Karlovy Vary film festival: Danny Huston presents retrospective of his father's films, budding filmmakers receive grant

04-07-2006

Danny Huston: "There are other directors, great auteurs, who make films about themselves. My father was really interested in dissecting - literally with a scalpel at times - the inner workings of the human heart, mind, and soul and was able to use as his "surgeons" authors of what he considered to be great works."

Danny Huston, photo: CTKDanny Huston, photo: CTK "There are other directors, great auteurs, who make films about themselves. My father was really interested in dissecting - literally with a scalpel at times - the inner workings of the human heart, mind, and soul and was able to use as his "surgeons" authors of what he considered to be great works."

Actor and director Danny Huston was at the festival to present a retrospective of his father's films:

"It's a delight to be here at this festival. It is wonderful for me to be watching my father's films. I feel I know them so well but when I see them again I realise that I don't and the similarities that I saw yesterday between 'The Treasure of the Sierra Madre' and 'The Man Who Would Be King', about men, greed, friendship, his wonderful characters that are usually about losers - a passion that the Huston family has as a whole towards losers that lose again valiantly, to see the photograph of my father in the middle of the river graced by the warm spring waters also brings warmth to my heart."

But, the film festival is not just a platform for already established filmmakers. The RWE & Barrandov Studio Film Foundation supports Czech audio-visual productions and screenwriters. In February, it called on budding filmmakers to apply for grants to support their projects. In the two months given, 32 screenplays and 49 themes, synopses and film stories were submitted. The oldest grant applicant was 87 years old; the youngest was 25.

On Monday, the film foundation announced the names of the recievers of the grants. The winning screenplay for a feature film was written by Daniela Fischerova, who received 200,000 crowns - the equivalent of around 9,000 US dollars and a pledge by the Barrandov studios to help produce her film. Screenplay editor and literary advisor Kristian Suda has worked with renowned Czech filmmakers like Vera Chytilova, Jiri Menzel, and Filip Renc. He is also one of the five members of the jury that evaluated the script:

"Despite the fact that she worked on a film twice I think about twenty years ago, she is now known as a writer of prosaic and so one of the reasons why we gave her the grant is because it was very well written and we hope it will give her a strong support from producers.

"We were looking forward to the students' work and their screenplays. But there were only few professional treatments or screenplays. There were many texts that were used for the film academy which expressed the feelings of the generation or new attitudes towards our problems today."

Most of the projects that were submitted dealt with current topics or the post-war period and the fate of the ethnic German minority. And Daniela Fischerova's theme?

Jan Nemec and Daniela Fischerova, photo: CTKJan Nemec and Daniela Fischerova, photo: CTK "It is a story that we call 'faction' - a mixture of the words fiction and fact. It is based on a true story. In 1878, the Blazek sisters, who were Siamese twins, were born here in the Czech lands. They led quite an adventurous life, performing at numerous venuues around the world. At the age of 31, they gave birth to a little boy and never revealed who the father was. So, my screenplay is based on this historical background but luckily there is very little that we know about their lives. So, it gave me lots of space for imagination - eighty percent of it is from my own imagination."

Two more applicants, David Jarab and Jan Nemec, were awarded prizes. They were selected from the category "film story" and received 100,000 crowns each. The Foundation has launched a second grant competition. The deadline for the applications is 30 September.

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