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a witches' fantasy Christmas tale for the whole family

Theme and script:

Otakáro Maria Schmidt


Directed by:

Otakáro Maria Schmidt a Jana Kristina Studničková


Main camera:

Marek Jícha, AČK


About the film:

Feature film - for cinemas and Czech Television.

Television premiere for Christmas 2024 on Czech Television



A witches' fantasy tale for the whole family, set in the present day, using illustrative material by painter Pavel Čech and his ingenious treatment of mysterious neighbourhoods, evoking the legendary Shadowlands.



Cinematic distribution (BIOSCOP in negotiations)

Digital distribution Jan Rubeš - director of video and VOD distribution. AQS, a.s./Magic Box


Foreign Distribution:

Goya Producciones - Andrés Garrigó - Director - Madrid - Spain



Approx. 90 minutes



JesuPrague Film - Jan Mrzena, Otakáro Maria Schmidt, Lampafilm - Marek Jícha, AČK



Tomáš Magnusek, Czech Television.


For Countries:

Czech Republic, Slovakia, Poland, Italy, Spain (Goya Producciones) and others


Production and premiere:

2023-2024 - filming

2024 - editing, post-production

premiere in cinemas: September 2024

Czech TV premiere: Christmas 2024 (2025)


Subject and script: Otakáro Maria Schmidt

Co-writer: Jana Kristina Studničková, Marek Jícha


Location, casting:

Otakáro Maria Schmidt, Jana Kristina Studničková, Marek Jícha



Jiřina Budíková ČT, Jana Kristina Studničková


Directed by

Otakáro Maria Schmidt, Jana Kristina Studničková


Main camera:

Marek Jícha, AČK


2nd camera:

Otakáro Maria Schmidt


Editing and music direction by

Jana Kristina Studničková


Editing Supervision:

Alois Fišárek


Art design:

Otakáro Maria Schmidt, Marek Jícha, Jana Kristina Studničková


Sound mixing:

Ladislav Greiner



Music Bank, Zdeněk Pololáník, Petr Kolář-organ 

Architect: Petr Pištěk



Martin Dejdar
Jiří Ployhar
Tomáš Magnusek
Jan Šťastný
Boleslav Polívka
Radek Holub
Veronika Žilková
Jana Kristina Studničková
Marek Vašut
Otakáro Maria Schmidt

and others...



Otakáro Maria Schmidt and Jana Kristina Studničková have been collaborating for over 20 years. Together they have made over 500 feature documentaries, documentary portraits, entertainment programs, talk shows and several feature films.


They are best known as the creators of major semi-fiction historical documentaries that trace the historical context of European history.


Their films demonstrate significant poetic storytelling, an unmistakable directorial style that allows them to convey their powerful message in a visual and entertaining way.


Together, they have a unique ability to tell important ideas and situations through compelling images, thanks to their exceptional imagination.



Otakáro Maria Schmidt and Jana Kristina Studničková have won many awards. Among the most important is the nomination for the European Per Artem ad Deum Award (the first Czechs) for the film Prague Jesuit, right behind the legendary Ennio Morricone. The films are distributed to Spanish-speaking countries by Madrid-based Goya Producciones.


Otakáro M. Schmidt made his first feature film in 1999. It is the now cult Eliska likes the wilderness - the film won the Czech Lion and received three more nominations. Together they made the interesting TV film Herbert in the Ring in 2009.


In 2018, the feature-length distribution film Alice in Wonderland premiered.


The writing and directing duo - Schmidt/Studničková won the Kramer Award (journalism award of the Independent Media Association) for television journalism.


Czech Television's Otakáro Schmidt/Jana Studničková films have been released worldwide by the Spanish film company Goya Producciones (Serie Historia).

Alice in Wonderland was nominated for the 2019 award:

The prestigious professional award of the Association of Czech Cinematographers for the best cinematographic work of 2018.

The film has been translated into Spanish, English, Italian and Russian.

Czech Television:

The film was successfully broadcast on Czech Television in the festive season for Christmas 2019.

Madrid - Goya Producciones:

GOYA PRODUCCIONES, a Spanish film company from Madrid, has expressed interest in the film and is distributing our films not only to Latin America and the Spanish-speaking world, but also to North America and, one could say, all over the world.

USA-Chicago, Ecuador, Peru-Lima:

The filmmakers were invited to Chicago, USA to present their films.

The film Alice in Wonderland was screened in Ecuador for promotional and non-commercial purposes as part of the Czech Republic Presentation Week and in October 2018 our Czech Embassy took the film to the EU Festival in Peru (Lima) where it was a great success.

