“Charlatan” competed at the Berlin Film Festival this year in the Special Gala section, and was most recently selected at Telluride. “Charlatan” represents Czech Republic in the Oscar race for the best international feature film.
“Charlatan” is based on the true story of Czech healer Jan Mikolášek, who dedicated his life to treating the sick using medicinal plants. Holland has described “Charlatan” as a story about Mikolášek’s “moral fall and of his constant fight with the darkness inside him.”
“It is the story of the mystery of a man, of the mystery of his special gift, of the prize he was ready to pay for it; the story of the paradox of strength and weakness, of love and hate,” said Holland.
“We’re thrilled to be representing this film for the Oscars and Agnieszka is one of the directors that we’ve long regarded as one of the major talents in the world, and proud to be working with her,” said Jon Gerrans of Strand Releasing, who negotiated the deal with Jean Christophe-Simon of Films Boutique.
Strand’s co-founder Marcus Hu said the film had “a lot of potential” in the U.S., especially due to its themes touching on science and technology and relatable portrayal of Mikolášek.
Simon pointed out Films Boutique and Strand Releasing have had a fruitful collaboration on a dozen films, notably “The Cakemaker” and most recently “Adam.”
“Strand Releasing is a great home for ‘Charlatan’ in North America because even though it’s a historical film, it should attract younger audiences as it talks among other things about alternative medicine. We think the film can attract very different crowds,” said Simon, who added that Films Boutique has now sold “Charlatan” nearly worldwide.
Sarka Cimbalova, who produced the film for Marlene Film Production, said, “Agnieszka Holland is a director of great stature and her films have been long appreciated by the discerning Academy members and the American audience.”
Holand was nominated for a foreign-language Oscar with “Bitter Harvest,” “Europa Europa” and “In Darkness.” She made her U.S. feature debut with “The Secret Garden,” produced by Francis Ford Coppola. She has also directed episodes of high-profile drama series such as “The Wire,” “The Killing,” “House of Cards” and “The First.”
Strand plans for a spring/summer release in 2021. Other Strand titles include Hong Khaou’s “Monsoon,” starring Henry Golding, “The Audition,” starring Nina Hoss, and Christophe Honore’s “On a Magical Night.”