AN UNFINISHED film about the legendary Slovak outlaw Juraj Jánošík has been revived.
Apple Film Production, headed by Polish producer Dariusz Jablonski, has taken over the incomplete project from its previous producer, Rudolf Biermann, the Pravda daily wrote.
Prominent Polish director Agnieszka Holland started to shoot Pravdivá história o Jurovi Jánošíkovi a Tomášovi Uhorčíkovi (The True Story of Juro Jánošík and Tomáš Uhorčík) with her daughter, Kasia Adamik, in Slovakia back in 2002. Slovak Eva Borušovičová wrote the screenplay.
Biermann had received Sk65 million in state financing for the film, but overran the budget by spring 2003 and had to shut down the production. He blamed an American partner, whom he alleged had failed to meet his obligations. At that time, about 40 percent of the film had been shot.
Biermann estimated that he needed an additional Sk130-150 million, which he requested, but was denied.
“We did not buy it,” Jablonski told the daily. “We took it over after reaching an agreement with the previous owner. We want to try to finish it.”
“We have seen materials made by the Slovak filmmakers – artist František Lipták and director of photography Martin Štrba, whom I respect a lot,” he continued. “It was Agnieszka Holland who turned to me to finish Jánošík. So it is not a business move. The shot material is excellent and I have a feeling that if I do not complete it, nobody will.”
“For now it seems that we have managed to obtain most of the money necessary for completing the film in Poland,” Jablonski added. “But we need more money, even though not as much, in Slovakia. If everything goes well, we could shoot the last part of the film this year.”
Czech actor Václav Jiráček plays Jánošík in the film. He was 25 years old when filming began and is now 30, but doesn’t look much different.
“Jiráček was recently in Warsaw for makeup and costume fitting,” Jablonski told the daily. “It won’t show at all that he has gotten older.”
Ivan Martinka, who plays Jánošík’s sidekick, Tomáš Uhorčík, thinks that completing the film will be difficult after so many years, but is looking forward to it.
“I won’t tell you a premiere date because I don’t want to be taken at my word,” said Jablonski.
The plan is to make the film as a full-length feature and a television mini-series.