"I, Olga Hepnarova" in French Cinemas

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, was be released theatrically in France on July 6, 2016.

French Premiere

Ja, Olga Hepnarová (I, Olga Hepnarová) was released theatrically in France on July 6, 2016. Distribution is handled by Arizona Distribuztion. The film’s French title is Moi, Olga. The film was released theatrically in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. 

Ja, Olga Hepnarová (I, Olga Hepnarová)

Michalina Olszańska in Ja, Olga Hepnarová (I, Olga Hepnarová). Photo courtesy of Media Brigade

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.

World Premiere in Berlinale’s Panorama

The world premiere of the film took place at the 66th Berlinale, where Ja, Olga Hepnarova (I, Olga Hepnarova) screened in the Panorama section. Recently the film received the New Europe – New Names section’s award for Best Film at the 21st ‘Kino Pavasaris’ International Film Festival in Vilnius and the award for the Best Director at the 20th Sofia International Film Festival.

Paulina Bez