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Polish director Agnieszka Holland to present movie on Kafka’s life


Prague, Czech Republic – Polish director Agnieszka Holland has reportedly been working on a movie on the life of Prague’s most iconic writer, Franz Kafka.

Holland’s Kafka to premiere at Berlinale festival

A Czech-Irish co-production, Kafka will be “a dazzling kaleidoscopic mosaic of a film that dramatizes the famous writer’s life and imagination in a series of stand-alone vignettes that span Kafka’s life from his birth in pre-war Prague, to his tragic death in 1924 in Berlin, to scenes from the future he prevised,” writes the Czech Film Center.

The movie will be presented at the Berlinale Festival co-production market’s online edition, from February 12-16.

A graduate of Prague’s FAMU cinema school, Polish-born filmmaker Agnieszka Holland released in 2020 her first Czech feature film Charlatan about controversial Czechoslovak healer Jan Mikolášek. Starring celebrated actor Ivan Trojan in the lead role, the movie even made the shortlist for the Oscars 2021 last year.

In 2013, she had already directed the TV miniseries Burning Bush on the act of self-immolation of Czech student Jan Palach in 1969 following the invasion of Czechoslovakia by Soviet-led troops.

One of the greatest female directors from Central Europe

In 2018, she was also the co-director of 1983, Netflix’s first Polish original series.

Known for acclaimed movies like Angry Harvest (1986), Europa Europa (1992) and In Darkness (2012) – nominated for the Oscar of Best Foreign Language Film – Holland is one of the most prolific and internationally well-known contemporary filmmakers from Central and Eastern Europe.

Alongside movies by Hungary’s Márta Mészáros and Ildikó Enyedi and the Czech Republic’s Věra Chytilová, Europa Europa was recently included on the BBC’s list of the 100 greatest films directed by women.

In 2020, Holland was elected as the head of the European Film Academy (EFA), taking over from German filmmaker Wim Wenders who had been president of the prestigious institution since 1996.

Apart from Kafka, several other Czech projects have been selected for this year’s Berlinale festival, including the short animated film Suzie in the Garden by Lucie Sunková, TV miniseries Suspicion by Slovak-born Michal Blaško and Slovak-Czech production The Spring, directed by Ivan Ostrochovský.

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