Two men operating in the Czech film industry have been convicted of stealing a copy of the big-budget Juraj Jakubisko film Bathory while it was being edited earlier this year.
The District court of Prague 1 gave Jan Milič and Karel Lupoměský suspended sentences of eight months and ten months. The men were arrested after attempting to collect money from the producer of the movie, Deanna Jakubisková, not to post the film on the Internet. The producer called the police.
Lawyer Gabriel Brenka, who represents Jakubisko Film (www.jakubiskofilm.com), said the company will now sue both men seeking compensation. "Although the thieves did not publish a copy of the movie, the event can damage the interests of the company," Brenka told the Czech news agency ČTK.
Bathory, the most expensive regional film yet with a budget of 300 million crowns (€10.8 million), is based on the life of 16th-Century countess Erzsébet (Elizabeth) Bathory, reputed to be the greatest murderess in history.
Its premiere has been postponed several times but is now set for Feb. 9, 2008, according to the Czech Association of Film Distributors (www.ufd.cz).
The delay was caused by problems during sound editing and sound postproduction, which was done in a London studio.
With an international cast in this Czech-Slovak-Hungarian-British co-production, sound editing is very important. The cast includes about 120 characters with speaking parts. The soundtrack is in English but the film will also be released in Czech, Slovak and Hungarian.