FNE at KVIFF: Nicky’s Family Gets International Distribution

By Cathy Meils

    KARLOVY VARY: Nicky's Family, the last in a series of films about British humanitarian and Czech hero Sir Nicholas Winton, has been picked up for U.S. and French theatrical distribution, director/producer Matej Minac and editor/producer Patrik Pass of Trigon Productions (www.trigon-production.sk) told FNE.

    Menemsha Films ( www.menemshafilms.com) plans a fall cinema release in the U.S., and Insomnia World Sales (www.insomnia-sales.com) is planning a French dubbed version for cinema release in France. The film has had Czech language and Slovak language releases, and negotiations are now underway for distribution in Australia and Germany.

    The film received an exceptionally warm reception (with liberal use of handkerchiefs) at its English-language premiere in the Czech film section at the Karlovy Vary festival (www.kviff.com). It immediately jumped to first place in the Audience Award rankings.

    Some 450 hours of materials and 150 hours of archive footage was gathered for the film. Pass praised Minac's "passion" in following and revealing the story of Winton, who saved the lives of approximately 600 Jewish children through a series of "kindertransports" in the months just before the outbreak of World War II. Minac has pursued his own form of "never forget" in telling the story of Winton's pursuit of an ethical course of action and the effect it had on the survivors, their families (now almost 6,000 people "scattered around the world"), and young students around the world who have been inspired by his behavior.

    Minac and Pass won an Emmy for a previous documentary about Winton, The Power of Good.

    Minac told FNE that he is now working on a docu-comedy "about how hard it is to make films." The film began with an interview with Frederico Fellini in 1989 that, because of successive regime changes, never saw the light of day. While at Karlovy Vary, Minac is filming an interview with Hungarian director and KVIFF main jury chair Istvan Szabo on his frustrating experiences in getting his films produced. Minac told FNE that he has interest from both Czech and Slovak public TV stations.