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

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Czech Film and Television Academy (CFTA) selected Il Boemo as the Czech nominee for this year’s Oscars.

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

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

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

Recognition and notoriety bring him satisfaction, give him access to the highest spheres of society, and assure him the constant favor of women, including the most famous opera divas. Yet, despite his success, he is unable to sustain himself materially on a permanent basis.

Petr Václav has spent more than 10 years directing the film of his dreams, which will have its world premiere at the IFF in San Sebastian 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 a Czech-Italian-Slovakian cooperation with Jan Macola from Mimesis Film being the main producer. Co-producers include Italian Dugong Films (producer Marco Alessi), Slovak sentimental film (Marek Urban) and Czech co-producers Czech Television, Magiclab, Libor Winkler, Daniel Bergmann and Jan Menclík.

The last Czech representative at the Oscars was Zatopek by David Ondricek. So far, only two Czechoslovak films and one Czech film have managed to get the award for best international feature film: The main street shop by Ján Kádár and Elmar Klos (in 1966), Closely monitored trains by Jiří Menzel (in 1968) and Kolya by Jan Svěrák (1997).

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