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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Slovakia

Marek Kuboš has a Secret to share

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- The experienced Slovakian documentarian is working on his first feature-length fiction outing

Marek Kuboš has a Secret to share
Director Marek Kuboš (© Art Film Fest)

Slovakian documentarian Marek Kuboš, who recently bade farewell to documentary filmmaking with the award-winning The Last Self-Portrait [+see also:
trailer
interview: Marek Kuboš
film profile
]
, which, as well as scooping other gongs, was victorious at the national Sun in a Net awards (see the news), is now making the leap to fiction filmmaking. Kuboš laid out the reasons why he might not make another documentary in his aforementioned cinematic love letter to documentary, and is joining the ranks of his peers who have traded documentary for fiction filmmaking. They include Marko Škop (Eva Nová [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marko Škop
film profile
]
, Let There Be Light [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Marko Škop
film profile
]
), Ivan Ostrochovský (Koza [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Ivan Ostrochovský
film profile
]
), Juraj Lehotský (Nina [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Juraj Lehotský
film profile
]
, Miracle [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
), Jaro Vojtek (Children [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
) and Peter Kerekes, who is also preparing his first fiction feature, Censor.

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Secret, as Kuboš’s film is titled, is described as a psychological and moral drama, and its aim is to “capture the journey of the soul of the protagonist, Jozef. His burning desire to unearth his wife’s secret will drive him to perform acts he could not imagine, let alone carry out,” reveals Kuboš, who is also writing the script, in the director’s statement. The writer-director is also producing via his own company, PSYCHÉ Film, which was behind his previous oeuvres. Kuboš is currently in the development phase, he confirmed to Cineuropa. He is working on the script while scouting locations and casting potential actors. He expects to have the final version of the script ready by March 2020. According to his early estimates, he may very well be able to enter production as soon as November 2020, and this phase could last until May 2021, while post-production could wrap by September 2021.

The roles on the creative team are also in the process of being filled. The cinematographer on Juraj Lehotský’s Nina and Miracle, Norbert Hudec, is poised to lens the film, while the editor on those movies, Radoslav Dubravský, who also cut Kuboš’s latest documentary, and scriptwriter-director-producer Tomáš Kaminský, who will serve as script consultant, have also boarded the project, Kuboš confirmed to Cineuropa. Ivan Ostrochovský (Koza, Velvet Terrorists [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
) and Albert Malinovský will act as executive producers. Ondřej Zach, former CEO of HBO Europe for CEE, described the project as “sidestepping the line of social dramas that have been prevalent in Slovakian film production for festivals in recent years. [The film] is based on the timeless dynamics of a subtle, personal family secret that is supposed to remain hidden in the life of a retired married couple on the fringes of society. Kuboš thus pays tribute to his film idols Kieślowski, Kurosawa, Tarkovsky, Buñuel, Bergman, Wilder and Wyler.”

Marek Kuboš has one more secret up his sleeve, though. The Last Self-Portrait was, in actual fact, not his swan song in the documentary field. He is using the footage of Slovakian documentarians that did not make the final cut of The Last Self-Portrait for a new project, +/- 90. The collective portrait is intended to “capture the soul of documentarians”, Kuboš told Cineuropa, and will feature 21 Slovakian documentary filmmakers. The movie will revolve around Kuboš’s peers from his generation (the so-called “Generation 90”), but also those coming before and after them. The director is currently in the midst of shooting more scenes and expects to have the final cut ready by autumn 2020.

Secret is being produced by Marek Kuboš’s company PSYCHÉ Film, and he is currently looking for co-producers in the Czech Republic and Poland. The Slovak Audiovisual Fund supported the development of the project to the tune of €29,400. The Association of Slovak Film Clubs will distribute the film on Slovakian soil, while negotiations with potential sales agents are under way.

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