PRODUCTION / FUNDING Slovakia / Czech Republic
Jakub Kroner steps into the dark world of an infamous Slovakian mafia boss in Miki
- The first phase of shooting has wrapped on the gritty 1990s-set thriller, inspired by the true story of the most feared head of the Slovakian underworld
Young Slovak director Jakub Kroner has wrapped the first phase of shooting on his latest feature-length project, Miki. Kroner rose to prominence with the genre efforts Lóve and Bratislavafilm, and was also behind the feature-length irreverent, animated comedy for adults LokalFilmis [+see also:
film profile]. Recently, he helmed the rom-coms Happy New Year and And a Happy New Year 2, which became box-office hits (see the news).
Kroner’s early films centred on people on the fringes of society. “This genre is very close to my heart. Miki is an opportunity for me to make a movie about an anti-hero, the boss of organised crime in the 1990s,” says the director about his project, which is inspired by true events. The combination of genre cinema and true events seems to be a winning formula when it comes to making local box-office smashes. Films like Kidnapping [+see also:
film profile] and Scumbag [+see also:
film profile] are two such examples, while The Line [+see also:
interview: Andrey Yermak
interview: Peter Bebjak
film profile] and, most recently, Mátyás Prikler’s Power (see the news), which premiered at IFFR, have successfully managed to travel the international festival circuit.
Mikuláš Černák was a notorious figure in Slovakia's criminal underworld during the 1990s. He rose from humble beginnings to become a powerful and feared mafia boss, known for his ruthless tactics and violent behaviour. His legacy still looms large over the country's criminal history, and his crimes are still being investigated. Černák is serving a life sentence for a variety of offences, including several murders of his former partners and rivals.
Slovak scriptwriter Miro Šifra – who has penned successful crime projects, such as the television series Rats and Redl, the film The Red Captain [+see also:
film profile], and the upcoming Dawn (see the news) and The Attachment Theory (see the news) – wrote the script. Šifra researched the subject carefully and consulted directly with Černák. Miki will focus on the protagonist’s rise to prominence and the process by which a bus driver from a small village became the head of the most feared mafia group in the country. The film will be a thriller teetering between biopic and true crime. “I did not want to build a cult out of his personality, and nor did I want to justify his actions. However, I approached him without judgement – because I wanted to understand what his story says about Slovakia, in which I myself grew up,” reveals the writer.
Shooting will continue throughout the year, and the domestic theatrical release is preliminarily set for May 2024. The main character will be played by Slovak actor Milan Ondrík (Let There Be Light [+see also:
interview: Marko Škop
interview: Milan Ondrík
film profile]). The cast also includes domestic thesps including Dušan Cinkota, Gregor Hološka, Michal Kubovčík, Martin Nahálka, Anna Javorková, Rebeka Poláková and others. “The story of the former boss of the Slovak underworld, Mikuláš Černák, is an innate part of the history of Slovakia in the 1990s. They were years during which the ability to assert oneself at any cost became synonymous with success – both in and out of politics. And those who unscrupulously climbed to the top have been admired in Slovakia for three decades. They became ‘role models’. That is why it is necessary to talk about the 1990s, because the profound crisis in today's society has its roots in those years,” says Slovak producer Zuzana Mistríková, the head of Slovakian production outfit PubRes.
Miki is being produced by Mistríková for PubRes, and co-produced by Radovan Gerek (Regia Civitas Productions) and David Blümel (Czech company Europeana Production). The Slovak Audiovisual Fund has supported the project.
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