Breaking News: The Painted Bird to compete at Venice


Czech films to compete at 76th Venice Film Festival

Long-awaited Czech-Ukrainian-Slovak feature The Painted Bird was selected for the main competition of the prestigious Venice Film Festival. The director of the project Václav Marhoul (Tobruk, 2008) based his film on the eponymous novel by Jerzy Koziński and created a meticulous 35mm black and white evocation of wild, primitive Eastern Europe at the bloody close of World War II. In addition, short animated Sh_t Happens will compete in Orizzonti.

The Painted Bird starring Petr Kotlár, Harvey Keitel or Stellan Skarsgaard is the first majority Czech representative in the main competition of Venice Film Festival in 25 years. Marhoul's feature is produced by Silver Screen (CZ) and co-produced by Directory Films (UA), PubRes (SK), Czech Television (CZ), Jaroslav Kučera (CZ), Innogy (CZ) and Richard Kaucký (CZ). The project was supported by the Czech Film Fund in both development and production stages (with EUR 992,308) and also in the film incentives programme.

The film follows the journey of The Boy, entrusted by his persecuted parents to an elderly foster mother. The old woman soon dies an the Boy is on his own, wandering through the country-side, from village to farmhouse. As he struggles for survival, The Boy suffers through extraordinary brutality metod out by the ignorant, superstitious peasants and he witnesses the terrifying violence of the efficient, ruthless soldiers, both Russian and German.

Czech Cinema has another representative in the official programme of this year's Venice Film Festival - an animated short Sh_t Happens which will compete in Orizzonti section. The Thirteen minutes long film, directed by Michaela Mihályi and David Štumpf, produced by BFILM.cz and co-produced by Bagan Films (FR), BFILM (SK) and FAMU (CZ), was supported by the Czech Film Fund with EUR 21,923.

An apartment building full of self centered inhabitants. Utterly exhausted caretaker and his sexually frustrated wife. Widowed deer drowning his sorrows in loads of alcohol... While trying to cope with their problems, they find themselfs in a hard to solve triangle asking for absurd and irrational solutions. The consequnces can easily become permanent, sometimes maybe too permanent. The film is a loose adaptation of a well-known biblical story while transforming in into a contemporary ironic narrative about how the world sometimes works.


Czech Film Center operates as a division of the Czech Film Fund.

Last modified on 20-12-2019