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Slovak-Czech film Interpreter to be premiered at Berlinale

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Prague, Jan 22 (CTK) – The Interpreter (Tlumocnik), a Slovak-Czech-Austrian film directed by Martin Sulik, will have a world premiere at the Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin on February 23, project spokeswoman Uljana Donatova told CTK on Monday.

It will take place on the 80th birthday of Oscar-winning director and actor Jiri Menzel, who plays one of the leading roles in the film, along with Austrian Peter Simonischek.

The Interpreter was selected for the official programme of the Berlinale Specials section, presenting major cinematographic achievements, at the festival to be held on February 15-25, Donatova added.

“Jiri Menzel thus symbolically returns to the festival where he scored successes as a director in the past years,” she said.

Menzel’s Larks on a String (Skrivanci na niti), a film adaptation of a book by Czech writer Bohumil Hrabal (1914-97) made in 1969, but banned under the Communist regime, won the Golden Bear in the main feature film competition in Berlin in 1990.

In 2006, another adaption of Hrabal’s work directed by Menzel, I Served the English King (Obsluhoval jsem anglickeho krale), won the FIPRESCI critics’ award at Berlinale.

Menzel, one of the leading representatives of the Czech New Film Wave of the 1960s, won Oscar for Closely Watched Trains (Ostre sledovane vlaky, 1966), also based on Hrabal’s book.

Menzel still stays in the Central Military Hospital in Prague-Stresovice where he underwent a complicated head surgery last November, Hana Tietze, aide to his wife, told CTK on Monday.

The Czech premiere of The Interpreter is scheduled for February 27, while the film will be released in cinemas on March 15.

This is a road movie about two peculiar men who met by a coincidence to travel round Slovakia and learn the truth about their own past. Menzel will appear in the role of ascetic interpreter Ali, while Simonischek plays an Austrian teacher and bon vivant who likes alcohol and women.

In 2016, Simonischek won the Felix award for the best European for his main past in Toni Erdmann comedy that was nominated for Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

Sulik and a Marek Lescak wrote the script of The Interpreter, inspired by Austrian writer Martin Pollack’s book, The Dead Man in the Bunker (Der Tote im Bunker, 2004).

The film was produced by Sulik’s Titanic production company, IN Film of Rudolf Biermann and COOP99 Filmproduktion of Bruno Wagner, while public Slovak TV and Radio (RTVS), Czech Television (CT) were co-producers, in cooperation with the ORF Austrian public service broadcaster.

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