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Keitel to play in Czech film adaptation of Painted Bird

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Prague, Oct 25 (CTK) – U.S. actor Harvey Keitel, 78, will play the role of a Catholic priest in the prepared film by Czech Vaclal Marhoul, The Painted Bird, an adaptation of Jerzy Kosinski’s bestselling novel, that is to be completed in 2019, Alice Titzova, from the film crew, told CTK on Wednesday.

She said the contract with Keitel had been signed.

Another famous actor, Swedish-born Stellan Skarsgard, 66, will appear in the film, telling the story of a Jewish boy who must cope with the cruelties of the surrounding world somewhere in Eastern Europe during WWII.

The talks about the casting of Keitel started last August. He received the script then for which he asked at the Locarno festival.

“Very frankly, I did not believe that this could work out at all. Nevertheless, primarily the script and then also the role that I offered to him were decisive,” Marhoul said.

Keitel, who has just finished his work on the latest film by Martin Scorsese, will arrive in the Czech Republic for ten days and he will spend five with shooting The Painted Bird.

The premiere of the film, shot in Ukraine, Slovakia as well as the Czech Republic, is scheduled for 2019.

In November, the film crew will be shot in the locations near the UNESCO-listed Cesky Krumlov, south Bohemia, and Hartmanice, west Bohemia, in November.

The work on the script lasted three years in co-operation with eight script editors. The script had 17 versions. The film budget is 166 million crowns.

Keitel won fame in the films by Scorsese, such as Mean Streets (1973), The Taxi Driver (1976) and The Last Temptation of Christ (1988) as well as Quenstin Tarantino’s Reservoir Dogs (1991) and his cult movie Pulp Fiction (1994). He also appeared in Jane Campion’s Piano (1993) and Ridley Scott’s Thelma and Louise (1992) and was nominated for an Oscar Academy Award for the Best Supporting Actor in Bugsy (1919) by by Barry Levinson.

Keitel also visited the the Czech Republic in the past. In 2004, he received the Crystal Globe Award for Outstanding Artistic Contribution to World Cinema at the International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary, west Bohemia. He returned to the event in 2015 when he presented the film Youth by Paolo Sorrentino. He is also featuring in one of the festival’s jingles.

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