„Charlatan” is a Czech-Polish-Irish-Slovak co-production that represents the Czech Republic in the Oscar race. It is a drama based on facts about the famous Czech healer – Jan Mikolášek. He was a self-taught medical practitioner who, thanks to his horticultural profession, got to know the world of plants and their healing properties. He was famous all over the Czech Republic for his skills, and among his patients were the president of pre-war Czechoslovakia Tomas Masaryk, as well as the communist prime minister and president of the country, Antonín Zápotocký, after whose death the authorities decided to throw the healer into prison.
Recalling the legendary figure of the Czech herbalist, the director brings to light his secrets, emotions and desires, the only remedy for which is fanatical devotion to work. „Charlatan” shows that talent can be a curse, and power is always associated with pride. The almost alchemical knowledge of the properties of herbs that Jan Mikolášek possessed, and his amazing gift of penetrating the human interior, attract thousands of needy people to his clinic. But this gift also has its dark side.
The world premiere of „Charlatan” took place at the last year’s International Film Festival in Berlin. Recently, it was nominated for the European Film Awards for the Best Director, and received as many as 14 nominations for the Czech Academy of Film and Television Awards. The film was starred by: Ivan Trojan, Juraj Loj and Josef Trojan.
The author of the script is Marek Epstein, Martin Štrba was responsible for the cinematography, Milan Býček for the stage design, Katarina Štrbová-Bieliková for the costumes, Antoni Komasa-Łazarkiewicz for the music, Radim Hladik jr for the sound, Pavel Hrdlička for the editing, and René Stejskal and Gabriela Poláková for the make-up . The production was managed by Kinga Tasarek, the producers were Sarka Cimbalova and Kevan Van Thompson, and the co-producers were Klaudia Śmieja-Rostworowska, Wojciech Gostomczyk and Adam Gudell. The film was produced by Marlene Film Production (Czech Republic) in co-production with Film and Music Entertainment Ireland (Ireland) and on the Polish side: Madants, Studio Metrage and Moderator Inwestycje, as well as Furia Film (Slovakia).
„Quo vadis, Aida?”
„Quo vadis, Aida?” – a co-production of nine countries, including Poland – is the candidate of Bosnia and Herzegovina. The drama, directed by Jasmila Žbanić, tells the story of the Srebrenica massacre in 1995. Apart from Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, Romania, the Netherlands, Germany, France, Norway and Turkey participated in the production of the image. The Polish producer is Ewa Puszczyńska (Extreme Emotions), and the author of the music is Antoni Komasa-Łazarkiewicz.
The film was on the shortlist of candidates for the British Academy of Film and Television Awards – BAFTA in two categories: film not in the English language and director. It was also nominated for the Independent Spirit Awards, one of the most important awards in American independent cinema. Previously, it was screened at the 77th Venice International Film Festival (main competition), 45th Toronto International Film Festival, and the World Cinema section of the Busan International Film Festival.
Bosnia, July 1995. Aida is a UN translator in the small town of Srebrenica. When the Serbian army takes over the city, her family is among the thousands of citizens seeking refuge in a UN camp. As a person with insight into negotiations, Aida has access to key information that she needs to interpret. What’s on the horizon for her family and people – rescue or death? Which move should she make?
The director and author of the script is Jasmila Žbanić, whose feature debut – „Grbavic” won the Golden Bear at the Berlin Festival in 2006, and was nominated for the European Film Awards in the Best Film and Best Actress category. Žbanić was on the jury of this year’s Berlinale.