REPORT: Girls in Film Works in Progress @ Febiofest Prague 2020
- We give an overview of the works in progress presented thanks to an online initiative orchestrated by the 27th Prague International Film Festival – Febiofest and the Girls in Film platform
After the ongoing coronavirus pandemic prompted the postponing of the 27th Prague International Film Festival – Febiofest (see the news), the organisers decided to move forward with the industry showcase online. The festival joined forces with the Girls in Film platform (see the news) to present new works by the emerging generation of female directors to international film professionals. Below is an overview of those works.
After the Magician – Lea Petříková (Czech Republic)
Artist and filmmaker Lea Petříková, a FAMU graduate who is also pursuing a PhD at the Prague Film School, recently finished her experimental short film After the Magician. The movie explores the topics of invisibility, magic and dreams as it re-narrates a lost film by surrealist Alice Rahon, Le Magicien (1947), about a magician who was given the task of creating a new human after the world had been destroyed by a nuclear war. After the Magician merges a surrealist film with contemporary art while thematising the circumstances of the movie’s production in the broader context of an essay about attaining invisibility. The picture is being produced by Tomáš Pertold, of Prague-based production company Perfilm, and co-produced by the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague and the FILMTALENT ZLÍN Foundation. The film world-premiered at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, on 26 February this year.
Every Single Minute – Erika Hníková (Czech Republic/Slovakia)
The collaboration between Czech independent producer Jiří Konečný and documentarian Erika Hníková continues after the documentaries The Beauty Exchange and The Matchmaking Mayor with their latest project, Every Single Minute. Hníková closely followed a Slovakian married couple who have been conducting an experiment on their four-year-old son, Miško. According to the synopsis, ”The Hanuliaks dedicate literally every single minute of their lives to the physical and mental priming of their son. They alternate training and exercise in an almost machine-like rhythm. The film captures these efforts for the duration of one year and, through raw scenes from the Hanuliaks' family life, raises a stream of questions regarding the meaning of parenting in today’s society as well as the one-way focus on performance and the possible 'robotisation' of one’s life.” Every Single Minute is being co-produced by Slovakian outfit Punkchart Films; the Czech Film Fund and Slovak Audiovisual Fund supported the movie, which should be finished by March 2020.
Francek – Natálie Císařovská (Czech Republic)
After the docudrama Around Milena Jesenska, filmmaker Natálie Císařovská is working on a feature-length fiction film based on the true story of Andrea Absolonová, The Body (read the report), while also managing to finish a short docu-fiction bearing the title Francek. The story revisits the early years of Czech painter and graphic artist František (François) Kupka, a pioneer and co-founder of the abstract art movement and Orphic Cubism. Císařovská describes the film as, “genre-wise, classifiable as magical realism. We are working a lot with visual poetics, but it is not lacking in humour. The sculptures come to life, the dead speak, and earthly time is somehow open to mythical timelessness. A hypersensitive person, an individual, relates to the landscape, the environment, the world and the cosmos. The story takes place over 100 years ago, but the themes of the movie are the process of a boy growing into a man, and acquiring self-knowledge, self-awareness of his own path and a personality, which are still current topics today.” Klára Belicová, the DoP on Around Milena Jesenska, is also lensing Francek. Katěrina Traburová, of Czech company LaDamplinque, is staging the film, with Guru Film co-producing. The project has been supported by the towns of Dobruška, Jaroměr and Opočno, the Hradec Králové region, the Kodl Gallery and the FILMTALENT ZLÍN Foundation. The film’s completion date was set for February 2020.
Things Worth Weeping For – Cristina Grosan (Hungary)
“Sometimes, escaping a perfect life and starting over with no plans at all is the most mature thing you can do,” is the logline of the first feature-length offering by Hungarian-Romanian filmmaker and visual artist Cristina Grosan, Things Worth Weeping For (see the news). Grosan is simultaneously working on her sophomore feature, Ordinary Failures, produced by Czech outfit Xova Film (read the report). Her debut, which was shot in Hungary last year, is billed as a millennial quarter-life crisis dramedy. The discovery of a dead relative in her apartment prompts the protagonist, Maja, portrayed by Nóra Rainer-Micsinyei, to rethink her life and her expectations, leading her to make a fresh start. Hungarian outfit Laokoon Filmgroup, known for the award-winning Holocaust drama Son of Saul [+see also:
Q&A: László Nemes
interview: László Rajk
film profile], is producing Grosan’s feature debut, which has been supported by the Hungarian National Film Institute’s Incubator programme.
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