Far from the Tree

This short social drama follows a mother, Zdenka, and her 15-year-old daughter, Linda. They live in a small town that, like the women, is stuck in place. Zdenka is desperately in debt and works as a prostitute in the evenings. Linda avoids school and sees her purpose in dancing. Both women are trying to break out of their miserable circumstances. Zdenka seeks money and becomes close to her client Pepa, Linda rebels and looks for solutions to her problems in the wrong places. The women pass each other by and it is uncertain whether they can at least find their way to each other.

  • Emma Marková
  • Emma Marková
  • Markéta Plšková
  • Tamara Kotrbová
    Key Cast
  • Marika Malá
    Key Cast
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Daleko od stromu
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Genres:
    Drama, Social drama
  • Runtime:
    23 minutes 30 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 17, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
    Czech Republic
  • Country of Filming:
    Czech Republic
  • Language:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Tomas Bata University in Zlín, Czech Republic
Director Biography - Emma Marková

Emma Marková is currently completing her bachelor's degree in the field of Theory and Practice of Audiovisual Production (specialization in directing and screenwriting) at the Audiovisual Arts Studio at the Faculty of Multimedia Communications at Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Czech Republic. She directed the short film Vagina (2019), during her studies in Zlín she directed the films Inflatable Doll (2020), For Life or Death (2020), Words and Words (2021), and Falling Apart (2021), a film dealing with taboos surrounding the topic of abortion. She ends her bachelor's studies with the film Far from the Tree (2023).

Outside of University, she focuses on shooting small commercials and mostly music videos. In 2015, she chaired the children's jury at the Zlín Film Festival, in the past, she also collaborated with the Vsetín Film Club.

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Director Statement

The theme of this film is something that has resonated with me for a long me. It was important for me to show that the burdens handed down to us are not only inherited from family but also from the place and society in which we live. That's why the presence of the town in the film is crucial to me. The town is unable to move forward, just like the female protagonists. It is a kind of link between the personal and the public and thus gives the film revolving around a family relationship a societal dimension. The women also come from dire circumstances, and it is, therefore, more difficult for them to break out of established patterns.

Given the topic, we tried to portray the situations as believably as possible. At the same me, I wanted to avoid certain stereotypes associated with these stories. Even the lives of characters on the fringes can be colorful, so we avoided the drab shades usually associated with stories of this type. Furthermore, I considered it important to enable these characters to escape from the difficult es of their lives. The stylized dances serve this purpose and are both an escape for the women as well as a promise of be er days. However, we do not find stylization in the last dance scene because it is no longer as easy for the women to push their problems aside. The power of the end is in the fact that they s ll try again, even though it didn't work out before. They keep trying to dance, and in the end, there’s a kind of cautious hope that things might change for the better.