Tereza Hirsch

Tereza Hirsch is a Czech-German award-winning director, screenwriter, and producer. She is best known for her short films The Guilt List (2016) and Beyond Her Lens (2019) as well as various music videos, shot across three continents, and the reality show Survivor Czech and Slovak (2022), where Tereza worked as Content Director for 12 episodes. Currently, she is producing and directing a new Czech TV series, set to air in 2023.

Your project has entered our festival. What is your project about?

Our short film, "Your Move My Lady," is a crime story interwoven with a murder mystery, drawing inspiration from a chess match between two Czech grandmasters. This narrative within a narrative begins when Regina's serene life, dedicated to caring for her ailing husband, is disrupted by the unexpected arrival of her cousin-in-law, who is in a wheelchair, along with his entourage. A complex tale of inheritance, greed, and deception unfolds, setting family against family in a fierce struggle for control over a business empire, with the conception of a baby emerging as the pivotal element for seizing power.

What are your ambitions with your project?

The original idea for this project was to create a pilot for an anthology series where every episode is subtly connected through metaphors. However, our path has taken us through independent film festivals, where we aim to create an exciting cinematic experience for the audience. If this project eventually becomes a TV series, great, but for now, we are more than happy and grateful for the festival success the film has garnered so far.

Tell us something about your shooting? What pleasantly surprised you?

This was my first time shooting with multiple Czech A-list actors as well as chess grandmasters, who had never been in a film before, so I was quite nervous. To film an authentic-looking murder mystery, we needed a fitting location. In the end, I was pleasantly surprised that we managed to shoot in a magnificent castle and get fantastic actors on board, resulting in a product that everyone is happy with.

For what group of spectators is your film targeted?

I would say that the film is especially appealing to fans of the mystery and crime genres, chess enthusiasts, and overall viewers who appreciate intricate and thought-provoking storytelling.

Why should distributors buy your film?

From what I have recently learned about film distribution, genres like thrillers and horrors are on the rise again, and distributors seem to be looking for these.

How would you specify your work? What characterizes your film?

I put a lot of effort into detail and closely work with every department, from costumes and makeup to sound and color correction. As for this film, my work as a director can be characterized by a blend of suspenseful drama and a little bit of humor, with a focus on visual aesthetics.

Why did you decide to become a filmmaker?

Unlike many other filmmakers, I was not someone who wanted to do this since childhood. Instead, I started out as a music journalist. When I first came to Los Angeles from Europe in 2013, I had planned to continue on that path, but then I got intrigued by the vibe of the film studios in LA and decided to dip my toes in the filmmaking waters. I soon realized that I love it and haven't stopped since.

Who is your role model?

At the beginning of my career, I got to meet and work with an inspirational Czech director named Jan Hřebejk, who made a film that was Oscar-nominated twenty years ago. He is still my inspiration and mentor whenever I need advice.

Which movies are your favorites? Why?

My preferred genres are period dramas and dark comedies, specifically those from the Coen brothers like "The Big Lebowski" and "Fargo."

Where do you look for inspiration for your films?

I admire strong women facing challenges. I either get inspired just by looking at life stories of people around me or occasionally of people I see on TV. That was the case with my previous film, "Beyond Her Lens," where I got inspired by real-life conflict zone female photographer Jana Andert, who was giving an interview on TV about her experiences in the Middle East. I based my main female character on Jana's life.

Which topics interest you the most?

While I have an interest in a wide variety of topics across all genres, the most intriguing for me are real-life stories set in challenging times.

What do you consider your greatest achievement in your career?

I hope that my greatest achievements are still ahead of me.

What do you consider most important about filming?

Apart from the obvious talent, willingness to work hard and long hours, and skills, good communication among everyone involved is crucial. Good time management should not be underestimated.

Which film technique of shooting do you consider the best?

If it can be afforded, shooting on film still looks the best.

How would you rate/What is your opinion about current filmmaking?

With new technologies arising, it seemingly gets easier and more accessible for anyone to become a filmmaker. Yet, with the amount of content that is being offered to viewers, it gets harder to stand out. I still enjoy the real cinema experience and discovering new films at festivals from independent filmmakers.

What can disappoint you in a movie?

When the ending is too predictable from the beginning.

Who supports you in your film career?

I have to give the same answer as everyone else probably: family and friends:)