Saturday, 20 October 2018

Film on legendary runner Zátopek to be shot in Helsinki

ČTK |
31 July 2018

Prague, July 30 (CTK) - Director David Ondricek will start shooting his film on the legendary Czech long-distance runner and four-time Olympic winner, Emil Zatopek (1922-2000), one of the most expensive projects of Czech cinematography, in Helsinki and other locations next spring, he has told CTK.

The film crew is now waiting for the reconstruction of the Olympic stadium in the Finnish capital, where Zatopek won three Olympic gold medals in 1952, to be completed.

The shooting, including locations in the Czech Republic, is to last one year, Ondricek said in an interview with CTK.

The project has a relatively high budget of 92 million crowns, partially because it will a historical film and the period props and settings are costly. For this film, even period sport equipment and outfits will be needed.

Zatopek won his first Olympic gold medal exactly 70 years ago in a 10-km race in London.

"We will be shooting from about the end of April and continue for the whole year. This film is divided into four parts - spring, summer, autumn and winter. Consequently, we need all seasons of the ear," Ondricek said.

One of the locations will be the Olympic stadium in Helsinki, the reconstruction of which should be completed next year.

"We will be trying to depict the atmosphere of the Olympics in 1952 as authentically as possible," Ondricek said.

This is exactly why the film is very expensive not only from the Czech viewpoint, but also from the international perspective, he added.

Zatopek and his wife javelin Olympic winner Dana Zatopkova, 95, will be played by Vaclav Neuzil and Martha Issova, Ondricek's wife.

Zatopkova herself was the consultant for her role and Issova also received advice from javelin thrower and Olympic winner Barbora Spotakova, Ondricek said.

He has been considering shooting a film based on Zatopek's fascinating life story sice 2007.

The project has received a subsidy of 15 million crowns from the State Cinematography Fund this year. The state also supported the project in the preparation. Ondricek said he hoped that the public Czech Television, which cooperated on the film as a script editor, would also help finance it.

The film will be shot with support of the Czech Olympic Committee (COV).

Ondricek shot a documentary on Zatopek in the past, for which he studied material from the archives of the COV, CT, the Short Film company as well as private sources.

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