Three Czech films at Berlinale

Three Czech films in this year’s official Berlinale programme

Prague, 14 January 2016 – Three Czech films were selected for the official programme of the International Film Festival Berlinale (11 – 21 February 2016) and Czech project will be presented at the Berlinale Co-Production market. The Czech Film Center is once again a partner of the festival and the official presenter of Czech cinematography at Berlinale.

There are only a few weeks left before the beginning of the 66th annual Berlinale. The festival is gradually revealing its programme, bringing moments of tension and joy to the Czech filmmakers who sent in their films this year. But now all has been revealed in terms of Czech participation. Three films were chosen for the official programme: We Are Never Alone (Forum), I, Olga Hepnarová (Panorama) and In Your Dreams! (Generation 14+).

This year the festival’s prestigious Panorama, which last year presented the Czech documentary film Daniel’s World by Veronika Lišková, chose the drama I, Olga Hepnarová for its programme. The film, from the screenwriting/directing duo Tomáš Weinreb and Petr Kazda, arose as a four-sided co-production (Czech Republic, Poland, Slovakia, France). The filmmakers chose a controversial theme for their debut – the true story of a Czech murderess who, in 1975, was the last person to receive the death penalty in the Czech Republic.

“We fought the most against scepticism. We had to constantly justify that we did not want a film about a mass murderer, but rather an existential drama. We had to keep telling people that we were not looking for sensation, that we were not looking to adore a mass murderer, but that we are interested in a perspective on one person and her turbulent fate,” stated Petr Kazda. “We wanted to make a universal statement, we wanted it to be possible for a person from Latin America, Europe or Asia to experience and understand the film. From the beginning the screenplay was more popular abroad than at home,” added Petr Kazda.

Petr Vaclav’s We Are Never Alone produced by Mimesis Film will be presented in the most progressive section of the festival, Forum, in which a film with the participation of Czech production was also presented last year (Koza by Petr Ostrochovský). In addition to the well-known actors Lenka Vlasáková and Karel Roden, the director also cast last year’s winner of the Czech Lion award for best actress for the film The Way Out, Klaudia Dudová in his film We Are Never Alone, which reflects the oppressive atmosphere nowadays.

“As for our emotions and opinions, we are very dependent creatures; and this dependence leads to feelings of loneliness, deprivation, grief and frustration... it brings anxiety or even anger. The story takes place in our contemporary post-industrial Europe, perplexed by unemployment and terrorism. The consequence of this is often an irrational fear of the future, of the loss of one´s identity and general dissatisfaction... and the desire to get revenge. ,” stated Petr Václav.

Petr Oukropec’s film In Your Dreams!, produced by Negativ, was chosen for the programme oriented on films for children and youth, a competitive section Generation 14+. The director, Petr Oukropec, known mainly as a producer, focusses on films for a young audience. His debut, The Blue Tiger from 2012, did not only garner success at international festivals, but also in international distribution.

“I would like to continue to create films for children and to look for new modern stories and narration methods. Children’s and family films have a great tradition in the Czech Republic that has, for various reasons, been interrupted. We have something to build on and I know that it makes sense and that there is an international public and market for similar films. As a producer I would like bring new talented filmmakers to make films for children,” stated Petr Oukropec.

Czech Film Centre is a partner of The Berlinale Co-Production Market (14 – 16 February 2016) this year, thanks to which it will be possible to present the Czech Republic as a potential co-production partner in Berlin. A number of Czech producers that already have active experience with international co-productions and that are interested in joining foreign projects will also be participating. This year the 20 official feature film projects on the co-production market, which were chosen from more than 300 applicants, include the Czech project Outside from Michal Hogenauer (whose student film Tambyless was selected for the Cinéfondation section in the Cannes IFF in 2012). The producer of the Outside project is Petr Oukropec from Negativ.

All the Czech films in Berlinale programme were supported by the Czech State Cinematography Fund.

Visitors to Berlinale will be able to get information on other Czech films and projects and everything else about the current situation in the area of Czech cinema from representatives of the Czech Film Center, which will have a stand at the EFM, as usual. The CFC will also be offering new Czech films to other festivals, distributors or film markets through its new publications as well as through the 2015-2016 production catalogue.

Denisa Štrbová
Czech Film Center
Tel.: +420 724 329 949
E-mail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

At Berlinale: EFM, Martin Gropius Bau, stand number 139

Last modified on 21-01-2016