Hrebejk never rests, shoots sixth film in eight years
by Sakis Kontos
Even before his latest film Beauty in Trouble (Kráska v nesnazich) (see the making of)premiered in the Czech cinemas, a restless Jan Hrebejk is again on set, filming Teddy-bear (Medvidek), a comedy drama about three friends and their relationships. This is Hrebejk’s sixth feature in eight years, a record in the Czech film industry.
“I can easily shoot a film every year like Woody Allen but it is not me who is to ‘blame’ for that but Petr [Jarchovsky] who never stops writing and [producer] Ondrej Trojan who is capable of having a project up and running even when not all of the finance is in place…” says Hrebejk Trojan and his Total HelpArt company have been behind all of Hrebejk’s films since Pelisky in 1998; that was followed by Divided We Fall (Musíme si pomáhat) in 2000, Pupendo in 2003 (see the making of), Up and Down (Horem pádem)(see the making of) in 2004 and Beauty in Trouble last year, which is to open in Czech theatres next month.
Hrebejk’s comparison to Woody Allen does not end with the frequency in which they direct films. “Teddy-bear is a film about husband and wife relationships, where people talk a lot and the surface is very different from the things underneath it; a bit like [Allen’s] Hannah and Her Sisters”, explains Hrebejk, who co-wrote the script with his long-standing screenplay companion Jarchovsky. Two other Hrebejk loyals, Ana Geislerová and Jirí Machácek hold the main roles in the film; Natasa Burger, Roman Luknár, Tána Vilhelmová and Ivan Trojan are the rest of the cast.
Teddy-bear is produced by Total HelpArt in co-production with TV Nova and is supported by the cinema fund of the Czech Ministry of Culture. Filming will continue until the end of August with autumn and winter filming slots to follow. The premiere is planned for autumn next year.
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