16. November 2004

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Roman Polanski concluded filming Oliver Twist in the Czech Republic yesterday (Nov 15). Principle photography began at Prague’s Barrandov Studios in July 2004. The director was enthusiastic about shooting in Barrandov’s stages and on the nearby back lot, where Czech crews built the London and village sets. “I have worked in practically all the studios of the world, at least visited many of them, and I think this is the finest,” he said. “Nowhere else we could have made the film in they way we made it here, because it allows us to combine the stage ... with the back lot, in the same day sometimes.” Polanski and his production partners Robert Benmussa and Alain Sarde chose the site more than a year ago, selecting the Czech Republic over other, cheaper locations in Central Europe. “Places like Romania, Bulgaria, whatever, cannot offer what [Prague] can mainly because of Barrandov Studio,” said Polanski. The film is an independent co-production by R.P. Films of France, Runteam II of Britain and Etic Films of the Czech Republic. “Having been successful with this type of financing and work [on The Pianist], we tried to go a little bit further and make a bigger film on the same principle, and that was this project: completely European, no studio involved except in distribution, and financed by completely European sources, with an entirely European crew.” Oliver Twist is co-produced by Timothy Burrill and Petr Moravec. TriStar Pictures will distribute the film in the US and Canada. The film stars Barney Clark as Oliver and Ben Kingsley as Fagin. DP Pawel Edelman and scriptwriter Ronald Harwood worked with Polanski on The Pianist.