“Children of Nagano”: The Movie Paying Homage to a Team That Changed Czech Hockey

Nostalgia for Czechs returns in the making of the new movie “Children of Nagano / Děti Nagana” which takes place when the Czech Republic won the historic gold medal against Russia in the 1998 Winter Olympics with their national ice-hockey team. 

Dan Pánek, filmmaker and director is creating a film which tells a tale of a young ice-hockey dreamer during this monumental time, which will bring back nostalgic memories to viewers. 

1998 saw the Czech Republic win the gold medal against Russia in the ice-hockey Winter Olympics. The Czechs completed an astonishing run through the tournament with a thrilling 1-0 victory over Russia. 

Jubilant crowds turned central Prague into a massive street party on the day of victory as they hailed the national team’s historic Olympic gold medal.

Dan explains how he remembers this historic win and how proud the Czech people were at this time. He explains “It was a crazy time. There was a sense of unity and proudness in the air. Everyone was proud to be Czech and wanted to celebrate this amazing win.” 

Since this triumph, people are disconnected from ice hockey and there is a lack of passion and unity for the sport. Dan wants to evoke viewers’ memories of this historical moment and remember how great this time was and bring back a love for the sport. 

The story tells the tale of a young boy, an outsider amongst his classmates, who after watching this success of the Czech team is inspired to play for himself. He is in awe of the ice hockey players and strives to play the sport well to become just like them.

His journey commences when he tries to convince his parents to let him play but is disheartened to not have his parents’ support. However, the boy has a wonderful Grandfather who supports his journey and motivates him to play. He is a dreamer who believes in himself, gets better at the sport and becomes impressive with his skills. 

This light-hearted family film will be Dan’s second full-length feature film and will premiere in February 2023 – which will be 25 years after the original victory of the Czech ice-hockey team. 

This film is being created to motivate the younger generation and inspire them to be interested in the amazing sport. Dan believes this is an important story to tell at this time, as children are more disconnected from sports than ever before. 

He wants to urge the children of today to get involved and become passionate about a new hobby. He also wants to show them that there are people in the world of sport to look up to and motivate them in their adolescence. 

Dominik Hašek / Hynek Čermák / Dan Pánek / Pavel Batěk

Currently, the film is at the crucial funding stage and will begin filming next month. The public can get involved in helping this film come to life in many ways, apart from just donating. There are options to purchase fun backstage opportunities which include: becoming an extra in the film, being involved in the filming process, and watching the team in the editing room at the end of production. This is a perfect gift for all movie lovers! 

Unique to other films and remakes of the 1998 Winter Olympics win, this film does not just re-tell the story of the win but focuses on the people who were inspired by the players and motivated to have their own victories. 

Children of Nagano also has support from current ice hockey players and sporting legends from the 90’s. Dominik Hašek, known as “The Dominator” for his iconic saves, has his full support and acts as an ambassador for the movie. 

The story is a pursuit of dreams and is inspired by Dan’s own personal relationship with the sport. He says “I want to inspire the next generation and get them passionate about the sport like I was. I saw these ice-hockey legends and wanted to be just like them”. 

This inspiring tale will urge those to get on the ice and try out the sport for themselves, and also will bring back memories of proud nationalism from this historic win.

To donate or get involved in The Children of Nagano, you can visit the website donio.cz (CZ) to find out more. 


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