The Krzysztof Kieślowski ScripTeast Award 2014
‘Merican Chick tells the story of Ema growing up in a circus family in the States in the early 80’s. Her family of tightrope walkers is lead by her loving father Mirek. The thirteen year old Ema thrives in the environment with free rules between performances and practice. For Ema it’s paradise.
Her mother Olga feels misplaced, running out of time. She’s never learned English and has no other future than her place at the circus box office. She gets drunk, is promiscuous, stages conflicts so the fault falls on the father Mirek in the eyes of the children. She decides to run away and kidnaps Ema and her two year old sister Caroline back to the communist Czechoslovakia.
The mother forsakes the girls soon after the arrival so she can have fun unencumbered. Caroline goes to foster parents. Ema has to learn how to survive in the jail-like communist juvie. Her dreams about returning to America lead to an escape that she reverses herself after her newly-found younger sister Caroline fails to recognize her.
She realizes that the juvie inmates are the only family she’s got. Of all of them she’ll love Marika like her own sister. The juvie toughens Ema’s look but her freedom loving spirit is unbroken. She manages to unite the girls and organize the big escape in the fall of 1989, in the eve of the Velvet Revolution.
The mirage of freedom becomes the perfect trap. They meet Miro, a statuesque man and Marika’s first guy she’s dreamed about the whole time in the juvie. Now he’s a pimp. For him Marika takes freedom of enterprising in her own hands and starts trading the only thing she’s got – her body. Ema lives with them in a Prague terrace building full of gypsies and prostitutes, also former inmates of the commie juvies. A distant reminder of the circus in America by its lack of order.
Ema finds out she’s pregnant with Miro. He tries to force her brutaly to get an abortion. Ema runs for help to her mother where she’s faced with a confrontation of her lifetime. Through that she realizes this is neither who she wants to nor will ever be.
But Miro is way ahead. He kidnaps both Ema and Marika, attempts to sell them to a prostitution ring. Thanks to Ema’s circus skills the girls escape in the last moment. Ema saved half unconscious Marika’s life, she doesn’t abandon those she loves. Ema’s made her choices – in motherhood and in life. Freedom is within an arm’s reach.
Writer, a graduate of FAMU Prague – Film Academy of Performing Arts (Master’s Degree, 2000). Author of ALONG THE LEDGE TO THE WINDOW/ PO ŘÍMSE AŽ K OKNU (1997) and SCARS/ JIZVY (2007) – the book was published in the highly intellectually prestigious publishing house Paseka. WrittenbyEvitaMOTHERŚ LIFE/MAMÁJA(2010),afeaturefilmscreenplay, was awarded with RWE, GRANT FOUNDATION RWE BARRANDOV. Another script she wrote is based on her novel SCARS (2013). The screenplay is in development phase in the creative group lead by Jan Stern and Petr Jarchovsky in Czech Television. The film is to be directed by Bohdan Sláma. Awarded with RWE, GRANT FOUNDATION RWE BARRANDOV. Currently, Evita works on a TV screenplay – ALL FOR THE FAMILY/ VŠE PRO RODINU. The project is in development in the creative group lead by Jan Stern and Petr Jarchovsky in Czech Television.
Nursed by 35mm and VHS, director/producer Viktor grew to desire to create both artistically compelling and commercially successful films. “My Detox”- “the most significant debut of post communist decade” by critics; “The Great Thaw” – so far seen by over 6% of the Czech nation-theaters only; international co-production “Clownwise”, currently in cinemas, which combines the experiences.
Proud member of what Cahiers du Cinema calls the do-it-yourself generation Viktor also produces films by filmmakers he admires. Award winning film by Zuzana Liova, “House” and “Honeymoon” directed by the Academy Award nominated director Jan Hrebejk.
Viktor is currently producing “The Red Captain”, new film to be directed by his fellow director and partner in Fog’n’Desire Films Michal Kollar.
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BAFTA nominated, director of “My Son the Fanatic”, “The Yellow Hankerchief” and ”Opa!”, 5th edition ScripTeast creative advisor, UK
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ScripTeast Head of Studies, Associate Professor – Screenwriting and Production at School of Cinematic Arts, USC, screenwriter and director, author of the script for the Oscar-nominated film “Shoeshine”, USA
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Golden Globe awarded author of “The People vs. Larry Flynt” and “Ed Wood” with two Oscars, 5th edition ScripTeast creative advisor, USA