Czech Filmmaker Jan Svankmajer Launches Indiegogo Campaign for Final Film ‘Insects’

Athanor Production Co. has started an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for 81-year-old noted Czech filmmaker Jan Svankmajer’s latest project, a surreal film called “Insects.” He says this will be his final film.

Svankmajer has worked in many genres and media, and is best known for such features as “Alice” (1988), “Faust” (1994), “Conspirators of Pleasure” (1996), “Little Otik” (2000) and “Lunacy” (2005). Many of his films utilize stop-motion animation. He was awarded the International Federation of Film Archives honor at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in 2014.

“Insects,” which has been in development for five years, is based on 1921’s “The Insect Play” by Josef and Karel Capek, which will itself be featured in the narrative.

“The Čapek brothers’ play is very misanthropic. I’ve always liked that — bugs behave as human beings, and people behave as insects,” explains Svankmajer. “My screenplay extends this misanthropy further while also reflecting Franz Kafka and his famous ‘Metamorphosis.’”

Svankmajer and producing partner Jaromir Kallista hope to start filming this summer with financial help from the crowdfunding effort.

“It gets increasingly difficult to fund independent art that scrutinizes the very core of our society. Who would deliberately support their own critics? We make a film every five or six years not because of a lack of ideas, but due to the lack of funds to back up our projects,” says Svankmajer. “Our hope is that crowdfunding may be the way to change this. The initial $150,000 we aim to raise on Indiegogo will enable us to start shooting with live actors; eventually, we will need to raise far more in order to complete the animations and post-production.”

Donation incentives include signed scripts and DVDs of Svankmajer’s works, signed litographies of one of the insects featured in the film, a set visit and dinner with Svankmajer himself.

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