If selected for the Oscars, Burning Bush will be the first Czech submission with foreign direction and it will compete against Wajda.
Tatiana Pauhofová in Burning Bush, dir. Agnieszka Holland, photo: Dušan Martinček/HBO
For the first time, the Czech Republic nominated a film to the 2013 Oscars that wasn’t directed by a Czech citizen. In Holland's response, she said "This shows that my Czech colleagues chose this as their best production even though I am Polish.”
For the category of Best Foreign Film the Czechs submitted Agnieszka Holland’s Burning Bush. As quoted by the Polish Press Agency, she said “I feel pride and joy. Both about this and about how wonderfully our work was adopted in the Czech Republic.”
A spokeswoman for the Czech Film and Television Academy (CFTA), Rekova Martin, said that members of the Academy decided on the film by a large majority. Burning Bush is three-part mini series consisting of 80 minute episodes. It is about the suicide of the student Jan Palach who, in early 1969, set himself on fire in downtown Prague to protest the invasion of Czechoslovakia by the Warsaw Pact. The entirety of the film was shot in the Czech Republic and screenplay was written by Stepan Hulik.
The film opened in Czech cinemas on the 12th of September but is still waiting on the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) to confirm if the film meets the rules for the Oscars. According to Holland, the CFTA has looked to the guidance of lawyers to present the project as new so that their opportunity for nomination isn’t annulled on the basis of prohibiting submissions for movies already available on TV or online.
In the event that Burning Bush will not qualify for a nomination, the spot will be given to Don Juan directed by Jiri Menzel.
Nominated three times for an Oscar, the Polish director Agnieszka Holland is at the most significant point in her close relationship with the Czech Republic since she studied at the Prague film school FAMU during the era of occupation in Czechoslovakia by Warsaw Pact Troops. – says Rekova.
If Burning Bush is approved by the committee it will compete with Andrzej Wajda’s Wałęsa. A Man of Hope. “It's a good sign for our cinema that two Polish filmmakers have a chance to take part in such an exclusive competition,” Holland said.
This year is the 86th Annual Oscars Award Ceremony and it will be held on the 2nd of March 2014 in Los Angeles. The list of nominees for the Academy Awards for each category will be announced on the 16th of January.
Source: PAP, author: JHP 24/09/2013