email print share on Facebook share on Twitter share on reddit pin on Pinterest

PRODUCTION Czech Republic / Slovakia / Ireland

Agnieszka Holland to shoot Charlatan

by 

- The veteran Polish filmmaker will tackle the real-life story of a folk healer wrestling with his inner demons

Agnieszka Holland to shoot Charlatan
Actor Ivan Trojan and director Agnieszka Holland (© CinemArt)

After premiering her latest oeuvre, Mr. Jones [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Agnieszka Holland
film profile
]
, and introducing the television project Napoleon at the recent Berlinale, veteran Polish filmmaker Agnieszka Holland is bracing for another shoot. In her next project, Charlatan, written by Marek Epstein, Holland will try her hand at a period biopic about a local folk healer, Jan Mikolášek, who lived between 1887 and 1973, and who allegedly helped five million people without even having a formal education in medicine. “Mikolášek was unbelievably smart and intuitive, but also a rational individual who managed to diagnose people and help them with herbs,” Holland said about the protagonist. 

(The article continues below - Commercial information)

Principal photography is scheduled to start in April and continue in June on location in the Czech Republic. Six-time Czech Lion-winning actor Ivan Trojan, who previously worked with Holland on Burning Bush [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, will star in the leading role. “It’s a story of an extraordinary man; however, he is a very ambiguous character. He knows he is saving lives, and he knows he can help people, yet he realises he is in need of help himself,” Trojan explained. The younger version of Mikolášek will be portrayed by Trojan’s son Josef. “What is most powerful about Charlatan for me is not what it says, but how it says it. I was charmed by its original narrative style and cinematic moderation. Everything is distinctive yet emotive, fragile in expression yet strong in substance,” adds Holland.

Slovakian cinematographer Martin Štrba, who most recently lensed Martin Šulík’s The Interpreter [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Martin Šulík
film profile
]
Julius Ševčík’s feature debut, A Prominent Patient [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
, as well as his most recent film, The Glass Room, will be behind the camera. Štrba won the Czech Lion Award for Best Cinematography for A Prominent Patient; his wife, Katarína Štrbová Bieliková, did likewise for Best Costume Design, and she will be joining him on CharlatanPavel Hrdlička, who edited some of Holland’s previous oeuvres, such as Burning Bush and Spoor [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Agnieszka Holland
interview: Zofia Wichlacz
film profile
]
, is returning to the cutting room for this movie, and another of Holland’s collaborators, composer Antoni Komasa-Łazarkiewicz, is also on board. 

Charlatan is being produced by Czech company Marlene Film Production (Šárka Cimbalová), and co-produced by Slovakia’s Furia Film (Lívia Filusová), Ireland’s Film and Music Entertainment (F&ME, Mike Downey and Sam Talor), Czech Television (Jaroslav Sedláček) and Radio and Television Slovakia. The project was supported by the Czech Film Fund, the Slovak Audiovisual Fund and the Czech Film Foundation. The domestic premiere is set for 20 February 2020, courtesy of CinemArt.

Did you enjoy reading this article? Please subscribe to our newsletter to receive more stories like this directly in your inbox.