9. 6. 2017

Author: Mark Pickering, Anna Kaslová


Prague documentary film is undergoing something of a revolution at the moment, the film bastions of old being edged out by an exciting crop of young, innovative production companies. One such company is Background Films.

Established in 2011 by Mikuláš Novotný and Klára Žaloudková, this ambitious, artistic-minded company have already got a few great titles under their production belt. These include the 2015 short film Resort directed by Martin Hruby, which won acclaim after its Karlovy Vary premiere in 2015, Helena’s Law directed by Petra Nesvačilova about a female Czech police officer who helped bring down the infamous Berdych Gang, and compelling travelogue Blind Gulliver released in 2016, directed by Martin Ryšavý.

Current projects include Mitsu, a short Czech-Japanese experimental film directed by Mark Ther, and Hornet in a Bottle, a drama about a man who avoids enlistment by seeking refuge in a psychiatric hospital directed by Vít Zapletal.

However, co-founder Novotny, who graduated from FAMU and studied at Theory of Interactive Media in Brno, is particularly excited about another of Background’s current projects, Communism, a ‘film essay’ which fuses literature, memory and historical events, directed by Karel Vachek.

Vachek, a documentary film legend who left Czechoslovakia post-1968 for the USA before returning in the 80s, is known as the "enfant terrible of the New Wave", and his films are renowned for their complex metaphysical structures and interweaving narratives.

Novotny says: ​"​Shooting with master Karel Vachek feels like learning from ancient philosophers as well as the most progressive filmmakers of present times. We are deeply thankful for this unique opportunity and adventure.

Communism was presented at FIDlab International coproduction platform in Marseille, where it picked up the Sublimage Award 2016.

For more info on Background Films, visit the company website or meet Mikuláš Novotný at Karlovy Vary IFF, where he will be present during the Industry Day.

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