The last Czech film premiere of 2007 is Václav, based on the true story of an autistic village man who lives with his mother but gets into trouble and then wins clemency from another Václav - the former Czech president.
Directed by Jiří Vejdělek, the film explores Václav's passion for guns, which he uses to threaten some guards where is mother has been hospitalized. His mother appeals to then-President Václav Havel to free her son from jail, and his namesake grants Václav clemency.
Prague-based production company Bucfilm (www.bucfilm.cz) made the movie on a budget of slightly over €1.2 million.
"The clemencies [granted by] of our former president intrigued me some six years ago," Bucfilm President Jaroslav Bouček told FNE, adding that an aide to Havel selected some of the more interesting cases for consideration by Bucfilm.
"If Václav is successful, I will make six additional films based on Havel´s clemencies, with different directors," Bouček said.
Václav's success would add to Bouček's already impressive stable of films. They include Sekal Must Die (1998) with director Vladimír Michálek, which was one of the first Czech-Polish co-productions; Angel Exit (2000), and Autumn Spring (2002), one of the last films of acting legend Vlastimil Brodský who died in 2002, which was awarded four Czech Lions.
Václav stars Ivan Trojan, a veteran of such films as Teddy Bear (2007) and Wrong Side Up (2005). It opened Dec. 6 and is distributed by Pragofilm (www.pragofilm.cz) and SPI International (www.spi-film.cz).
Director Jiří Vejdělek has been popular with Czech audiences recently, having directed the No. 1 box-office hit of 2006, Holiday Makers, which attracted more than 800,000 viewers.