Shooting is under way in Prague until mid-December for a new Czech film, Children of the Night, by director Michaela Pavlátová. The film is based on a script by young film journalist Irena Hejdová, whose work won the Sazka price for script in development at the Czech Lions awards ceremony in 2006
The story involves a young working woman named Ofka who dreams of a different life. Czech teenage idol Jiří Mádl, who starred in popular comedies such as Snowboarders, Rafters and High School, also stars in this soft, introspective story.
Producers are Petr Oukropec and Kateřina Černá from the Negativ production company (www.negativ.cz), which also produced the new Bohdan Sláma film Country Teacher.
Oukropec, who has discovered some young talented filmmakers and produced innovative films such as Indian Summer and Whisper, has a special feeling for the story.
"I appreciate Pavlátová´s style of seeing things," he told FNE. "She is a sensitive director who is capable of conveying both the pulse of night life in the city and the sensitive heart of a young woman. And Children of the Night will be a film talking especially to women."
The film is being shot in the blue-collar neighborhoods of Karlín and Libeň in Prague, areas rarely seen in film. "We are shooting the film in a small area, mainly at night in this damp, sad season of the year," Oukropec said. "We hope to deliver a strong atmosphere in the film."
Oukropec divides his time between Prague and the small southwest Bohemian village of Těchonice where he runs a successful amateur stage theater and a tea room. "I try to bring life to this village and show that stage theater can be extremely popular even in such a small-time, agricultural part of the Czech Republic," he said.
The film, which is being shot on a €900,000 budget, is co-produced by Czech television (www.ceskatelevize.cz) and the State Fund for Czech Cinema (www.mkcr.cz). It will be released by Bontonfilm (www.bontonfilm.cz) in September 2008. The title role is played by Martha Issová, known from the film Little Girl Blue by Alice Nellis.
Pavlátová won the Golden Bear at the Berlinale for her short animation film Repete in 1995 and was nominated for an Oscar for her animated Words, Words, Words (1991), which won the Montreal Film Festival in the short film category.