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The Karamazov Brothers by Petr Zelenka moves to post-production

2007-09-18

Leading Czech director Petr Zelenka is now in post-production with his new film The Karamazovs, played by members of the well-known Prague-based Dejvice Theater.

Zelenka, who is a screenwriter and theater director as well, has seen critical success at international festivals and cinemas with several of his films, including Buttoners (1997), Year of the Devil (2002) and Wrong Side Up (2005).

Zelenka is rarely in the news these days because being invisible is part of strategy of his producer, Čestmír Kopecký. Kopecký worked for many years for Czech Television where he produced a wide range of quality films, including those of Zelenka. Now Kopecký is an independent producer and head of the První veřejnoprávní film company (www.cestmir.cz, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

"I select films that I would like to see myself," Kopecký told FNE. "I appreciate the sense of humor and tragedy in Zelenka´s films. The Karamazov Brothers will be especially courageous."

Kopecký says he is proud that his recent films could be successfully screened without mass publicity. His last effort, It´s Gonna Get Worse (2007), a black-and-white study of sex, drugs and rock ‘n' roll directed by Petr Nikolaev and set in communist Czechoslovakia, was premiered at the Berlinale. Then it was released only in Czech pubs and night clubs, in a 16-mm version.

Zelenka used for his stage version Evald Schorm´s adaptation of the Fyodor Dostoevsky novel "The Brothers Karamazov," because Schorm´s version has been popular at the Dejvice Theater.

Schorm, who died in 1988, is considered a philosopher of the Czech "new wave" film movement. His five feature films done before 1970 were banned, and shown only after 1989.

The Czech-Polish film is co-produced by Warsaw Pact Film Production, Czech Television (www.ceskatelevize.cz) and Falcon a.s. (www.This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). Warsaw Pact is co-owned by the daughter of renowned Polish film director Agnieszka Holland.

The Karamazov Brotherss was shot mainly in the Czech steel mill Hrádek near the town of Rokycany in Western Bohemia, but the setting is Polish - the Nowa Huta mill in Krakow. Its budget is €1.2 million, including €200,000 granted by Euroimages for production support.

The film will debut in spring 2008 "in a very serious way," according to Kopecký. Together with his ticket, the viewer will get a booklet with an essay on Dostoevsky and Schorm.

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