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The 51st Karlovy Vary International Film Festival will open with the World Premiere of the World War II drama ANTHROPOID starring Cillian Murphy and Jamie Dornan.

Anthropoid is based on the extraordinary true story of “Operation Anthropoid,” the code name for the Czech operatives’ mission to assassinate SS officer Reinhard Heydrich.

Heydrich, the main architect behind the Final Solution, was the Reich’s third in command behind Hitler and Himmler and the leader of Nazi forces in Czechoslovakia. The film follows two soldiers from the Czech army-in-exile, Josef Gabčík (Cillian Murphy) and Jan Kubiš (Jamie Dornan), who are parachuted into their occupied homeland in December 1941. With limited intelligence and little equipment in a city under lock down, they must find a way to assassinate Heydrich, an operation that would change the face of Europe forever.

Directed by Sean Ellis (METRO MANILA, CASHBACK) from a screenplay by Ellis and Anthony Frewin, the film also stars Charlotte Le Bon, Ana Geislerová, Harry Lloyd, Bill Milner and Toby Jones.

“Since the film takes a look at a key event in Czechoslovak history, the assassination of Reichsprotektor Heydrich, we are glad that our festival will symbolically host its world premiere,” says Jiří Bartoška, president of the Karlovy Vary IFF.

Anthropoid was filmed in the Czech Republic from July to September 2015. This large international co-production was ceremonially presented at last year’s festival, where it now returns for its world premiere.

Anthropoid will be screened not only during the opening ceremony in the Grand Hall of the Hotel Thermal but also in two other venues for the public.

Anthropoid was produced by Mickey Liddell’s LD Entertainment, which previously produced the chilling drama The Grey (2011) with Liam Neeson, and the thriller The Disconnect (2012) with Jason Bateman and preparing the biography, drama The Jackie (2017) with Natalie Portman. The film’s other producers are Pete Shilaimon – who was responsible for In Secret (2013), an adaptation of Emile Zola’s Thérèse Raquin and The Risen (2016) with Joseph Fiennes and Tom Felton – and, in the Czech Republic, David Ondříček and Kryštof Mucha from Lucky Man Films, which won a Czech Lion award for In the Shadow. American distribution rights have been purchased by Bleecker Street; negotiations are underway for the film’s distribution in other countries.

Anthropoid was filmed at the Brdy Military Training Grounds, on location in Prague, and at Barrandov Studios, where the interior of the Orthodox Church of Saints Cyril and Methodius was recreated on a sound stage.

Anthropoid was made possible with support from the Czech Ministry of Defense, the State Cinema Fund, and the City of Prague.

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