PRODCTION: Slovak producer Biermann plans to shoot Tugendhat novel with Hřebejk

By Irena Zemanová

    Prague-based Slovak film producer Rudolf Biermann said he would like to shoot a big-budget film adaptation of the novel The Glass Room by British writer Simon Mawer.

    {mosimage}Biermann bought the film rights for the novel through his InFilm (www.infilm.cz) company, the producer announced on Monday.

    Biermann has asked director Jan Hřebejk to shoot the movie and Hřebejk agreed. Both Biermann and Hřebejk met with Mawer when the writer was one of the main guests at the Book World Prague fair which took place in Prague on May 13-16 (www.svetknihy.cz).

    The 2009 novel is based on the true story of the famous Czech Villa Tugendhat in Brno, a 1930 building owned by a wealthy Jewish couple who escaped Czechoslovakia before the Nazi Occupation and never returned because of a rise of Communists in 1948. The novel won several prestigious prizes and a coveted nomination for Britain's Man Booker Prize.


    Mawer used the true story as an inspiration, but changed all names (even the house, called Villa Landauer in the novel) and also several facts. "Its not only a story of that one house, but a story of our country during one century," Hřebejk sajd.

    However, it will be hard to produce the story. The original Villa Tugendhat, as a pure functionalism jewel and a UNESCO heritage building, is undergoing reconstruction until 2012.

    "Certainly, the main part of the story has to be shot directly in the Villa Tugendhat interiors, which are crucial for the Simon Mawer story. The Villa is one of the main character of the story," Hřebejk explained.

    Biermann declined to comment who would adapt the screenplay nor who would play the main characters. "Hřebejk and I only know we would absolutely love to do this movie," Biermann said.

    {mosimage}Contact information:

    InFilm Praha

    Máchova 21
    12000 Praha 2
    Česká republika

    Phone: 420-222 515 357

    Fax: 420- 222 510 613

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