Co-produced TV series tells the story of Chinese diplomat Ho Feng-Shan
Prague, Nov 10 (CTK) — The Czech-Chinese TV series Last Visa, set in the World War II, is the biggest coproduction project so far. Filming began in Prague and other Czech towns in September and most recently the crew moved to the Terezín Memorial, north Bohemia, project spokeswoman Dita Brančíková has told the Czech News Agency.
The eight-sequel series directed by Hua Quing tells the story of a Chinese diplomat in Austria who saved the lives of thousands of Jews during World War II.
“We will be shooting primarily action scenes in Terezín, for instance, the escape of the main characters from the concentration camp. This is why the Terezín Memorial will be closed to the public on Nov. 19-20, 22 and 25,” executive producer Pavel Berčík.
The former garrison town Terezín (Theresienstadt) served as a Nazi internment camp for European Jews during World War II, while the nearby Small Fortress turned into the Prague Gestapo prison.
The shooting started in Prague on Sept. 16. More than 200 people are involved in it in the Czech Republic.
“Two independent Czech-Chinese crews are working on the project 12 hours a day to enable to complete it by the end of November. Then the whole crew, including several Czech actors, will move to Shanghai where the last scenes will be shot,” said Steve Lichtag, one of the producers.
More than 30 Czech actors feature in the series that offers a number of spectacular sequences. The so far largest sequence was shot with 300 people on a square in the center of Prague, Berčík said.
The series should premiere on the two biggest Chinese TV channels, CCTV and JIANGSU TV, next autumn. A Czech TV channel will also broadcast it and the U.S. network FOX TV has expressed interest in the project.
The plot is based on a true story of Chinese diplomat Ho Feng-Shan (1901–97) who worked as consul in Vienna in 1938–40. He saved more than 3,000 Jews from the Nazi extermination camps by issuing visas to them and helping them leave Europe. His activities were recognized only posthumously. He was therefore dubbed “the Chinese Oskar Schindler” and the Israeli organization Yad Vashem awarded him the “Righteous among the Nations” title in 2000.