Variety has been given exclusive access to the international trailer for Vaclav Marhoul’s “The Painted Bird,” which world premieres in competition at the Venice Film Festival, and screens at the Toronto Film Festival in the Special Presentations section.
The cast, led by Petr Kotlar, includes Udo Kier, Stellan Skarsgard, Harvey Keitel, Julian Sands, Barry Pepper, Lech Dyblik, Jitka Cvancarova and Aleksey Kravchenko. Celluloid Dreams has world rights to the film, with Celluloid Dreams and CAA Media Finance co-representing the U.S. rights.
The black-and-white 35mm film, based on Jerzy Kosinski’s novel, is described as an “evocation of wild, primitive Eastern Europe at the bloody close of World War II.”
It follows the journey of The Boy, entrusted by his persecuted parents to an elderly foster mother. The old woman soon dies and The Boy is on his own, wandering through the country-side, from village to farmhouse.
As he struggles for survival, The Boy suffers through extraordinary brutality meted out by the ignorant, superstitious peasants and he witnesses the terrifying violence of the efficient, ruthless soldiers, both Russian and German. When the war ends, The Boy has been changed, forever.
The cinematography is by Vladimir Smutny, production design by Jan Vlasak, and editing by Ludek Hudec.
The film is produced by Silver Screen, and co-produced by Ceska Televize, Eduard and Milada Kucera, Directory Films, PubRes, Rozhlas a Televízia Slovenska, Certicon Group, Innogy, Richard Kaucky and Alexander Kushaev.