EXCLUSIVE: Prague-based US producer Rick McCallum is behind what is likely to be the first official Czech-Dutch co-production with writer-director Karin Babinská’s romantic drama Following The Dream (Za Sny).
Speaking at this week’s Febiofest – Prague International Film Festival, Film United’s McCallum and Martin Šebík revealed that the project with the director of road movie Dolls had been in development for the past year.
“As the story is set in the Czech Republic and another European country, it had been built from the very beginning as a European co-production,” said Šebík .
He explained that they had needed a seaside location and a large city nearby, criteria that were fulfilled by Rotterdam and the surrounding area.
This brought Film United to Michael John Fedun’s Corrino Media Group with whom they had been a partner on Lee Tamahori’s action adventure Emperor last year.
“They were looking for a minority co-producer from Holland and the script fitted to a T,” recalled Fedun who was one of European Film Promotion’s Producers on the Move in Cannes in 2011.
The lead male role has already been cast with the very popular Czech singer and actor Richard Krajco who had headlined Babinská’s previous feature, the romantic drama Wings of Christmas (Krídla Vánoc), which had been a box-office success at the end of 2013.
“But there will be multiple languages in the [new] film, so we will be filling in the blanks from the Dutch side,” Fedun observed.
Funding applications will now be submitted in the coming months to the Czech State Film Fund and the Dutch Film Fund for shooting to begin in spring 2016.
“One of the key ingredients of doing a co-production together is reciprocity, so as our relationship develops on Following The Dream, there’s another project we will do in return with the Czech Republic as a minority co-producer to our production,” Fedun added.
McCallum – whose past production credits include the Star Wars prequels, The Young Indiana Jones TV series and Red Tails - set up Film United in Prague four years ago and made the Borgia TV series as a co-production between Germany, France and the Czech Republic as well as Crossing Lines TV series.
Febiofest’s focus on Holland also saw the festival playing host to the actor-director Jeroen Krabbé and film-maker Urszula Antoniak as well as producers Jan Doense and Herman Slagter from the House of Nether Horror (The Pool), Volya Film’s Denis Vaslin (40 Days of Silence), children’s film specialists Wilant Boekelman and René Huybrechtse (T.I.M.), and funding executive Peggy Driessen-Bussink.