Production: Two films based on novels from Michal Viewegh

By Irena Zemanová

    Michal Viewegh, a best-selling Czech novelist and screenwriter is working on two film screenplays based on his books.

    Tomáš Bařina, a young director of last-year smash hit comedy Bobule (Grapes) will shoot the comedy The Novel for Men based on Viewegh´s 2008 book.

    Animation director Aurel Klimt, a creator of the popular Fimfárum series, is in pre-production with A Short Fairy Tale for Tired Parents, both virtual and puppet feature-length adaptations of another Viewegh´s novel.

    "I have to finish the screenplay for a Novel for Men in summer, however, director Tomáš Bařina already started with the castings," Viewegh told FNE. Only the casting of the main character, a corrupt and cynical judge, is set. "Miroslav Donutil will play the main part, as I have promised it to him few months ago," says Viewegh.

    The shooting should start by autumn 2009, but the total budget is not announced yet. Producer Rudolf Biermann and his company In Film Praha (www.infilm.cz) will produce the movie.

    As for Klimt´s film, Viewegh confirms that the screenplay is almost done. "We received a grant of CZK 300,000 (11,500 euros) for working on the screenplay, but this movie will be far more exepnsive, as an animation project combining feature acting and animation," says Viewegh. Biermann´s In Film Praha is producing this movie also.

    A novelist by profession, Michal Viewegh is also one of the most succesful Czech screenwriters, as he is behind the screenplays of such Czech film blockbusters as The Novel for Women/From Subway with Love (director Filip Renč, 2005), Holiday Makers (director Jiří Vejdělek, 2006) and last year´s Nestyda/Shameless, directed by Jan Hřebejk. These films were normally the most successful Czech movies of a given year.

    According to Czech Union of Film Distributors (www.ufd.cz), about 800,000 Czech viewers saw Holiday Makers and more than 550,000 people attended the Renc´s movie in 2005, with the two films earning almost CZK130 million (5 million euros) in ticket sales. Hřebejk´s movie, with Jiří Macháček in title part, was the cinema hit of autumn 2008, earning more than CZK 50 million (1.9 million euros) and attendance of almost 500,000 Czech viewers, according to UFD.

    However, the last movie based on Michal Viewegh, The Case of Unfaithful Clara, produced and directed by Italian director Roberto Faenza with a primarily Italian cast, was not succesful in Czech cinemas. The reviews were negative, calling it "a bad italian soap-opera," and also Viewegh, who didn't write the screenplay, was disappointed. "The movie is just...bad. I could not help it, however I wanted to help," he declares. About 10,000 Czech viewers saw the movie during the first week in the release (June 11), spending some CZK 1.2 million (46,000 euros) for tickets.





    IN Film Praha, spol. s r.o.

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    120 00 Praha-Vinohrady, CZ

    Phone: +420 222 515 357

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