Czech Oscar Entry for 2021 ‘Zatopek’ Sold to Myriad for International, Gravitas for North America

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Myriad Pictures has acquired the international rights to “Zátopek,” Czech Republic’s 94th Academy Award Best International Feature Film submission. Gravitas Ventures has North American rights to the feature.

The deal was negotiated between John McGrath of UTA, on behalf of the producers, and Scott Bedno, senior vice president of sales and acquisitions at Myriad Pictures.

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“Zátopek” is about the greatest Czech athlete of all time, four-time Olympic champion Emil Zátopek. It is the seventh film by prolific Czech director David Ondříček. His film “In the Shadow” was the Czech Oscar submission in 2012.

“Zátopek” stars Václav Neužil (“Dabing Street”), Martha Issová (“Dukla 61”), and Australian James Frecheville (“The Dry,” “Animal Kingdom,” “Adore,” “Peaky Blinders,” “Black’ 47”).

The film dominated the most prestigious Czech film awards, Czech Lions, with eight wins including Best Film, Best Director, Best Actor, Best Cinematography and Best Editing. It was nominated for 13 Czech Lions.

Ondříček said: “When we premiered ‘Zátopek’ at Karlovy Vary Festival in 2021, the response from audiences and international critics was so strong that we knew we had a film that would connect with people all over the world. We are thrilled the film will now be sold internationally by Myriad Pictures; the film is in great hands.”

Producer Kryštof Mucha added: “We want to give special thanks to UTA for their steadfast representation, and we are thrilled that our film about a Czech hero will be available to a worldwide audience.”

Scott Bedno of Myriad Pictures said, “Krystof, David, and their team made a beautiful, powerful, and moving film, filled with triumph and charm. ‘Zátopek’ is the ultimate underdog story, and we cannot wait to introduce the film to our buyers at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival.”

The world premiere of “Zátopek” was as the Opening Night film at the 55th Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, where it won the KVIFF Audience Award among 109 competing films in the official selection.

“Zátopek” has been warmly received by critics both at home and internationally: “David Ondříček’s handsomely crafted Karlovy Vary opener depicts Emil Zátopek’s various athletic triumphs, but finds its heart in quieter domestic exchanges,” wrote Guy Lodge in Variety magazine, adding: “A crowd-pleasing curtain-raiser at this year’s KVIFF, the film is sure to have legs on home turf, but is accessible enough (with a sizable portion of English-language dialogue) to cross over internationally.”

“Zátopek” was represented worldwide by the UTA Independent Film Group agency.

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