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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Slovakia / Czech Republic / Latvia

Slovakian folk-horror Mother of the Night currently in development

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- Peter Czikrai, a director of short horror films, is readying his first feature-length outing

Slovakian folk-horror Mother of the Night currently in development
Director Peter Czikrai

Emerging Slovakian short-film director Peter Czikrai, whose work M for Malnutrition appeared in the US horror portmanteau film ABCs of Death 2.5, is working on his first feature-length offering. Remaining faithful to genre filmmaking, he intends to shoot a folk-horror that is currently being developed. Mother of the Night verges on magical realism, social and psychological drama, and supernatural thriller. At the centre lies a single mother and her nine-year-old daughter, who goes missing for one whole year. Her sudden re-appearance shocks not only her mother but also the entire community, as she is not the same as she was before.

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Czikrai described his vision and intention to Cineuropa: “The story, which bears the working title Mother of the Night, deals with the myth of the Slovakian witch. The story stems from our tradition of folk superstitions as well as from European historical and anthropological sources. It is a contemporary story set in the countryside, within a community that is affected by forces it cannot rationally explain. We are weighing up the question of evil against the backdrop of the genre form. How can its presence change us, and when must we condemn it and when must we accept it? And when we accept it, when it is literally in our home, how will we deal with it? Temptation is a powerful thing, and it can change us beyond recognition.”

The development of the project was supported by the Slovak Audiovisual Fund, and the production phase is expected to take place between autumn 2020 and spring 2021. Peter Balko, who wrote the script for Peter Bebjak’s The Line [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Andrey Yermak
interview: Peter Bebjak
film profile
]
and co-wrote The Candidate [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, is working on the script. Experienced producer and director Michal Kollár is producing the film; his company KFS Production collaborated on several award-wining feature debuts by emerging filmmakers, such as those by Zuzana Liová (The House [+see also:
trailer
interview: Zuzana Liová
film profile
]
), Slávek Horák (Home Care [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Slávek Horák
film profile
]
) and Beata Parkanová (Moments [+see also:
trailer
interview: Beata Parkanová
interview: Beata Parkanová
film profile
]
), while Kollár himself directed the crime-thriller The Red Captain [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
. The producers have drawn parallels with the Czech horror film The Noonday Witch [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Jiří Sádek
film profile
]
, the feature debut by Jiří Sádek.

Mother of the Night is being produced by KFS Production, and co-produced by Mindset Pictures (Czech Republic) and Mojo Raiser (Latvia).

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