Protector gets Czech Oscar nod

By Irena Zemanová

    Czech big-budget war movie Protector (www.protektor-film.cz ), has been selected to represent the Czech Republic for an Oscar nomination in the foreign language film category.

    The nomination by the Czech Film and Television Academy (www.cfta.cz ) was announced on September 24, the same day that the film was released theatrically in the Czech Republic.

    The WWII psychothriller by director Marek Najbrt and screenwriters Robert Geisler and Benjamin Tuček was produced by Negativ company (www.negativ.cz) with a budget of CZK 50 million (1.9 million Euros). Najbrt spent more than three years preparing the movie.

    The drama of a Jewish actress, Hana, and her husband, radio reporter Emil Vrbata, who become a Nazi collaborator in Prague, also received a record grant of 630,000 Euros from the Czech state fund for support and development of Czech cinematography.

    "The Academy has chosen a period war production that seems to be a perfect candidate for Hollywood. Such screenplay themes as war, Nazis, and holocaust, were usually very successful at the Oscars," said Petr Vachler, president of Czech Film and Television Academy. Czech wartime dramas Želary and Divided We Fall both received Oscar nominaions in previous years.

    "We´re very happy with such a decision, however, we are realists about the final nominations," Najbrt said.

    Among the film's major co-producers are Czech television (www.ceskatelevize.cz), HBO (www.hbo.cz), and post-production companies Soundsquare studio (www.soundsquare.cz) and UPP (www.upp.cz).

    The Oscar nominations will be announed on Febuary 2, 2010.


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