Marhoul back in action with Tobruk

By Jana Kadlecova
    Tobruk, the new World Warr II film from former Barrandov CEO-turned producer-turned director Vaclav Marhoul, fittingly had its pre-premier in Eastern Slovakia on the anniversary of the Slovak National Uprising.

    The film, not to be confused with the 1967 Hollywood action drama of the same title, is loosely inspired by the American classic The Red Badge of Courage, but set in the town in Libya where the Czechoslovak army fought Germans and Italians in 1941. The story follows two soldiers, contrasting their idealistic fantasies with the cruel reality of war.

    The Czech-Slovak co-production brought together an unusual combination of financing, involving two ministries of defense.

    "The budget of Tobruk, 3,250,000 euros, was covered by Czech commercial partners (40%), the Czech Ministry of Defense (14%), and Czech Television (37%)," Marhoul told FNE. The Czech TV input represents the station's largest investment in a theatrical film. Tobruk will premiere on CTV in autumn 2010. "Slovak commercial partners supported the film with 7% and the Slovak Ministry of Defense with 2% of the budget," Marhoul said.

    The film and its stars, stage actors largely unknown to film audiences, have drawn positive responses. Marhoul is in contact with nine companies regarding foreign sales and distribution.