument of War focusing on “stories of people for whom killing became a way to make their living” — professional soldiers.

Principal photography is currently underway and will last until August 28. Czech actor Tomáš Mrvík, who was nominated for a Best Actor Czech Lion award for his role in award-reaping film Winter Flies [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Olmo Omerzu
film profile
]
, will star in the film alongside Tomáš Dalecký, who has recently appeared in the romantic drama Scent of Oranges [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
. “The topic of the twisted world of the ‘law of the wolf pack’ is both contemporary as well as accessible to an international audience because bullying and hazing take place all over the world,” concludes the director.

The Pack is produced by 8Heads Productions and co-produced by Latvian company Ego Media, Moss & Roy, Sleepwalker, MagicLab, BBrental.eu and IS produkce. Czech Film Fund, National Film Centre of Latvia, Zlínsky kraj and Creative Europe MEDIA supported the project. The release is planned for Winter 2020. LevelK is handling international sales.

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