VENICE: Venice competitor Czech / Ukrainian / Slovak coproduction The Painted Bird directed by Václav Marhoul has been acquired by French sales company Celluloid Dreams. The film is the first majority Czech coproduction selected for the main competition of Venice Film Festival in 25 years.
The film is an adaptation of Jerzy Kosiński’s bestseller and stars the 9-year-old Czech actor Petr Kotlár alongside Stellan Skarsgård, Udo Kier and Harvey Keitel. The cast includes Lech Dyblik, Jitka Čvančarová, Julian Sand, Aleksey Kravchenko and Barry Pepper.
Trying to protect their child during WWII, a Jewish couple sends their son to a relative in the countryside somewhere in Eastern Europe. But the boy’s aunt dies unexpectedly and he is forced to set out alone on a journey through the hostile world governed by local rules, prejudices and superstitions. When the war ends, his fight for physical survival is replaced by a different kind of a fight.
The film was also selected in the Special Presentations section of the 44th Toronto IFF (5-15 September 2019).
The Painted Bird is produced by Silver Screen in coproduction with the Czech Television, Directory Films, PubRes and RTVS. It was supported by the Czech State Cinematography Fund, Creative Europe – MEDIA, the Ministry of Culture of the Czech Republic and the Ukrainian State Film Agency.