Italy - Milan:

On May 11, 2019 in Milan, Italy, the Society of Compatriots and Friends of the Czech Republic - Milan presented,

at the Embassy for the Czech-Italian community


Alice in Wonderland was selected for the final of its category at the 15th CEVMA International Film Festival in Germany (Burbach). The festival has been organised since 1990 by the Christian European Visual Media Association (CEVMA), whose members are Christians professionally active in the fields of film, television, graphic sciences and new media.



The Movies is coming out in book form, and this will also be the case for Lucia from the Magic Quarter.



6 wizards under the influence of the seventh, the head Master and his minion, Puss; 7 journeys to seven magical places where seven healing items or abilities are found that gradually free the wizards and turn them for good.


These will then, one by one, be able to uncover the next cursed unfortunate and determine, in a fabulous chain reaction, the next journey to the miraculous place.


Moreover, with this object or ability, brought back from these pilgrimages of Lucia, something miraculous can be found right in the Shadows, which will help as a spiritual weapon to further the quest, but also to gradually heal the enchanted one, and in the bell tower of the church of the Master threatened, Varhanik, who thus acquires gradually important protective to holy objects. The freed devil's minions join Lucinka's side and help her in the resulting battle with the originator of all evil, the Master Sorcerer and his almost biblical diabolical abilities.

Plot and Exposition:

A feature-length (for cinema and Czech TV) witches' fantasy tale for the whole family, set in the present day, using illustrative material by painter Pavel Cech and his ingenious treatment of mysterious neighbourhoods, evoking the legendary Shadowlands.

The main character of our story is Lucie, a curious girl who is often dreamy, but can also be very animated and humorous, even humorously ironic and cheeky, but always endearing. In terms of age and her friend Nicholas, she is on the border between

childhood and adulthood, i.e. in the midst of the beginning of an inscrutable adolescence. She goes to see the Organist at the Church of the Holy Ghost in the mysterious, almost spooky, neighbourhood we might romantically call the Shadows. But something has changed in the Shadows in the year since she was last here. This haunted neighborhood, full of nooks and crannies and winding alleys, is now somehow under a curse. It's aged and darkened spiritually. People have stopped going to church on Sundays and instead have taken an interest in witchcraft. And hence the rise of fake witch doctors of all kinds who began to profit from this atmosphere. It is as if a spiritual sickness has befallen this part of the city, over which a black Master, reminiscent of the biblical figure known from the Apocrypha of the Apostle Peter, has power. St. Peter had had his experiences with Simon Magus, and since Simon was heretically influencing the common people with his spells and leading them away from the true faith to charlatanism and superstition, Peter had to intervene and eliminate him. These apocrypha are hidden somewhere in the bell tower of the Church of the Holy Spirit in the centre of the Shadowlands, and finding them will complete the fabled mosaic of the disenchantment of the Shadowlands. But the central church of the Holy Ghost is now deserted. The Shadows are home to dark forces personified as witches, fortune tellers, false prophets, shamans and dubious oracles and healers. Their six main representatives must be tricked, deceived and overcome, and the Shadows must be healed and indeed freed from the grip of blackmail and the curse of the Black Master himself, using his own weapon, subterfuge.


Analogous to the Apocrypha of St. Peter, this very Shadow Master, the Mephistophelian whisperer of malice and meanness, must ultimately be overcome and disarmed. The liberated and converted charlatans will then assist Lucia and Nicholas and return to their original missions. Until then, however, people in their spiritual blindness believe them, and still pay them for it.


For this spiritual transformation, however, it is necessary for Lucie to go out into the world, but also into the depths of the labyrinth of the Shadows, on seven journeys and pilgrimages, to places associated with miracles, and to bring seven miraculous objects or abilities as weapons against those helpers of the Master, whose pacification and conversion to good will give her information about seven hiding places of objects with unearthly radiance. These will also help in the gradual healing of the cursed and, in the church bell tower, threatened by the Master, Organist and Churchwarden in one person, who thus also obtains the necessary holy objects to perform the Christmas Mass. Lucie, moreover, thus receives a kind of protective knightly shield against evil, and with wit and cleverness, and with the help of her friend Nicholas, she can confront the last and chief enemy, that aforementioned sorcerer with biblical flying qualities, the modern Simon Magus. By losing his enchanted people or blackmailable servants through gradual liberation, the demonic wielder Black Master, and with him his mischievous journeyman and henchman Puss, will be more easily overcome.


It should be noted who the plastic figure of the Master actually is historically. He converses with his henchman, Puss, who is his apprentice, much like the experienced hell official Zmarchrob in world literature (Advice of the Experienced Devil - C.S. Lewis) and his nephew, Tassemnik, who is only just learning how to seduce man (the "patient") into sin and thus ensure his eternal damnation. The Master depicts man's tendencies and weaknesses, as well as the consequences of where they can lead. He then manifests himself in a similar way to the magician and sorcerer - the diabolical Woland, familiar from Bulgakov's world famous novel The Master and Margaret.

