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OSCARS 2007 Czech Republic

Svankmajer’s Lunacy in the race

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Jan Svankmajer’s feature film Lunacy (Sileni) is the Czech Republic’s official entry for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

The country’s Film and Television Academy announced its decision September 26, laconically adding that the "film got the majority of the votes [by Academy members]".

Svankmajer – who has described his film as a "philosophical horror with themes of total freedom, civilized repression and manipulation" – has long been an outstanding figure of Czech cinema, with thousands of dedicated fans at home and abroad. He is currently preparing his next project, Prezit svuj zivot (lit. "Surviving Your life"), a "psychoanalytical comedy about a man who lives two lives, one in real time and one in his dreams".

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Svankmajer based his idea of Lunacy on themes by Edgar Allan Poe and used original texts by the Marquis de Sade in his script.

Lunacy was co-produced by Athanor, Czech Television and Barrandov Studios. It was backed by both the Czech and Slovak Ministries of Culture as well as Eurimages.

The nominations for the Oscars are to be announced January 23 with the awards ceremony scheduled for February 25.

Lunacy producer Jaromir Kallista played down the film’s chances of a possible inclusion in the Oscar race but admitted that a possible nomination could help Svankmajer’s next project.

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