Director Pavel Abrahám and scriptwriter Tomáš Bojar explored the Czech hip hop community in their feature documentary film Rapublic (2008). The film was developed at the 2006 Ex Oriente Film workshop.
Project details: Sparta - Slavia 0:0 Description of a Struggle
Can you tell us more about your current project?
For over a year, we've been working on a new feature documentary film that should hit cinemas two years from now. To put it briefly, it will be a social portrait shot entirely at the Sparta Praha stadium or in its vicinity. We will explore all the stadium floors and social ranks and use authentic situations to capture various facets of contemporary Czech society. A variety of characters, both famous people and complete unknowns, will find themselves in a single time and space continuum, sharing one event, enjoying the developments from their own unique perspectives and in their own ways. We're trying to stick closely to an idea once poignantly expressed by Hannah Arendt: "If someone wants to see and experience the world as it "really" is, he can do so only by understanding it as something that is shared by many people, lies between them, separates and links them, showing itself differently to each and comprehensible only to the extent that many people can talk about it and exchange their opinions and perspectives with one another, over against one another."
So you'll record the world as it is but, perhaps even more so, in its abundance of perspectives? While the film involves football, it will view the game as shaping the life and events at the stadium, constantly forming and transforming its living body...
Exactly. The football match itself will merely be a springboard and a reference point but it won't be the main focus. We may be interested to see how the goalie experienced the match but we are equally curious to see the reactions of someone who had bet a lot of money on the match, or of a hot dogs vendor or a group of Italian tourists.
How do you go about your research? What have you discovered so far?
Since last summer, we've been doing regular research at the Sparta and Slavia stadiums and we are impressed by what we've seen and experienced so far. It seems that the things which Karel Poláček [1892-1945, Czech novelist, Ed. Note] and Jaroslav Papoušek [1929-1995, Czech artist, screenwriter, director, Ed. Note] loved about football haven't disappeared yet, it's quite the opposite. We've eaten a lot of sausages there, witnessed a lot of intense situations and a year into our research, the environment is still fascinating. We've found some fifty potential protagonists and we're now in the process of selection and we've even done some shooting with a few of them. We feel we're onto something really interesting, it's an intense and meaningful subject so we'll see...
How do you plan to handle all these bits and pieces? The structure of Rapublic was conceived as a basic skeleton with specific situations already attached to it. Are you now letting your observations drive the method and shape of your current project?
The method which we're still working on will be more observational than in our previous film but the basic direction will be pretty much similar, it'll be a social comedy again. Not a film on football, but a film at a football match. In autumn we plan to launch a website where we will keep posting new clips so that the viewers can get some idea about the film.
Will you use the clips to promote the film or will also you be interested in people's feedback while you're still making the film?
To be honest, its primary purpose is to promote the film. If an interesting discussion opens up, we'll be glad to read it. It would be great if people used our website or facebook to point out some interesting protagonists we haven't met yet.
Could you name a few people who have joined you on this project?
The film is produced by our very own Cinema Arsenal, aided by Kristina Šedivá and Klára Botlíková. We're shooting with Canon DSLRs, with cinematographer Jiří Chod, sound designers Jan Paul and Václav Flégl. We'll be working again with script editor Jan Gogola and editor Šimon Špidla who is an important person for debates on the overall concept of the film and who has already come up with a few great ideas.
Have you already found some funding support?
The film is made in close cooperation with AC Sparta Praha and the script received support from the State Fund for the Support and Development of Czech Cinematography. We'll be applying for production funding with the Fund and we're now also trying to contact several private funders.
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