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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Czech Republic / Slovakia / Poland

Czech director Beata Parkanová shoots sophomore feature Word


- Czech-Slovak 1960s drama Word, inspired by the director’s grandparents, is a second instalment in a planned trilogy

Czech director Beata Parkanová shoots sophomore feature Word
(© Bontonfilm)

Emerging Czech writer-director Beata Parkanová is currently in production with her sophomore feature Word. Parkanová’s first feature-length outing was the intimate drama Moments [+see also:
interview: Beata Parkanová
interview: Beata Parkanová
film profile
, unveiled in the East of the West section at the Karlovy Vary International Film Festival in 2018. The film is a part of an intended trilogy written by the director with autobiographical aspects. While Moments was based on her experiences, the next instalment Word is inspired by her grandparents and the trilogy should conclude with Lights, following a six-year-old protagonist.

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Set between 1968 and 1969, Word revolves around the married couple of Václav and Věra. They promised each other that they would stand by each other's side in good times and bad times. The story follows the couple as they are tested after Václav refuses to become a member of the communist party and ends up in a psychiatric hospital. “Both are basically decent and good people from a small town. Their moral setting is tested by the environment and they nevertheless try to keep the promise they made to each other, to their family, and to themselves. I think people are still dealing with bigger or smaller dilemmas, whether to keep your word, or make concessions in the name of various benefits, or simply under pressure. The film captures a topic that concerns each of us," says the director, adding, "Word is, therefore, a timeless film that shows that a man in all periods and situations makes decisions whose consequences he cannot anticipate, and the film asks according to what criteria these decisions should be made".

Martin Finger and Jenovéfa Boková, who starred in Parkanová’s debut feature, are returning while Gabriela Mikulková portrays Věra to Finger’s Václav. Boková is joined by a coterie of Czech and Slovak actors including Bolek Polívka, Juraj Nvota, Taťána Medvecká and Marek Geišberg in the supporting cast. The main part of the shooting took place in the Czech Republic in Vysočina and the Pardubice regions. Several shooting days were spent in Poland, and the film crew will be concluding principal photography in early 2021 in the Slovak mountains. “Banská Štiavnica and the Štiavnica mountains are exceptional Slovak locations that have not yet been sufficiently visible and featured in a film," says Slovak producer of Word, Maroš Hečko.

Word is produced by Bontonfilm, love.FRAME and Slovak production company Azyl Production. Czech Television and the Polish outfit Kijora serve as co-producers. The film is supported by the Czech Film Fund, the Pardubice region, the Vysočina region, and Radio and Television Slovakia. The domestic premiere is set for Autumn 2021 with Bontonfilm handling the theatrical release.

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