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Life becomes film for famous Czech prisoner

2007-08-01

Jiri Kajinek, the most famous Czech prisoner of all time, will be celebrated in a Czech feature thriller called Kajinek, with a €1.4 million budget. Ivan Fila, a Golden Globe nominee, won the directing position against Jiri Svoboda and Filip Renc.

The exclusive copyright to Kajinek's life story is owned by the J.B.J. Film (www.jbj-film.cz), who obtained the rights to film his life after one year quarrel with other claimants. Kajinek should go into production in early 2008, with the release in fall that year.

"I am finishing now the script," Fila said. "It will be a somewhat different film than people expect. It's form and story will be unusual. More like 21 Grams, Amores Perros or A Short Film About Killing."

J.B.J. Film was initially uncertain who should direct the film on Kajinek. They decided finally on Ivan Fila. "Fila is an excellent script writer and director, and I like his style," Petr Jakl from J.B.J. Film said. Jakl´s family owned-company J.B.J. Film co-owns the agency PJ Casting, which offers casting services and stunt training.

Jiri Kajinek, the subject of Kajinek, was found guilty in 1998 of homicide and couple other lesser crimes. He was sentenced for life. He was accused of killing an entrepreneur Stefan Janda and his bodyguards in Pilsen back in 1993 while on a short prison leave. He never pleaded guilty. During his incarceration, Kajinek was very difficult to guard. His ingenious escape attempts, some of which were successful, turned him into a media star in the Czech Republic. Most of the media is not convinced of his guilt and say Kajinek is a victim of a police set-up. It is possible the legal proceedings concerning his case will be renewed.

Director Ivan Fila is a cinema magician and his films always surprises the audience. As a Czech émigré to Germany in 1977 he became experienced with multilateral co-productions and star actors. His previous films include Lea (1996) starring Lenka Vlasakova and Hanna Schygulla and King of Thieves (2003) with Katharina Thalbach and Lazar Ristovski. He was attracted by Kajinek´s life story. Fila intends to focus on the connections between the police and underground crime, and also depict police despotism. Fila wants to underline the psychology of Kajinek´s life and the media hysteria which followed his sentences and escapes.

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