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An online database of Polish movie production information, launched by the Polish Filmmakers Association (www.sfp.org.pl) with financing from the Polish Film Institute (www.pisf.pl), has become an instant hit for producers and distributors looking for an interesting project in which to participate.

Shooting is under way in Warsaw for Grand Hotel, a situation comedy produced by Figaro Film Production Ltd. and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, which has the makings to become a Polish blockbuster.


Shooting began Wednesday on a new film by renowned Polish director Krzysztof Zanussi called A Heart in Your Hand. It's the first Polish-Ukrainian co-production since the two countries signed a memorandum on mutual cooperation between their film industries last month.

A new international project from Ozumi Films backed mainly by Polish financing started shooting in Warsaw on Feb. 12 The Driver is a thriller about a passionate and obsessive relationship between a Polish girl and a French businessman played by Christopher Lambert. The film will be the first feature directed by Jérôme Dassier, who also wrote the script.


Poland's first online cinema has become an instant success. The price of an online screening at Iplex (www.iplex.pl) is 8 zł (€1.50), half the price of a ticket in a regular Polish cinema

Within the Whirlwind, an international production directed by Oscar laureate Marleen Gorris, began shooting Jan. 24 in Poland. The movie's screenplay is based on the bestselling autobiography of famous Russian dissident Eugenia Ginsburg. More than half of the 200 million-zloty (€55-million) estimated budget will be spent in Poland.

Krakow is hosting the first international congress devoted to Regional Film Funds in Poland today and tomorrow (Jan. 24-25). The National Chamber of Audiovisual Producers (KIPA) and the Polish Film Institute (www.pisf.pl) organized the event to introduce this innovative source of movie financing to Polish local government officials and film professionals.

Filming is under way for a biopic about Jerzy Popiełuszko, the popular pro-Solidarity priest who was murdered by Poland's communist secret police in 1984. Agnieszka Holland's To Kill a Priest from 1988 focused on the circumstances of his death, but director and scriptwriter Rafał Wieczyński seeks in his film Popiełuszko to examine the priest's entire life.

The European Commission is calling on Polish broadcasters to cut back on commercial time. Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza reports new research shows that some EU members are exceeding the 12-minute-per-hour limit on advertising. Spanish television has already been disciplined, and Italy and Poland are next in line.

A new Polish website has been launched to promote Łódź as an ideal place for filmmakers. The creators hope the website, called Action!Lodz (www.actionlodz.com), will bring new productions to the city that inspired both David Lynch and Peter Greenaway.