Three Wishes for Cinderella – before and after

EEA and Norway Grants

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It has taken a year. Two kilometres of film have been digitised, and more than 125 000 frames have been cleaned and polished. Cinderella and the prince are now ready to meet European film audiences in clearer colours and sharper images. See the transformation here.

This video explains how each negative is examined for possible dust and scratches, which are then removed and the colours are restored. The images in the new version are lighter, clearer and sharper.

What is even more important is that this film will now be available for future generations – for digitisation of cinemas and television has created new challenges. Film treasures of the past have become less and less accessible, as most of these films are archived on reels requiring projectors that are not in ordinary use.

    Read more: Fun facts about the film

The EEA and Norway Grants

Three Wishes for Cinderella has been given a complete makeover and digitised. The project has been realised through a collaborative effort by the Czech National Film Archive in Prague and the National Library of Norway, and has been funded by Norway through the EEA and Norway Grants.

Between 2009 and 2017, the Czech Republic will be receiving a total of EUR 131.8 million from Norway through this scheme. Grant programmes range from research collaboration between our two countries to environmental and climate measures, health services and cultural cooperation. Digitising Three Wishes for Cinderella has cost about EUR 80 000.

     Read more: What are the EEA and Norway Grants?

Premiere in Oslo

Three Wishes for Cinderella had its international premiere in East Berlin in 1973. The newly restored and digitised version will open in Oslo on 14 December. The director and some of the actors will be attending this event, which is hosted by the National Library of Norway in cooperation with the Czech National Film Archive in Prague and Norway’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Did you know that …

… according to the original plan, the film should have been shot during the summer?

… the film was a Czechoslovakian-East German co-production, and when it was shot, the dialogue was a mixture of German and Czech? Before the film was released, the respective editions were dubbed to Czech or German.

… the film filled five reels, with a total length of 2371.9 metres containing 125 087 frames?

… the screenwriter admired women and considered them braver than men? That is why he made Cinderella a protagonist full of initiative, who did not simply wait for happiness to find her.

… Pavel Trávníček (the prince) had such a strong accent that the director decided to have his voice dubbed in the Czech version? Later Mr Trávníček trained his voice and became highly sought-after for dubbing foreign films in Czech.  

… the screenwriter, František Pavlíček, had been banned from working on films at the time Three Wishes for Cinderella was made? He had to conceal his contribution behind the name of another person in the film crew.

… Carola Braunbock (who plays the stepmother) insisted on speaking German in the film? Only when it had been completed did she reveal that she both understood and spoke Czech.

… in Germany, the film is presented as being based on a fairy tale by the Grimm brothers, while in the Czech Republic it is said to be based on a fairy tale by Božena Němcová?

… Libuše Šafránková (Cinderella) and Pavel Trávníček (the prince) have played the roles of prince and princess in another film as well? In 1983, they co-starred in the film ‘The Third Prince’.