COTTBUS: Czech director Vit Zapletal and producer Mikulas Novotny of Background Films presented the 1970’s era drama Hornet in a Bottle at the 2016 edition of connecting cottbus on 10 November 2016.
The main character in the script, written by Zapletal, is a young, recently expelled university student, who fakes his way into a mental institution as a patient in order to avoid two years of military service, while preparing to flee the country for the West. The theme is a musing on the meaning of freedom, whether it exists within a person or is dependent on one’s surroundings.
Hornet in a Bottle received development funding of 10,000 EUR from the Czech Cinematography Fund. The film is budgeted at 1.2 m EUR. The production company was in Cottbus seeking coproducers from other post-Communist countries as well as film funding support. The Czech producers plan to apply for 300,000 EUR for production funding from the Czech Cinematography Fund and they expect 230,000 EUR from public broadcaster Czech TV.
Novotny said that they’re working on the third draft of the script at this time. He added that he expects to be able to find 60% of the funding in the Czech Republic.
Zapletal is emerging as a promising young Czech director, with awards for his student short films. His 2015 student graduation film was selected for the East of the West competition of the Karlovy Vary IFF. Background Films is a relatively new production company established by Novotny and noted Czech producer Radim Prochazka.