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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Czech Republic / Italy / Hungary / Slovakia

Cristina Grosan readying her sophomore feature, Ordinary Failures


- The psychological drama by the up-and-coming Romanian-Hungarian filmmaker sees the lives of the three protagonists turned upside down by a series of mysterious explosions

Cristina Grosan readying her sophomore feature, Ordinary Failures
Ordinary Failures by Cristina Grosan

Mysterious explosions rock a city in Cristina Grosan’s sophomore fiction feature, Ordinary Failures [+see also:
film review
interview: Cristina Grosan
film profile
, which is being prepared for a spring and summer 2021 shoot, in the wake of her feature debut, Things Worth Weeping For (see the news). The catastrophe acts as a catalyst, spurring on the three main protagonists, Hana, Silva and Tereza, each belonging to a different age group: a teenager, a thirtysomething and a sexagenarian. “The story connects three different characters through their will to do things differently. They use the explosions as an opportunity to change and to grow. They are stuck in their lives at this point,” explains the director. “But together with writer Klára Vlasáková, we shaped the story in such a way that it also reflects a greater overarching theme that we are interested in: accepting oneself, family relations, and challenging stereotypes,” she adds.

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Despite the dystopian premise, Ordinary Failures is a psychological drama that will combine an intimate, naturalistic depiction of the leading characters with wide shots of the city and its buildings – “Human, organic matter versus concrete, steel, large spaces,” Grosan specifies as she describes the visual approach. The film’s producer, Marek Novák, of Czech company Xova Film, confirmed that the project is currently at the beginning of the funding phase (the budget stands at €1.4 million), with the final version of the script ready. The cast and film crew are virtually confirmed. Ordinary Failures is expected to be finished in late 2021 or early 2022, in order to be ready for 2022 festival submissions.

The producer calls the movie “an unusual genre combination: it’s a psychological drama focusing on the three female characters, set against the backdrop of what may have looked like a dystopia before, but is more realistic today than ever”. Novák notes that the project is a strong international joint effort, as the Romanian-Hungarian director is shooting a Czech script in the Czech language with an international film crew, with Márk Győri serving as the director of photography and Anna Meller as the editor.

“For me, Ordinary Failures is essentially about dignity, kindness and a sense of belonging, and I believe these values are even more important in the world of the here and now,” explains Novák. The Czech Film Fund supported the script development in 2018, and the script won the Innogy Film Foundation Award in 2018 before Grosan boarded the project as a director. “I am convinced that the film will resonate equally with festival-goers and arthouse film lovers, as well as with high-end mainstream audiences,” concludes the producer.

Ordinary Failures is being produced by Czech company Xova Film, Italian outfit Rosamont (Marica Stocchi), Hungary’s Laokoon Filmgroup (Judit Stalter), which produced Grosan’s feature debut, and Zuzana Jankovičová and Monika Lošťáková, of Slovakia’s Super Film. The project was supported by the Czech Film Fund and the Friuli Venezia Giulia Audiovisual Fund, as well as Eurimages, Italy's MiBACT, Hungary's National Film Institute, Slovak Audiovisual Fund, Prague Film Fund, the Pilsen Region and is produced in collaboration with ARTE G.E.I.E. The sales agent is under negotiation, and Bontonfilm will handle domestic theatrical release. The production started on 28 June and wrapped on 17 August with the premiere planned in the first half of 2022. The budget is €1.6 million.

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