[on long preparations of The Painted Bird (2019)
] It took two years to get the rights. While Jerzy Kosinski
was alive, he is said to have allowed two directors "entry" to the book: Federico Fellini
and Luis Buñuel
. And now Kosinski is dead. It took me eight months to find the rights at the Spertus Institute for Jewish Learning and Leadership in Chicago. To my surprise, they met with me. Three men in handmade silk ties that must have cost as much as a small car interrogated this Czech guy in jeans and a T-shirt for one hour and ten minutes. To my shock, I got the rights. It then took 14 months to close the deal. Then it took three years and 17 different versions to write the script. Then four years to finance the movie. Not easy. You go to the Cannes or Berlin markets and tell them you want to do a three-hour war film in black and white, with no English dialogue. Not easy. Then two years of shooting - chronologically, so that the boy would age naturally. And then ten months of post-production. But during these 11 years, I have had the best producer in the world: Václav Marhoul. Not once did he say, "Forget it!" to me.