Ana de Armas film ‘Ballerina’ among projects getting financial support from Prague

To be eligible, films had to depict Prague as itself and also have international distribution. Staff

Written by Staff Published on 17.02.2023 14:52:00 (updated on 17.02.2023) Reading time: 2 minutes

Prague gave financial support to six films including the John Wick spin-off “Ballerina” with Ana de Armas and Keanu Reeves, which just wrapped up filming.

In total, the Prague Audiovisual Fund divided CZK 5.65 million between the projects. To be eligible, the films must depict Prague as itself and must have international distribution.

"Filmmakers like Prague, but often its streets and houses are only used as backdrops representing cities of Eastern or post-Soviet countries. I am all the happier that we were able to support several films that will show Prague as Prague and thus help attract cultured tourists to the metropolis," outgoing City Councilor Hana Třeštíková said just before leaving office.

Fourteen projects, including five documentaries, applied for a chance at the funds last fall, and the six winners were divided equally between fiction and documentaries.

Biggest grant goes to 'Ballerina'

The action film “Ballerina,” which received CZK 2 million, was filmed at Národní třída, in the foyer of Laterna Magika, on the terrace of the National Theater, on the Prague embankments, and Masarykovo nádraží, as well as Barrandov Studios.

In the film, de Armas plays a hitwoman named Eva who goes on a dangerous mission seeking revenge against her father’s killers. Reeves will reprise his John Wick character but is not the main star.

The Cuban-born actress is no stranger to Prague. She was also here for the filming of the Netflix actioner "The Gray Man" in 2021.

The other two fiction films to get support had Czech directors. The Czech-Slovak co-production “Waves” (Vlny), directed by Jiří Mádl, got CZK 1.5 million. A young man who works in radio but also collaborates with the secret police (StB) faces tough choices when the political situation heats up during 1968.

Director Milan Cieslar’s psychological drama “Cuckoo’s Egg” (Kukaččí vejce) received CZK 300,000. The complicated love story involves a childless couple who turns to a surrogate mother for help. But the relationship between the two women becomes very complicated.

The three documentaries are “Bohemian Identity,” about Czech graphic design (CZK 1.1 million), the family portrait “Kdyby se holubi proměnili ve zlato” (CZK 750,000), and “Ještě nejsem, kým chci být” (I'm Not Everything I Want To Be), about photographer Libuše Jarcovjáková (CZK 300,000).

New support for student films

The Prague Audiovisual Foundation this year plans to announce its first call to support student audiovisual projects that have the potential to participate in international festivals, so it can help the younger generation of Czech filmmakers. The fund can also newly support films that are completely Czech-funded, while previously only co-productions were eligible.

In addition to the Prague Audiovisual Fund, filmmakers can also seek support from the Czech Film Fund (Státní fond kinematografie), which oversees film incentives on the national level.

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