Czech short film Peacock to compete at Sundance

For the first in history, a Czech short film will be competing in International Narrative Short Films section in Park City, Utah at the Sundance Film Festival. It will cap an important year for director Ondřej Hudeček has already spotlighted as a filmmaker to be watched.

Hudeček studied Directing and Cinematography at the Trebans Institute in Montreal and at the FAMU while honing his skills at film labs in Denmark, Iceland and Berlin. Peacock is not his first successful work, with previous short films such as O-Ring, Years and Karaoke receiving exposure and awards at several festivals already.He has established a production company in Prague focusing on developing shorts, features and videogames.

Peacock was unveiled at the 50th edition of Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, as part of gthe festival's inaugral Future Frames section, while the international premiere was held at the other side of Atlantic Ocean at Toronto International Film Festival. The film was picked for NewFest, New York LGBT film festival and nominated on Iris Prize in Cardiff for best LGBT film and netted several prizes on home turf as well. Peacock was picked as one of 13 short films for Sundance out of total of more the 8'700 submitted short films.

The story in three chapters centers on the early days of the 19th century renowned Czech author Ladislav Stroupežnický (played by German actor Julius Feldmeier), his first love, Jan Aleš, and an accident after which he tries to commit suicide, an attempt leaving him facially disfigured until the end of his life.

“In order to become the first true dramatist of realism he had to experience what it was to be the last of the romantics,” said Hudeček about the film adding that it is “a dramatic story of the rise of one of the most influential Czech writers, complete with flesh, bones and blood. A black comedy based on a true story, a queer literary encyclopaedia and a historical picture book in one.”

Hudeček has revealed he is currently developing a feature debut based on Peacock, a paranoid thriller, following Stroupežnický 20 years after the events of the short film.

“I would like to shoot a film, I personally miss in cinemas:  smart, authorial entertainment, universally understandable genre film with potential to succeed beyond borders that is not afraid to depict nudity, sex and violence on the big screen.”

14 December 2015, by Martin Kudláč