25. August 2005

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Prague's Old Town Square, Charles Bridge and other attractive parts of the historic centre are busier these days than usual. It's because a South Korean film crew are shooting a romantic TV series in the city called Lovers in Prague. It is a sequel to a popular series Lovers in Paris which had a regular audience of 10 million people and radically increased the number of Koreans travelling to the French capital. She is the president's daughter, he is a private eye and it is love at first sight in the heart of romantic Prague. Written by Kim Eun Sook and directed by Shin Woo Chul, the series Lovers in Prague will start airing on Korean SBS television at the end of September.

Thanks to their magnificent monuments Prague and the Czech Republic are still sought by foreign film crews although a few years ago it seemed that they might move over to less expensive countries, such as Romania. I asked Ludmila Claussova of the Czech Film Commission, which connects Czech and foreign film professionals, whether she has noticed any change in interest on the part of foreign film crews.

"Nothing has changed. It's still attractive. We have unique locations, we have high quality film professionals here, high quality of services, facilities, studios..."

Are the filmmakers primarily interested in Prague or have they started exploring locations outside the capital?

"It think it's Prague but in the last couple of years we have seen that also other locations in the Czech Republic are becoming popular, like castles, chateaux and small towns. The problem is that the filmmakers need facilities and equipment and everything is based in Prague so it's always good when they find some locations around Prague so they can reach equipment houses and other facilities."

The Korean series currently being shot in Prague will have the name "Prague" in its title. That's quite unusual, isn't it, because the foreign crews usually use the sets and make them look some other city?

"The filmmakers use Prague to make it look like Berlin, London, Paris but there are a couple of films which have Prague as the setting of the story. It was a German film last year and now it is this Korean film. I think it might be a new trend."

Such a new trend might attract more tourists to Prague. Thousands of South Korean tourists visited Paris after they saw Lovers in Paris and now a similar response is predicted for the Czech capital after Lovers in Prague screens in South Korea.