Broken Promise aims for Academy Awards
by Theodore Schwinke
30/09/2009 - The Slovak Film and Television Academy (SFTA) has selected Broken Promise from among 10 eligible titles as Slovakia's submission for the US Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.
Broken Promise is based on a true story of a Jewish boy in Western Slovakia who escaped deportation to a concentration camp thanks to his extraordinary soccer talent and some coincidently favourable circumstances.
The film is a departure for director Jiří Chlumský, whose previous feature films were fairy tales or comedies such as Halt, or I'll Miss! It is produced by Iveta Černá Ivanová of Genta Film with co-producers Slovenská Televízia and Česká Televize. Film Europe is handling international sales.
The film had its international premiere at the Los Angeles Jewish Film Festival, where it won the grand prize. Michael Fox of the San Francisco Film Society called Broken Promise a “first-rate period saga from Eastern Europe” which evokes Europa, Europa and The Pianist [trailer].
Kevin Kelly of the Palo Alto Daily News called it a “cinematic feast”, praising the film's “breathtaking cinematography” by Ján Ďuriš (Bathory [trailer], An Ambiguous Report About the End of the World) and “tightly woven scenes” written by Jan Novák (Bájecná Léta Pod Psa).
Broken Promise has since screened at numerous international film festivals including Shanghai, Karlovy Vary, and Festroia, where it earned newcomer Samuel Spišák the Silver Dolphin Award for the Best Actor. It will screen next week in Pusan.