Musical Movie Puts Irglova In The Frame

Marketa Irglova looks to have put her country, Czech Republic, on the verge of having an international film and singing star now that Fox Searchlight has bought the rights to "Once."

Twentieth Century Fox’s specialty film division has reportedly paid $1 million for the low-budget Oscar-winning musical, in which she co-stars with Glen Hansard, singer for Irish rock band The Frames.

Hansard, who’s now her onscreen and off-screen partner, wrote "Falling Slowly," the single from the soundtrack that collected the Oscar for best original song.

Along with "If You Want Me," the other single from the soundtrack, it charted in several countries, was among the most-sold songs on the Internet and became a mobile phone ring tone.

Hansard and 20-year-old Irglova, who have toured the U.S. including such venues as Radio City Music Hall in New York City and the Chicago Theatre, first met when the The Frames came to her hometown of Valasske Mezirici to play a small festival organised by her father.

The film, which was written and directed by John Carney, was shot in two weeks with two small video cameras and a euro 10,000 budget.

It won the audience award at the 2007 Sundance festival and went on to gross $9 million (euro 5.78 million) in six months in the United States alone.