Premiere of big-budget Bathory film postponed

By Irena Zemanova

    The planned October release of Slovak director Juraj Jakubisko‘s big-budget film Bathory, the most expensive film yet originating in Central and Eastern Europe, has been delayed due to post-production problems

    The premiere of the film, based on the life of a 16th-Century Hungarian countess reputed to be the greatest murderess in history, will be held instead in January 2008, according to Deanna Jakubisková, wife of the director and executive producer of the historical film.

    "The delay was caused by problems during sound editing and sound postproduction of the movie, which was done in a London studio," said Jakubisková, as quoted by the Czech news agency ČTK on Sept. 3.

    With an international cast and a budget of about 300 million crowns (€10.8 million), Bathory is the region's most expensive production yet. The film, about Countess Erzsébet (Elizabeth) Bathory, is co-produced by the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Hungary and Great Britain. The title role is played by British actress Anna Friel.

    Sound editing and sound postproduction is especially critical for this film. The international cast includes about 120 characters with speaking parts and about 2,000 extras. The soundtrack is in English but the film will also be released in Czech, Slovak and Hungarian.

    "We ordered the sound from a foreign provider in London, but we weren't satisfied with the final version of the sound editing," said Jakubisková.

    She said various sound segments as well as sound continuity need to be reworked, a process which will last through October.

    According to the Czech Association of Film Distributors (Unie filmových distributorů) www.ufd.cz, the official release for Bathory is now Jan. 17, 2008.