23-04-2014

FNE at Finale Plzen: Burning Bush

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Burnig Bush by Agnieszka Holland Burnig Bush by Agnieszka Holland

PLZEN: The most acclaimed Czech film of 2013, crowned with 11 Czech Lions and awarded as the Best film by Czech Critics, Burning Bush directed by Polish filmmaker Agniezska Holland takes another shot at a best film award in the competition of the Finale Plzen festival of Czech and Slovak films running 27 April – 3 May 2014.

The film is a production of HBO Europe and nutprodukce and supported by Film Industry Support Programme. Since its release in Czech cinema distribution (12 September 2013), handled by Falcon, it reached attendance of just 24,439 viewers, attendance which was no doubt hampered by its release as a series on HBO.

In January 1969, Czech university student Jan Palach set himself on fire to protest against the Soviet clampdown that followed Prague Spring. The terrible historical moment that formed the backdrop of Palach’s heroic action is recalled to vivid life in this passionately brilliant mini-series. Agnieszka Holland (Czech Lion for the best director), who lived in Czechoslovakia at the time of these events and writer Stepan Hulik (Czech Lion for the best script) trace the ripples of Palach’s defiant gesture throughout Czech society. Burning Bush takes the well-known event one step further, following the family’s struggle to clear their son’s name.

The cast includes Jaroslava Pokorná (Czech Lion for the best actress in a supporting role), Táňa Pauhofová, Jan Budař, Vojtěch Kotek, Ivan Trojan. The DOP of the film is one of the most celebrated contemporary Czech cinematographers, Martin Štrba (Czech Lion for the best photography).

The budget of the miniseries was approximately 100 M CZK (3.64 m EUR).

Burning Bush has been invited to numerous international festivals: New York, Palm Springs, Cine-East in Luxembourg, Cottbus and Sofia. The actor Ivan Trojan was awarded the “Golden Nymph” at Monte Carlo 2013 and most recently the film received the SIGNIS Award at Hong Kong IFF.

International Sales are handled by Germany’s Beta Film.