Czech Republic Sends ‘Il Boemo’ to Oscars for Best International Film

Czech Film and Television Academy (CFTA) selected Il Boemo as this year’s Czech Oscar candidate.

Period drama, written and directed by Petr Václav, will represent the Czech Republic as the official submission for the 95th Academy Awards in the category Best International Feature Film.

Set in the second half of the 18th century, Il Boemo tells an extraordinary story of Josef Mysliveček, son of a Prague’s miller, who leaves for Italy to fulfil his dream and establish himself as a composer in the very centre of European opera.

Thanks to his talent but also to his charisma and luck, in a few years he manages to break through where many others have failed before him. From an unknown musician “from the north”, he becomes one of the biggest stars of the musical firmament at the time.

Recognition and fame bring him satisfaction, give him access to the highest circles of society, and provide him with constant favour of women, including the most famous opera divas. Yet, despite his success, he is unable to provide for himself materially on a permanent basis.

Petr Václav spent more than 10 years making his dream film, which will be introduced in world premiere at San Sebastian IFF in the main competition. As a big-budget, director-driven film, Il Boemo is a rare project by Czech standards and has been a long time coming for Václav and his collaborators.

Il Boemo is Czech-Italian-Slovak co-operation with Jan Macola of Mimesis Film being the main producer. Co-producers include Italian Dugong Films (producer Marco Alessi), Slovak sentimentalfilm (Marek Urban) and Czech co-producers Czech Television, Magiclab, Libor Winkler, Daniel Bergmann and Jan Menclík.

The latest Czech representative at Oscars was Zatopek by David Ondříček. So far only two Czechoslovak and one Czech film have managed to get the award for the Best International Feature Film: The Shop on Main Street by Ján Kádár and Elmar Klos (in 1966), Closely Watched Trains by Jiří Menzel (in 1968) and Kolya by Jan Svěrák (1997).

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