Photo: Radio Prague International
The Audiovisual Foundation was founded by Prague in 2016 with the aim of supporting the positive representation of the capital city through film and television production. Foreign and Czech productions that want to shoot in the Czech capital must meet two fundamental conditions.
“Prague must represent itself in films or series, and projects must have international distribution. The outflow of not only foreign productions also affects Prague, so their support is a priority for the foundation fund.” lists the fund on its website. Because it also happens quite often that other European cities play Prague’s backdrops in the film. That’s why the fund supports only those films where Prague is Prague, not Paris or another big city.
This year, two international co-productions will focus on historical figures intrinsically linked to Prague – Franz Kafka and Anežka Česká. In films, we will see Prague in the 1920s and 1930s or as a medieval city in the 13th century.
“Prague plays an important role in the film Franz. Franz Kafka was born here, grew up here, studied, worked and wrote here. In all his works, this city and its people flash to the surface. Together with the director Agnieszka Holland, we have a very close relationship not only with Kafka, but also with Prague, and we want to invite the audience to see Kafka’s Prague through the film Franz. said producer Šárka Cimbalová.
The film about Kafka received the highest contribution from the fund – three million crowns. It is a co-production of the Czech Republic, Germany, Poland and France. Shooting in the spring in the Old Town, Malá Strana and in the Josefov district. Czech and German should be spoken in the film – i.e. the same as in the Prague of Kafka’s time. Ivan Trojan, his son Josef and also Jenovéfa Boková will play the main roles.
“The life and work of Anežka are inextricably linked with Prague, and we are sincerely happy that, thanks to the support of the fund, we will create an image of the medieval Prague in which Anežka lived and worked,” said its producer Karla Stojáková for another supported film.
Eliška Křenková|Photo: Tomáš Vodňanský, Czech Radio
Visually, according to her, the historical image of Prague in the 13th century is present in the miniseries. “Since we are filming about the Middle Ages, without the use of studios, in order to achieve historical and aesthetic credibility, we will shoot in real locations that resemble the places where Anežka lived – which will also be in real locations in Prague. Using VFX post-production, we will then complete the image of Prague in the 13th century,” added the producer of the historical drama, in which the main role of Anežka Přemyslovna will be played by Eliška Křenková, and Bolek Polívka also plays in it.
Bohdan Sláma|Photo: Elena Horálková, Czech Radio
The drama The End of the World directed by Bohdan Sláma and starring Miroslav Krobot returns to 1968. “The story of our film is based on a real event that took place in Prague in 1968. Therefore, when choosing a location for filming, Prague was the first choice,” state the film’s producers Martin Růžička and Jindřich Motýl.
Other films supported by Prague are set in the present. It is a feature film The Ugly Mandarin, co-produced by the Czech Republic, Taiwan and Slovakia. Next, the films Job, Something is wrong with us, Petra goes swimming. The foundation fund also supported two feature-length documentaries – A Tribute to the New Circus or a documentary about an artist in the field of paleoart, The Lost World of Jan Sovák
“The support of local funds appears to be increasingly important for the creation of not only Czech, but also foreign projects, which thus bring considerable investment to the Czech Republic, support local business and the employment of local professionals. If Prague were to lose such opportunities, it would limit it not only in terms of its ambitions to support culture and art, but also in the economic sector connected to the dynamically developing audiovisual industry,” states the fund.