Helmer secures U.K., Hungary coin

Jakubisko's first English-lingo pic based on Bathory

KARLOVY VARY, Czech Republic — No point waiting for state film funds to come to the rescue in the former East bloc, or so says Slovak helmer Juraj Jakubisko.

The director of “Post Coitum” and a string of pics dating from before the 1989 Velvet Revolution, Jakubisko announced at the Karlovy Vary film fest Thursday that he’s secured co-production commitments from the U.K. and Hungary for his first English-language pic.

Pic is a e10 million ($11.9 million) retelling of the life of 16th century Countess Elizabeth Bathory, known as “Countess Dracula” for her legendary baths in virgins’ blood to achieve eternal youth.

It starts shooting in November in Austria, Slovakia, the Czech Republic and Hungary from a script adapted by Brit scribe John Paul Chappel.

Various commitment deals cover 70% of the budget, said Ira Zloczower of the U.K.’s Lunar Films, which is casting and partnering. Execs also hope to tap Austrian and German co-production coin.

The announcement came as another pic from the east, Russia’s “Night Watch” opened at Karlovy Vary, generating considerable buzz as the “Matrix” of the Steppes.

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