The lead production company is Marlene Film Production, a young production company founded in 2014 by Šárka Cimbalová and Svatka Peschková. Film & Music Entertainment (F.&.M.E.) is coproducing through its Irish office.
The story is set during the mid-20th Century, when the Czech Republic was undergoing numerous political changes – from First Republic through the Nazi regime and WWII, into the Communist regime. The central character is a man who develops his gift of healing trough the use of herbs to treat patients. The talent both gets him into trouble and acts as his salvation with the various regimes. The story of his work life unfolds against the story of his personal life and his relationship with a younger man, whom he eventually betrays.
Epstein has become one of the more prolific screenwriters in the Czech Republic in the past decade. His film Intimate Enemy (Attack Film, Czech Television) directed and co-scripted by Karel Janak, is screening in the Slovak Season section at Art Film Fest, prior to a planned August release in Slovakia. He is also writing the screenplay for a Czech comedy, Krasosmutnení, for the Czech Television.
Charlatan has an estimated budget of around 1.5 m EUR. It has received development funding from the Czech State Cinematography Fund and was selected for the Berlinale Coproduction Market in 2017. The film received 110,000 EUR from the Slovak Audiovisual Fund. Czech TV is also onboard as a coproducer and the film will be distributed by Falcon.
Directed by Agnieszka Holland
Script by Marek Epstein
DoP: Martin Strba