1. November 2011

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The two-part Italian RAI 1 television film L'olimpiade nascosta (Hidden Olympics) with a budget of $7 million completed shooting last weekend on location in Terezin, Czech Republic. The English-language film was shot in the notorious WWII concentration camp. The movie is inspired by a true story of an international group of POWs in a German concentration camp who organize their own Olympic Games as a cover for a daring escape. Directed by Alfredo Peyretti, Hidden Olympics is a co-production between the Italian company Casanova Multimedia and the Prague-based service and production company Milk and Honey Pictures. The international cast features Scottish actor Gary Lewis, known for his roles in Gangs of New York, Billy Elliot, Eragon and My Name is Joe, and others. Over 70 Czech film professionals and over a dozen local service companies supplemented an Italian crew of 15, Milk and Honey said. According to Milk and Honey’s Radomir Docekal, a co-producer on the project, among the main factors that brought the production to the Czech Republic was the 20 percent tax rebate on cash spent in Czech republic, which has been in effect since last year. “The Italian production team [returned] to the Czech Republic after their excellent experience shooting Zodiaco 2 last year,” he added. The Film Industry Support Program, which offers rebates of up to 20 percent of local production costs, was launched in June 2010. Last year, producers collected CZK 178 million Czech Korunas (roughly $9.3 million), and another 300 million Czech Korunas ($15.7 million) is being distributed this year.