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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Czech Republic / Slovakia

Czech filmmaker Andrea Culková sets out to explore The Fragile Beauty of Masculinity

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- An “ordinary, middle-aged couple” will be at the core of the first fiction feature by the Czech director, who has so far only helmed documentaries

Czech filmmaker Andrea Culková sets out to explore The Fragile Beauty of Masculinity
Script consultant Suzanne Pradel and director Andrea Culková (© bookscout)

The Eastern Promises industry strand of this year’s Karlovy Vary International Film Festival hosted the MIDPOINT Feature Launch 2020 workshop, where the sole domestic project was the fiction feature The Fragile Beauty of Masculinity by Andrea Culková, a helmer who, so far, only has documentary films under her belt (Sugar Blues [+see also:
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, H*art on). In her new outing, Culková sets out to explore the crisis of masculinity, which, as the film’s producer Miroslav Novák notes, would not be possible without also looking at femininity.

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“My story touches on an ordinary, middle-aged couple. While Adam’s basic desire is to be a ‘virile man’, he is also struggling with the need for sensitivity and responsibility. Iva’s role as an ‘angel’ is also challenged, and she has to learn to set boundaries and accept her own inabilities. My intention is to identify with both characters equally and shift from one side to the other. The film’s dark humour contrasts with the events in the story,” comments the director. The plot revolves around a married couple and their relationship, which starts shifting following Adam’s adrenaline-fuelled exploits.

The director attended a scriptwriting residency by the European Women’s Audiovisual Network in order to hone the screenplay in 2018, under the guidance of experienced script consultant Suzanne Pradel. The Fragile Beauty of Masculinity was picked for the annual Czech showcase of interesting domestic works in progress, Czech Film Springboard, in 2019 (see the report). Following the event, Slovak producer Katarína Krnáčová, of Silverart, boarded the project, while a collaboration with Norwegian producer Gary Cranner, of Chezville, has also been established. The project has also transformed from its original form as a documentary film into a fiction feature.

The script will continue to be fine-tuned during the MIDPOINT Feature Launch programme. Czech producer Miroslav Novák, of Duracfilm, revealed that he plans to secure €850,000 for the production. The movie is planned as a three-country co-production with Slovakia and Norway, and with an international film crew on board.

Given that the director has been actively engaged in environmental topics (she is working on a series of documentaries called Love & Rage, mapping the Extinction Rebellion movement), the producers intend to make The Fragile Beauty of Masculinity in an environmentally sustainable manner, especially as Katarína Krnáčová already has experience with green shooting (see the news).

The release date is preliminarily set for 2022.

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