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PREVIEW 2007 Czech Republic

High expectations as top brass return

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If 2006 was the year of expectations for Czech cinema, then 2007 should be the year of fulfillment. Twenty Czech films are scheduled for release between now and Christmas, with half of them being made by what is considered to be the country’s top brass of directors.

Jirí Menzel’s I Served the King of England [+see also:
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, an adaptation of Bohumil Hrabal’s same-name book, has a January 11 general release. The film, Menzel’s first in 12 years, was pre-released on three screens before Christmas in order to be included in the upcoming Czech Lion awards. According to industry sources the film has an outside chance of being selected for the Berlinale’s (February 8-18) competition section.

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The other highly anticipated releases have either spring or post-holiday season releases. Oscar winner Jan Sverák (Kolya, Dark Blue World) returns for his first feature in six years with Empties,as does Alice Nellis (Some Secrets) with Today.

After Holiday Makers, Czech box office’s biggest success story in 2006, Jirí Vejdelek returns this year with Roming, a satire about Roma people and roaming in Central Europe.

The last quarter of the year is reserved for the premieres of works by some of the country’s most active directors. In September, only a year after Beauty in Trouble, Jan Hrebejk will present Teddy Bear while in November Karel Janák (Snowboarders; Rafters) will hit back with his fourth feature film in three years, this time with a romantic comedy, Love For a Million.

Another film set for an autumn release is Juraj Jakubisko’s ambitious epic drama Bathory [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
about a chapter in the life of 16th century Hungarian Countess Elizabeth Bathory, credited as one of the world’s most notorious serial killers.

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