MFF Praha - Febiofest
What might come next after a van hits people in a village square? One day Adam Koloman Rybanský, a directing student at the Film and TV School of the Academy of Performing Arts in Prague, asked himself this question – and precisely that inspiration then blossomed into his feature-length debut Somewhere Over the Chemtrails, which successfully premiered this year at the Berlinale. He and a copious delegation presented it at the 29th Prague IFF – Febiofest, and on June 16th, this film will make its way into Czech theaters.
“Originally the van incident was to take place on Christmas, but my professor Jasamine Blažević told me that we shouldn’t film in winter, that it’s too complicated. So we rewrote it for Easter. And then for technical reasons we filmed it in January and February at eight below,” the director revealed. Moreover it was the winter of 2021, the time of lockdowns. “But for us it was important to be able to physically meet as a team. The things you otherwise see as normal were suddenly a big bonus. We actors twisted it a bit into a party, but Adam and the other scriptwriter Lukas Csicsely, or, say, our editor Alan Sýs, they pored over the papers, and once in a while they’d pull one of us off from the dancing and tell us what we’d be filming the next day and what to get ready for,” recalls Mirek Škultéty, who played one of the volunteer firemen – and who arrived at the Febiofest screening in his firefighting outfit.
One plus for the film’s successful execution was that the creators had carefully prepared everything in advance. “We actually pre-filmed the movie, recorded the script, and created an animatic – otherwise we couldn’t have finished in time. On-site, preparing like this gave us room for some improvisations and new additions,” noted Rybanský. Škultéty praised him for this, saying: “This kind of absolutely professional approach is not the norm here in Czechia.”
They filmed in the Zlín region, from which the filmmakers received financial support. They found the kind of village they wanted, with a fountain on its square, over the internet. “We went through 370 villages, and for all of them we clicked our way to the square. And Chvalnov-Lísky was the only hamlet that has a fountain – simply because one local citizen decided to build it in the eighties,” explained Rybanský.