The Czech Film and Television Academy (CFTA) decided by taking a vote about the Czech candidate for the nominations for the Oscar in the category of Best Foreign Language Film. The academics chose the film called Home Care directed by Slávek Horák. The film, which got two awards at the International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary, will represent Czech cinematography at the 88th awards of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
This year the CFTA academics were choosing out of the 39 Czech feature films, documentary features and animated films the most interesting one that will represent the Czech Republic in the competition for the Oscars. The voting took place from 1st to 16th September and among the other highly valued films there was the film The Snake Brothers directed by Jan Prušinovský. Home Care directed by Slávek Horák tells the story of a nurse called Vlasta (Alena Mihulová), who takes care of a number of peculiar patients when working in the country in South Moravia. However, when she finds out that she needs help herself she has to start looking elsewhere in an environment she is not familiar with. Thanks to the daughter of one of her patients (Tatiana Vilhelmová) and her esoteric mentor (Zuzana Krónerová) she starts discovering a whole new area of alternative medicine. Her husband Laďa (Bolek Polívka) is quite sceptical about these nonconformist approaches and Vlasta has to fight her battle with her illness as well as with the down-to-earth notions of her husband.
The director and author of the script Slávek Horák studied at the Film School in his native Zlín. Then he continued studying at FAMU in Prague. He worked as an assistant to the director Jan Svěrák when he was working on his film Kolja, which won the Oscar for the Best Foreign Language Film. He also made two short films within the framework of the international project Straight8 and both were listed in the final six and presented at the film festival in Cannes. Home Care is his debut in the role of the script writer and director of a feature film and he also produced it in his own company TVORBA films.
At the film festival in Karlovy Vary the film won in the category of the best actress. It has also been appreciated abroad, for example the most influential American film magazine Variety considers the film to be the follower of the tradition started by Miloš Forman and Jiří Menzel. The film also took part in the competitions at many other prestigious film festivals all over the world (Busan, Haifa, Vancouver, Mannheim etc.). The international response to the film proves that “Home Care” can communicate really well with its audience all over the world. From the very beginning this was our aim – to tell an emotional story that would be set in a typical local (Moravian) setting (exotic for the other world) and still it would be universally understandable. I wanted to create a strong story with lots of moving and funny moments, a film that would make the audience feel they should change their lives and live better lives, more intense and see more things around,” the director of the film Slávek Horák explains.
The awards of the American Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences are considered to be the most prestigious awards in the area of film. The nominations for the Oscars will be announced on 14th January 2016 and the ceremony will take place on 28th February 2016 in Los Angeles.