Ja, Olga Hepnarová (I, Olga Hepnarová), a Czech-Polish-Slovak co-production directed by Tomáš Weinreb and Petr Kazda, co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, will screen in the Panorama section of the upcoming 66th Berlin International Film Festival.

Ja, Olga Hepnarová (I, Olga Hepnarová)

Based on actual events the film follows the story of a young woman who drove a truck into a tram stop filled with people in Prague’s Holešovice region on July 10, 1973. At trial, she confirmed that it had been her intention to kill as many people as possible. Just before the tragic event, she had sent a letter to the local papers, explaining her motivations: “I am a loner. A person destroyed by people. I have a choice: either kill myself, or kill others. I choose revenge. Leaving this world with a quiet suicide is too easy. […] My verdict: Olga Hepnarová shall be the victim of her own bestiality, sentenced to death.” And indeed she was; Olga became the last woman in the former Czechoslovakia to be sentenced to death and executed.

Debut Film Supported by the Polish Film Institute

Ja, Olga Hepnarová (I, Olga Hepnarová) is a co-production between the Czech Republic, Poland and Slovakia, made with financial support from the Polish Film Institute and the Lower Silesian Film Fund. The film marks the directing and producing debut by directors-screenwriters Tomáš Weinreb and Petr Kazda. The lead role was played by Michalina Olszańska. The film was lensed by Polish DP Adam Sikora, and produced on the Polish side by Wrocław-based Media Brigade.

Polish Films in Berlinale’s Panorama

Panorama is one of Berlinale’s sidebars that complement the Main Competition. Films screening in the Panorama showcase the latest trends and accomplishments in independent and arthouse cinema around the world. In 2013, the Panorama lineup featured Bejbi Blues (Baby Blues) by Katarzyna Rosłaniec, while the 2012 edition screened Sponsoring (Elles) by Małgorzata Szumowska, and Jan Komasa’s Sala samobójców (Suicide Room) was in the 2011 Panorama. Other films screening in the Panorama in past decades include Feliks Falk’s Komornik (The Collector), Małgorzata Szumowska’s Ono (Stranger), Wiktor Grodecki’s Nienasycenie (Insatiation), the short feature Kocham cię (I Love You) by Paweł Borowski, Trzeci cud (The Third Miracle) by Agnieszka Holland, and Dług (The Debt) by Krzysztof Krauze.

The 66th Berlin International Film Festival runs from February 11 through February 21, 2016.

Further details are available at www.berlinale.de.

Translated by Karolina Kołtun