07-08-2013

Big-Budget Czech Historic Films on the Rise

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The film on Charles IV, the monarch behind the Czech Golden Age, is timed for the 700th anniversary of his birth. The film on Charles IV, the monarch behind the Czech Golden Age, is timed for the 700th anniversary of his birth.

Following two decades of mainly small-scale, personal films, Czech producers are moving into larger projects celebrating epic historic tales set in the Middle Ages, the Renaissance, the First Republic and the Cold War.

Sweeping tales in development include a new retelling of the life Jan Žižka and an ambitious film based on the reign of King Charles IV, both by Three Brothers, which will feature budgets as high as 260 m CZK, dwarfing the usual scale of domestic production, with releases set for as soon as 2016, according to recent press reports, including a study by Hospodářské noviny.

A biopic based on 18th-century composer Josef Myslivecek by Mimesis Film and a thriller by Film United about the escape of anti-communist fighters Josef and Ctirad Mašín are also in development. Meanwhile, the ambitious Czech TV original series First Republic, covering the period from 1918 to 1945 and produced by Filip Bobiňski and co-produced by Dramedy Productions, with script by Jan Gardner, has begun shooting in locations outside Prague.

The film on Charles IV, the monarch behind the Czech Golden Age, is timed for the 700th anniversary of his birth. The expansion of production scale marks the first time such epics have emerged since the 1950s, which saw iconic films such as Otakar Vávra's stories based on the lives of Žižka, Jan Hus and historic figures.