Princ Films has taken international rights to Slávek Horák’s “Havel,” a biopic about the Czech playwright, dissident and his country’s president Vaclav Havel, and will launch sales at the European Film Market.
The film recently received 14 nominations for the Czech Lion Awards, the leading Czech film awards, across all major categories including film, director, screenplay, and all acting categories. It also received two nominations for the Czech Film Critics’ Awards, best actor and actress.
“Havel” premiered at the Visegrad Cinema Days, run by the Kyiv Film Festival in the Ukraine, and went onto play a slew of festivals including Heartland (Indiana), where it was a finalist for best narrative feature, Montreal Independent, where Horák won best director, Rome Independent, where it won best feature, Warsaw, Tallinn Black Nights, São Paulo, Cottbus and Zagreb.
“Havel” stars Viktor Dvorák (“Three Brothers”) as Havel and follows the accomplished playwright and Czechoslovakia’s last President, and the Czech Republic’s first, in the three decades before being elected from the 1960s-1980s, as he spearheads a resistance movement against the invading Soviet troops. More than a simple biopic, “Havel” is a deep dive into the inner workings of Havel’s psyche and conscience, his doubts and inspirations, his sensitivities and weaknesses.
“I was drawn into the story of this bohemian turned revolutionary, and the creative storytelling Horák encompasses throughout,” said Judd Taylor, director of acquisitions at Princ Films. “This hero of the Czech Republic is certain to have worldwide appeal.”
The film also stars Anna Geislerova (“The Catcher Was a Spy,” “Anthropoid”), Barbora Seidlova (“Leaving,” “Bolero”), Martin Hofmann (“The Zookeeper’s Wife”), and Stanislav Majer (“Shadow Country,” “Lord of War”). The film was produced by Horák through his banner TVORBA Films, and the acquisition was negotiated by Igor Princ and Judd Taylor of Princ Films with Horák.
Horák began his career as a 2nd AD on Jan Sverak’s feature “Kolya,” which won the Best Foreign Language Academy Award in 1996. Horák’s directed commercials all over the world for 20 years, and his debut feature in 2015 “Home Care” was nominated for eight Czech Lion Awards and won for best actress, was the Czech Republic’s submission for the Academy Awards and Golden Globes, and played numerous festivals including Karlovy Vary and Palm Springs. Horák also made Variety’s “10 Directors to Watch” list.
Princ Films’ EFM slate also includes Matthew Ya-Hsiung Balzer’s crime drama “The Catch,” starring Katia Winter, Bill Sage and Kyle Gallner; Brandon Willer’s action crime comedy “All For Nikki,” starring Grant Harvey, Gia Mantegna, and Teri Polo; Bohdan Sláma’s war drama “Shadow Country;” Kenlon Clark’s action sci-fi “Synapse,” starring Adam G. Simon, Joshua Alba, and Henry Simmons; and Martin Makariev’s action crime comedy “Wildlings,” starring Luiza Grigorova, Luiza Grigorova, and Ben Cross.