Demon slate



Demon of the Marshes follows the journey of Josef Paseka, an alter-ego of Czech expressionist painter Josef Váchal, on his odyssey through the captivating Šumava Mountains. His quest is to find a sanctuary to breathe, to create, and experience tranquility and authenticity. Amid the rugged beauty of Šumava’s wilderness, Paseka encounters an array of whimsical creatures, from devil-pigeons to a magic goat and peat-eating miners.

Slowly, Josef Paseka realizes that to truly comprehend this mystical region, he must shed the preconceptions he brought with him. A century ago, Šumava was already a place of paradoxes, both romantic and desolate, exploited and neglected, ravishing and enigmatic.




Director – Martin Pertlíček
Art director – Martin Pertlíček
Script – Martin Pertlíček and Martin Novotný
Producers – Kamila Dohnalová (Last films), Martin Vandas (MAUR film)

Estimated length – 15 minut
Estimated release – 2027

Financially supported by the Czech Film Fund.




Director’s Note
“Imagine. A fine morning. You are standing below a forest on a hill in the Šumava Mountains…
You are looking into the valley, where the morning fog dances gently. Somewhere in the distance, a train whistles. A fire crackles in the outdoor stove next to you. A mug of hot tea sits on the stove. It’s cold. Even though it’s late spring, there’s frost on everything. The tea will warm you up. The smoke rising from the chimney of the stove falls like cotton wool into the valley. Suddenly you realise it’s merging with the mist in the valley. You’re cooking the Šumava fog.”

The cooking of the Šumava fog, combined with Josef Váchal’s artwork, provided the starting point for the film Demon of the Marshes. For the story, together with co-writer Martin Novotny, we based the script on Josef Váchal’s real trips to Šumava. Such journeys are a part of life for us too, so the story was created quite organically. Dozens of kilometers in soaked boots, with streams of water flowing out of them at every step, fatigue blurring the vision. Those who have experienced hunger and cold on the road know that the inner vision sharpens, the mind calms down. Only then, the things can be seen! By stop motion animation of puppets and natural objects we want to create a mystifying, but also ironic language based on the literary works of Josef Váchal.