Czech-French film features young Romani actor in lead role
A new Czech-French film from director and screenwriter Petr Václav, "Skokan" ("The Jumper"), tells a story of the search for happiness. Its theatrical premiere will be 8 June.
The director of the films "The Way Out" ("Cesta ven") and "We Are Not Alone" ("Nikdy nejsme sami") has now made a summer road movie where the main hero is a convict released from prison who wants to become a star at the Cannes Film Festival. He sets out to find his happiness in the south of Europe by hitch-hiking.
The main role is performed by Julius Oračko, who appeared in a minor role as a drug addict in "The Way Out". Oračko actually has a criminal past and was cast after being released from prison on parole.
"All of that happened just two weeks before the beginning of filming and a month before the Cannes festival," the director said after a preview screening of the film in Prague yesterday. He said it should either be considered a documentary with some fairytale features or a fairytale with documentary features.
Václav also said he did his best to imbue the film with love for meadows, nature, rivers and the sea. In contrast to the simple beauty of nature he then wanted to capture the sensations of Cannes lit up at night, the atmosphere of the port of Genoa, and the antique and Baroque sights of Rome.
"Most of the scenes we filmed as improvisations," the director told the Czech News Agency. "The screenplay was just a rough draft, I kept writing as we filmed. We met different people and asked them to collaborate with us. I filmed without knowing what would happen the next day."
Other protagonists of the film will be familiar to viewers from the director's previous works, be they Klaudie Dudová, who won a Czech Lion award for her performance in "The Way Out", Zdeněk Godla ("The Way Out", "We Are Never Alone"), or Milan Cifra ("The Way Out", "Marian"). The film also features French actor Karidja Touré, who in 2015 won the César for Discovery of the Year for her performance in the film "Bande de filles", as well as French and Italian non-actors.
Oračko said making the film has changed his life - he has now settled down and found himself accommodation and a job. "Everything is better now, I want to dedicate myself to what amuses me. Thanks to this work I'm a bit different," he said.
The creative team, including producer Jan Macola, is the same as for Václav's previous projects. The cinematography is by Štěpán Kučera, this time together with Václav and Priscila Guedes.
The editor is Florent Mangeot, the French artist who also won the Czech Lion for his editing of "The Way Out", while the costumes were designed by Tereza Kučerová. "Skokan" was produced by Mimesis Film and co-produced by Czech Television, Cinéma Defacto and i/o post.
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