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REPORT: Girls in Film Works in Progress @ Febiofest Prague 2020


- We give an overview of the works in progress presented thanks to an online initiative orchestrated by the 27th Prague International Film Festival – Febiofest and the Girls in Film platform

REPORT: Girls in Film Works in Progress @ Febiofest Prague 2020

After the ongoing coronavirus pandemic prompted the postponing of the 27th Prague International Film Festival – Febiofest (see the news), the organisers decided to move forward with the industry showcase online. The festival joined forces with the Girls in Film platform (see the news) to present new works by the emerging generation of female directors to international film professionals. Below is an overview of those works.

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Cineuropa Survey 2020
After the Magician by Lea Petříková

After the Magician Lea Petříková (Czech Republic)
Artist and filmmaker Lea Petříková, a FAMU graduate who is also pursuing a PhD at the Prague Film School, recently finished her experimental short film After the Magician. The movie explores the topics of invisibility, magic and dreams as it re-narrates a lost film by surrealist Alice Rahon, Le Magicien (1947), about a magician who was given the task of creating a new human after the world had been destroyed by a nuclear war. After the Magician merges a surrealist film with contemporary art while thematising the circumstances of the movie’s production in the broader context of an essay about attaining invisibility. The picture is being produced by Tomáš Pertold, of Prague-based production company Perfilm, and co-produced by the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design in Prague and the FILMTALENT ZLÍN Foundation. The film world-premiered at the Museum of Contemporary Art, North Miami, on 26 February this year.

Every Single Minute by Erika Hníková

Every Single Minute Erika Hníková (Czech Republic/Slovakia)
The collaboration between Czech independent producer Jiří Konečný and documentarian Erika Hníková continues after the docu-pics The Beauty Exchange and The Matchmaking Mayor with their latest project, Every Single Minute. Hníková closely followed a Slovakian married couple who have been raising their son in accordance with the tenets of “Kamevéda”, a complex parenting method devised by Pavel Zacha. Zacha applied the unconventional parenting philosophy to his own son, who ultimately made it into the NHL, as the method is supposed to result not only in creating a successful athlete (or future champion), but also shaping a “quality human being”. As Hníková notes, the Slovakian pair dedicate “every single minute of their lives to the priming of their son”. The documentary captures the stories of two families (the Slovak one being the central plotline and Zacha’s family being the secondary one), their efforts and their sons’ reactions, while also raising questions about parenting in today’s society. The director explained that, visually, the film is essayistic and atmospherically shot with handheld, long takes. Every Single Minute is being co-produced by Slovakian outfit Punkchart Films; the Czech Film Fund and Slovak Audiovisual Fund supported the movie, which should be finished by March 2020.

Francek by Natálie Císařovská

FrancekNatálie Císařovská (Czech Republic)
After the docudrama Around Milena Jesenska, filmmaker Natálie Císařovská is working on a feature-length fiction film based on the true story of Andrea Absolonová, The Body (read the report), while also managing to finish a short docu-fiction bearing the title Francek. The story revisits the early years of Czech painter and graphic artist František (François) Kupka, a pioneer and co-founder of the abstract art movement and Orphic Cubism. Císařovská describes the film as, “genre-wise, classifiable as magical realism. We are working a lot with visual poetics, but it is not lacking in humour. The sculptures come to life, the dead speak, and earthly time is somehow open to mythical timelessness. A hypersensitive person, an individual, relates to the landscape, the environment, the world and the cosmos. The story takes place over 100 years ago, but the themes of the movie are the process of a boy growing into a man, and acquiring self-knowledge, self-awareness of his own path and a personality, which are still current topics today.” Klára Belicová, the DoP on Around Milena Jesenska, is also lensing Francek. Katěrina Traburová, of Czech company LaDamplinque, is staging the film, with Guru Film co-producing. The project has been supported by the towns of Dobruška, Jaroměr and Opočno, the Hradec Králové region, the Kodl Gallery and the FILMTALENT ZLÍN Foundation. The film’s completion date was set for February 2020.

Things Worth Weeping For by Cristina Grosan

Things Worth Weeping ForCristina Grosan (Hungary)
“Sometimes, escaping a perfect life and starting over with no plans at all is the most mature thing you can do,” is the logline of the first feature-length offering by Hungarian-Romanian filmmaker and visual artist Cristina Grosan, Things Worth Weeping For (see the news). Grosan is simultaneously working on her sophomore feature, Ordinary Failures, produced by Czech outfit Xova Film (read the report). Her debut, which was shot in Hungary last year, is billed as a millennial quarter-life crisis dramedy. The discovery of a dead relative in her apartment prompts the protagonist, Maja, portrayed by Nóra Rainer-Micsinyei, to rethink her life and her expectations, leading her to make a fresh start. Hungarian outfit Laokoon Filmgroup, known for the award-winning Holocaust drama Son of Saul [+see also:
film review
Q&A: László Nemes
interview: László Rajk
film profile
, is producing Grosan’s feature debut, which has been supported by the Hungarian National Film Institute’s Incubator programme.

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