PRODUCTION: Antonio Riestra signs on to Lidice

By Irena Zemanová

    Mexican cinematographer Antonio Riestra, Oscar nominiee for best cinematography for Amores Perros (2000), will shoot Lidice, a big-budget Czech war movie directed by Petr Nikolaev and starring Karel Roden.

    The film is produced by Adam Dvořák of production and distribution company Bioscop (www.bioscop.cz).

    Riestra previously worked on the Czech thriller Normal: The Düsseldorf Ripper (2009, director Julius Ševčík, Bontonfilm, www.bontonfilm.cz).

    Nikolaev recently replaced director Alice Nellis, who stepped down from the project after she was diagnosed with a serious neurological disease.

    Nikolaev, whose previous credits include Kousek nebe (A Piece of Heaven, 2004) and Báječná léta pod psa (The Blissful Years of Lousy Living, 1997), will start shooting Lidice on July 26, Dvořák confirmed. The start of filming was delayed several times due to difficulties in financing the final part of the budget. A four-season shoot is planned, postponing the world release of Lidice to June 2011. Previously, shooting was planned for February with a release in late 2010.

    Lidice has had an extraordinarily long pre-production, due to the complicated shooting plan and a budget of more than CZK 70 million (2.6 million Euros) for the World War II set. A record CZK 20 million (770,000 Euros), was provided by the Czech State Fund for Cinematography (www.mkcr.cz).

    The film is co-produced by Polish producer Dariusz Jablonski and Apple Film (www.applefilm.pl). The town of Kladno, where part of the exteriors will be filmed, also helped with the financing, providing CZK 150,000 (5,800 Euros). Czech Television (www.ceskatelevize.cz) is co-producing and the Czech Ministry of Defence (www.army.cz) is providing historical weapons and army materials. Several private companies also helped with the production.

    The award winning screenplay is based on the infamous massacre in the Czech village of Lidice in central Bohemia. Lidice was exterminated and burnt by Nazis in retaliation for the assassination of Reinhard Heydrich in June 1942. Nellis was not planning a classic war movie, but a psychological drama based on the true story of a man who survived the massacre.

    The cast includes Karel Roden, Ivan Trojan, Zuzana Bydžovská, Martha Issová and Václav Jiráček, who played the lead in Jánošík, the Polish/Slovak/Czech/Hungarian coproduction by directors Agniezska Holland and Kasia Adamek.

    Production contact:

    Producer: Adam Dvořák

    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

    Phone: (+420) 221 436 320

    Cell: (+420) 608 979 718


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