5. March 2021

Alternativní text obrázku

Dutch television will broadcast the final episode of the popular reality show Wie is de Mol? tomorrow. The series, which has filled a primetime Saturday evening broadcasting slot for 2 months, was filmed in strict secrecy in the Czech Republic at the end of last summer. 7 Czech regional film offices, along with the Czech Film Commission, worked together to bring the 10-part series, with a record audience of more than 3 million viewers, to television screens.

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Poldi Kladno | Photo: AVROTROS

The Czech-Dutch cooperation exceeded the expectations of the program’s producer Momo Zarroue: "Over the past 21 years we´ve filmed this series in 29 different countries, sometimes with the support and sometimes without the support of a film commission. In general, I feel that ‘a good and sincere cooperation with regional film offices means a smooth filming operation’. The level of presence and professionalism of the film offices in the Czech Republic was one of the first things which, frankly, surprised me.”  

The filming was preceded by six months of pre-production. The Czech Film Commission had been in contact with the Dutch production company Avrotros since spring. The primary task was to convince the foreign producers that the Czech Republic was the ideal place for filming.

In the end, they filmed in the Czech Republic for 6 weeks in September and early October of 2020. "Although the reality show’s local spending wasn’t as high as the foreign projects that qualify under the Czech Film Fund’s film incentives scheme, the shoot provides a significant secondary impact on the economy as a tourism stream," commented Czech national film commissioner Pavlina Zipkova. "In Georgia, for example, the percentage of Dutch tourists rose by 56% in 2018 when the show was broadcast, and by another 25% the following year. That’s why not only the regional film offices assisted the producers, but also CzechTourism.”

From scouting to shooting

The first stage of the preparations was the search for suitable locations. The Czech Film Commission helped connect producers to the eleven regional film offices in the Czech Republic.

Radka Samalova from the Pilsen Regional Film Office said, "We were looking for locations in 3 areas: Industrial, nature, and monuments. Only the kaolin mine in Nevren made it to the final selection - the Dutch producers fell in love with it immediately.”  According to Hana Vitkova, the Moravian-Silesian Film Office went through a similar process: "We proposed 13 locations, but in the end, only Koprivnice was chosen. But that meant that Tatra, a world-famous regional brand, was part of the episode.”

Petr Zidlicky from the Karlovy Vary Region Film Office adds: "The location requirements were quite diverse. The great thing was that we hit the mark on the first try. In our case, however, the producers had very specific ideas.”  Magdalena Hladka of the Zlin Film Office summarized her work similarly: "The 2 locations selected are so film-friendly that my recommendation was more than enough for the producers.”

Jakub Sverak of Fixer Service Prague, the production company that provided the film service, describes the selection process thusly: "Of the hundreds of proposed locations, we narrowed it down to about 80, which we then visited with the producer, director and editor over the course of 3 weeks. In the end, 27 locations were selected to appear in the final show.”

This was followed by a pre-production phase during which all the shooting permits were arranged.

Jan Spelda from East Bohemia Film Office was prepared to help during these hectic days: "We spent a lot of time on the phone with Mr. Sverak narrowing down the specifics of filming and searching for contact people.” Jakub Sverak had nothing but good things to say about working with the regional film offices: "Everyone was incredibly helpful. We also had a letter of recommendation from the Czech Film Commission and the director of CzechTourism, both of which helped open doors in many ways.”

Among the tasks that the contestants had to carry out during the show were a drive through the forest in Tatra trucks, rappelling off the Bata skyscraper in Zlin, a canoe trip in the Punkva caves, a glider flight at Touzim Airport, and a cold-water swim in the Big America quarry. Martina Kuncová from the Central Bohemian Film Office recalls: "Here we assisted in providing water rescue services. Fortunately, the filming was not dangerous, so all that was needed was a rescue worker and an inflatable boat to be on stand-by.”

Ivana Kosulicova from Brno Film Office assesses her experience: "The reality show Wie is de mol? required incredible effort during pre-production and execution. We're glad to have been able to take part in such a big event.”

Hopes are high that when the pandemic situation improves, the program will have a positive impact on the numbers of Dutch tourists in our country. There is even evidence of this directly from the Dutch crew members, who, according to Jakub Sverak, were “extremely surprised at how diverse it is here and what can be experienced in a country that is only an hour and a half by plane from Amsterdam.”

Regional offices are also looking forward to higher tourist numbers. As Martina Kuncova says: "The variety of our locations will certainly attract a lot of Dutch tourists in the future.” They also expect an impact on tourism in Brno. "We are currently working on a campaign aimed at Dutch tourists with TIC Brno," added Ivana Kosulicova.

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The Railway Museum Luzna by Rakovnik | Photo: AVROTROS

Producer Momo Zarroue summed up the Czech-Dutch cooperation: “The Czech Republic truly understands the potential influence and opportunities from the film industry. Always keeping our eyes on exotic locations and far-away countries made us forget that we have a ‘film-savvy’ powerhouses like the Czech Republic right next door. We were given a friendly welcome in every region we set sail to and met with willingness to meet our needs. I would definitely recommend filming in the Czech Republic and working with the Czech Film Commission as well as with the regional film offices.”

The 10 episodes of Wie is de Mol? were broadcast this year from 2 January to 6 March. All episodes are available for viewing with English subtitles on YouTube.


The regional film offices involved and their locations

Brno Film Office: Jaroslavice Chateau, Valtice, Mikulov Chateau, Valtice Chateau, the Loucky monastery, Anybody Hotel Brno, the Punkva Caves, the street of Brno, and Luzanky Park

Central Bohemia Film Office: Big America quarry, Dobrichovice Chateau, Czech Paradise, Mlada Boleslav prison, Mayrau folklore museum in the village of Vinarice near Kladno, Poldi Kladno, The Railway Museum Luzna by Rakovnik, and the Krupa-Kolesovice railway corridor

Karlovy Vary Region Film Office: Touzim Airport, the City Theater of Marianske Lazne, the Marianske Lazne Spa Park, the Nove Lazne Hotel,  Svatos Rocks

East Bohemia Film Office: Museum of Eastern Bohemia in Hradec Kralove, Kuks Hospital, Prachov Rocks

Zlin Film Office: Building 21 in Zlin, Tomas Bata Monument in Zlin

Moravian-Silesian Film Office: Koprivnice

Pilsen Region Film Office: Nevren kaolin mine

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Hotel Nove Lazne | Photo: AVROTROS

Competition Information

There are 10 contestants - all famous personalities. They perform tasks to earn money. One of the members of the group is the “mole” and the others are trying to determine who it is.

At the end of each episode, one of the contestants leaves the group. In the last episode, there are several survivors who must figure out who the mole is.

The public is also actively involved in the reality show through an app, and every week, fans can guess who the mole is.