PRODUCER IN PROFILE: Kateřina Černá - Negativ

22. 10. 2017

Author: Mark Pickering

Behind every great director there is always a great producer. In the case of legendary Czech director Helena Třeští­ková, that producer is Kateřina Černá - along with her fellow producer Pavel Strnad.

Třeští­ková’s films are universally renowned. Her meticulous documentary style – intimate portraits of intriguing, gritty subjects filmed over many years, often decades – have won her critical acclaim and numerous awards. And yet the quality of films – and the media frenzy behind them – would not have been possible without the production expertise of long-time collaborator, Černá (together with Strnad). From their initial collaboration, Marcela (CZ, 2007, 82') to the IDFA nominated Katka (2010), through to the more recent A Marriage Story (2017), the pair have explored a number of edgy topics, such as drug addiction, prostitution, crime and domestic drama.

Černá began her career in the film industry in 1985 and worked on a number of short film projects. After living in Germany and Belgium for six years where she worked on TV commercials, documentaries and feature films, she returned to Prague and has since worked on a number of high-profile movies and documentaries.

In 2000, she began working for Negativ – a cutting-edge, award-winning production company – and a few years later, began her partnership with Třeští­ková.

Currently, she is working with director Peter Kerekes (Cooking History,Velvet Terrorists) on his new film Bata, the First Global Entrepreneur of the World – a documentary about Tomáš Bat’a - the ‘shoe king of Czechoslovakia’, whose worldwide footwear empire helped shape the country’s economy. Film is coproduced by Czech Television, Arte France, Seppia and Peter Kerekes and is expected to be released in March 2018.

She is also producing The King’s Skate for Negativ, directed by Šimon Šafránek (the man behind the 2003 Nick Cave documentary, The Myth). This new film traces the origins of skateboarding in the Czech Republic, looking at its humble roots in 1989 to the popularity of the present day.

She has also recently cp-produced The Lust for Power (SK, CZ, 2017, 90'), directed by Tereza Nvotová, produced by Zuzana Mistríková and Ľubica Orechovská - PubRes and also co-produced by HBO Europe. This documentary details the life of former Slovakian Prime Minister, Vladimir Mečiar, who came to power in post-Velvet Revolution Slovakia – a charismatic leader whose career was defined by his likeability but also scandal.

Founded in 1995, Negativ has become one of the most prominent production companies in the Czech Republic. Over the course of its existence, the company has produced more than 40 live action, documentary and animated features. Focusing on projects with the potential for international coproduction, Negativ has also built a long-term relationship with filmmakers Bohdan Sláma, Helena Třeštíková, Michaela Pavlátová and Marek Najbrt. Films produced by Negativ have won numerous prestigious international awards. Negativ’s most successful films, Return of the Idiot (1999), Year of the Devil (2002) and Something Like Happiness (2005), received the Czech Lion Award for Best Film and notable awards at international film festivals. Moreover, Negativ received two European Film Awards for René (2008) and Alois Nebel (2011) in the Best Documentary and Best Animated Feature Film category respectively. Negativ is a member of Audiovisual Producers’ Association (APA), and currently, Pavel Strnad acts as the chairman of the APA's board.

For more info on Kateřina Černá and the films of Negativ Film Productions, go to

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