Polish director Agnieszka Holland remains as busy as ever, leaving behind the horrors of the Holodomor in her 2019 biopic Mr. Jones for a different kind of period piece altogether with Charlatan. Produced by Sarka Cimbalova and Kevan Van Thompson, Holland reunites with her Burning Bush (read review) actor Ivan Trojan, as well as her composer Antoni Komasa-Lazarkiewicz. Notably, the project is lensed by Martin Strba (a 14 time Czech Lion nominee), with costume design by his wife Katarina Strbova Bielikova. Having directed numerous features and television shows in her forty plus years as director, Holland is perhaps most notable for her 1990 work Europa Europa (which scored an Oscar nod for Best Writing), while her 2011 title In Darkness was nominated for Best Foreign Language feature. Holland has competed twice in Venice, for 1992’s Oliver, Oliver and 2002’s Just Walking Home. San Sebastian has programmed her twice in competition, with her English language titles including 1995’s Total Eclipse and 2006’s Copying Beethoven. She has competed three times in Berlin, with 1981’s Goraczka, 2017’s Spoor (which won the Alfred Bauer Prize) and 2019’s Mr. Jones (read review).
Gist: Penned by Marek Epstein, Charlatan details the life of local folk hero Jan Mikolasek, who lived from 1887 to 1973 and purportedly assisted five million people without a formal education in medicine.
Release Date/Prediction: Holland shot Charlatan from April to June in the Czech Republic. It is likely Holland will compete for the fourth time in Berlin in 2020.