And Lucie is not just randomly named either. Her patron saint is Saint Lucy, translated as Svetlana, the one who sees the light out of the darkness and is the protector against sorcerers. Lucy, the light against Lucifer, the Lightbringer. Lucie wanders for the light, discovers the light, heals with the light and carries the light in herself, in her soul and in her heart.


Throughout our fairy tale story, the Organist helps them with music. Although he is protected at the organ from the Master by the holy texts and the chalice as a holy grail, he has been bewitched by the Master's fortune-teller Jeremiah with a potion for forgetfulness and does not know where he has hidden the holy texts, and therefore he cannot leave the bell tower lest the Master steal them and misuse them. So they keep each other in check. Lucia, among other things she brings from the world, also brings the miraculous Marian water from the Garden of Shadows, so that Varhanek's memory will return. Eventually she and Nicholas find the apocryphal texts, about the world's greatest mysteries, in the church bell tower in the holy ground, and the final battle ensues. The organist rings out apocalyptic chords on the organ and the Master collapses under the force of the heavenly music, shattering like a frozen statue into thousands of glass spheres - frozen tears that fly like ravens out the church windows. After a short time, the Master Wizard rebuilds himself, but his leg is broken and his power is broken with it. The curse of the Shadows will be lifted, the city will be healed of the spiritual IN-power, the curse and darkness that plagued it, and with it the Organist will be healed. The Master and the Cat continue to work, but only on their own, as they are allowed to do from above. Lucy will be able to return to her telescope in her home room, look into the not-too-distant future, and thus symbolically walk with Nicholas into adulthood. It should also be added that all the time Lucia's exuberant imagination is filled with the legendary Saint Francis of Assisi, whom Lucia met on her way to La Verna, Italy, and who becomes her guide and protector. Another important element, or rather element, is water, which in its various forms helps to liberate the people and the Shadows.


It is the golden drop falling from the lantern onto Lucy's palm on the way to the heart of the Shadows, foreshadowing the stigmata on the hands of Saint Francis, it is the tear shedding on the icon in the painting of the burning Heart of Mary; the drop of paint that paints over decadent images; the snowflake frozen on the window leading to another world; the miraculous Marian living water that restores memory, heals and cures; or the water dead for tea as a potion that puts to sleep and kills; it's a dewy drop on a holy relic, healing spiritually; a drop of martyr's blood on the crown of thorns of Christ, found under a full moon on the church steps; a ball of ice like frozen tears left over from a blackguard; the wine turned into the blood of Christ at the Eucharist; the rays of shining water on the crown of the Child Jesus; the drops like the notes of organ music falling from heaven; and finally the drop like Lucy's tear.


But back to the beginning of our fairy tale story. First we need to pacify a decadent painter who paints unnatural and perverse pictures. The first task and trip entails: go to the Byzantine East and bring back a miraculous weeping icon of the Virgin Mary with a burning heart, hand it over here and events get off to a rapid chain of events. She is helped by a former altar boy, about Lucy's age, on the verge of puberty, the aforementioned Nicholas, who wanders around the Shadows and watches everything closely. He meets Lucinka at the church of the Organik and together they peer through binoculars from the gallery above the town into the lighted windows of the Master's various helpers and observe their dissolute activities, which at first sight appear philanthropic - philanthropic.


Sit back, the adventure story is just beginning. Now Lucinka does not yet know what is in store for her and, with hidden fear and determination, she dives on her first journey after a long hiatus into the Shadows to meet Varhaník, her grandfather, whose grandfather's identity the viewer knows nothing about until the last moment. And on the way, he discovers a strange object drawn on one of the dark houses in the shadows, the famous puzzle - the Hedgehog in the Cage - a hedgehog ball in a metal casing that can be unscrewed and no one knows what secret lies inside.

Business cards and promo:


Otakar Maria Schmidt, MgA.


Jana Kristina Studničková, MgA.

  • direction, editing, art concept

  • +420 608 982 428


Ing. Jan Mrzena

  • producer JesuPrague Film, s.r.o.

  • Director Emeritus of CT2

  • Director Emeritus of the National Theatre and the South Bohemian Theatre

  • Chairman Emeritus of the Council of CT

  • +420 604 631 788



prof. MgA. Marek Jícha

  • cinematographer, teacher

  • president of the Association of Czech Cinematographers

  • +420 723 437 344




Tomáš Magnusek

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