PRODUCTION: Kerekes Preps Three Slovak Coproductions

    Peter Kerekes Peter Kerekes photo: www.kultura.pravda.sk, autor: Robert Hüttner

    JIHLAVA: Slovak documentary director and producer Peter Kerekes is in development and production with a slate of three documentaries, all of which will be international coproductions, on the heels of the world premiere of Jan Gogola’s Excursions (Peter Kerekes) in the Czech Joy competition at the Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival on 28 October 2015.

    Kerekes said all three are long-term projects.

    Kerekes is filming the first part of a three-part documentary under the working title Censors that looks at the job of censors with widely varying jobs in three societies and settings: Slovak prisons, western publications sold in the Arab world, and Nigeria’s Nollywood film industry. The film looks at censorship of words, images, and a combination of the two. Kerekes is directing and coproducing with Hypermarket Film, Czech TV and Slovak TV with support from the Slovak Audiovisual Fund and the Czech State Cinematography Fund on a budget of approximately 400,000 EUR. Kerekes is in negotiations with a third country coproducer for the film. Kerekes is aiming for completing of the film in 2017.

    Kerekes said he received his “dream offer” to direct a documentary for ARTE France about the Czech shoe magnate Tomas Bata. ARTE gave a greenlight to the project in September, and Czech TV is expected to approve it on November 3. The film is produced on the Czech side by Negativ and Cedric Bonin of Seppia on the French side. Kerekes is developing the film with Czech/Polish scriptwriter Pavel Hajny who, Kerekes said, “has been collecting an oral history on Bata for 20 years.” The documentary will have a relatively large budget covering costs of filming on five continents where Bata built his global empire after emigrating from Czechoslovakia. Production will take place in 2016 with release in 2017.

    Kerekes’ longest project, which has been in development since 2010, is a coproduction with Austria’s Mischief Films about cosmonauts that never made it into space. The film has received four MEDIA development grants. Kerekes called the film “a genius project,” explaining, “Everyone knows that feeling of coming in second.” The film will focus on Russia and the US, with Kerekes looking at the American who would have been the first black man in space and the Russian who would have been the first woman in space. Historical and political circumstances ended up crushing those dreams. Kerekes noted that developing the project has become a longer term prospect than expected, and he has not set a date for completion of the film.

    Peter Kerekes Film
    Vištuk 27
    Vištuk 900 85
    Slovak Republic