It took seven years and cost €6.6 million, but in September The True Story of Janosik and Tomas Uhorcik will premiere simultaneously in the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Poland.
Poland's Agnieszka Holland along with her daughter Kasia Adamik, direct a Slovak, Czech and Polish cast.
The production proved to be the most complicated part. "It has been produced by Apple Film Production in co-production with In Film (Czech Republic). Co-producers are Polish Television S.A. - Film Agency (Poland), Eurofilm Studio (Hungary), and support from the Polish Film Institute," Apple Film's Darek Jablonski told FNE.
Slovak producer Rudolf Biermann from In Film was the original producer on Janosik under his Slovak production company Charlie´s.
Charlie´s received €2.2 million (65 million SK) from the Slovak state resources. When an American partner reneged on funds, shooting stopped, and the production had to return €47,000 euro.
The film got a second chance when Apple Film Production stepped in.
The cast includes Slovak actress Tana Pauhofova and actor Ivan Martinka, and the screenplay was written by Slovakia's Eva Borusovicova. Biermann produced Borusovicova's directing and writing debut, Blue Heaven.
Beyond the question of the budget, one of the biggest concerns was the aging of the actors, with some scenes completed in 2003.
Still, hopes are high that Janosik will attract the record-breaking audiences that greeted last year's Slovak hit Bathory. "It will be the event of the year for sure," Jablonski believes.
Bathory by Czech-Slovak director Juraj Jakubisko was the most succesful film in Slovak and the Czech Republic in 2008. The budget of the film was €13,3 million euro and its audience in Slovakia and the Czech Republic reached 1,4 million.
Apple Film Production Sp. z o.o.