WROCŁAW: Nine Polish projects currently in production and postproduction were showcased during the last day of Polish Days, an industry event held at T-Mobile New Horizons IFF (3-13 August 2017). The list includes new projects by Łukasz Palkowski, Bartek Konopka and Bodo Kox.
Screenings of works in progress took place from 8 to 10 August 2017. The nine projects presented to Polish and international film professionals include drama, dark comedy, sci-fi romance and a documentary.
The full list of works in progress presented during Polish Days 2017: Silent Night (Poland) This dark comedy is the debut feature by Piotr Domalewski and it follows Adam, a young economic migrant, who finds out that his girlfriend is pregnant and who decides to change his life by setting up his company abroad. In order to do that he travels to his home town in Eastern Poland to persuade his relatives to sell the land that is their only property. During the traditional Christmas Eve supper Adam learns that the price he would have to pay is much higher than he anticipated.
"I want to talk about that community objectively, without evaluating its members and their behavior or assessing their decisions and choices. From the outset of my journey as a director, I have been fascinated by films which use a simple story to talk about a wider community or a general social problem", director Piotr Domalewski told FNE. The cast includes accomplished Polish actors such as Dawid Ogrodnik, Arkadiusz Jakubik and Tomasz Ziętek. Piotr Sobociński Jr. is the DoP. The film is produced by Munk Studio – Polish Filmmakers Association with a budget of 700,000 EUR. The project is supported by the Polish Film Institute with 233,547 EUR / 1 m PLN and also by the Warmia and Mazury Film Fund. The film is in postproduction and is set to be ready by the end of August 2017. The Polish premiere is set for the Main Competition at Gdynia Film Festival.
"I started to work on this movie in order to answer my own question: why, at the age of 18, I quit my professional tennis career. My decision was a serious blow for my dad. I admired his quixotism, the bravery and tenacity with which he pursued his goal, but at the same time I was afraid of his cruelty during the training sessions and tournaments", director Łukasz Grzegorzek told FNE. The film is produced by Natalia Grzegorzek through Koskino, a company that also produced Grzegorzek’s debut feature, Kamper. The budget is 375,000 EUR. The project received support from the Krakow Festival Office and the Polish Film Institute. Shooting started in August 2017.
The Man with The Magic Box (Poland, Italy) This sci-fi costume romance is the sophomore feature by Bodo Kox, a popular Polish filmmaker most recognised for his debut feature Girl From the Wardrobe . His new film is set in Warsaw in 2030 and follows Adam, whose memory has been wiped-out by the secret service. He gets a job as a janitor and falls in love with Goria, a girl from a higher social class or “zone”. During his work he finds an old radio from the 50s and discovers that it allows him to travel back in time.
"The idea for this film literally fell into my lap straight from the universe, while I was cleaning an old radio that once belonged to my grandparents. I thought: What would happen if I plugged it in now and it started to broadcast programmes and music from its prime years?", Bodo Kox told FNE. The film is produced by Izabela Igel and Roman Jarosz through Alter Ego Pictures in coproduction with Alessandro Riccardi and Gianluca Varriale through Italy's Vargo Film. The planned budget is 1,240,164 EUR / 5.3 m PLN, of which 467,986 EUR / 2 m PLN comes from the Polish Film Institute. The script written by Bodo Kox received a Special Mention for Best Screenplay from Central and Eastern Europe at ScriptTeast in 2015. The film is currently in postproduction and will be ready in the first half of 2018.
The Fastest (Poland) New drama from the director of the box office hit Gods Łukasz Palkowski is based on real events and tells the story of Jerzy Górski, a triathlon champion in the Double Ironman category. An addict for 15 years, Jerzy decides to go into rehabilitation at the Monar Centre in Wrocław. There, he takes up running, which turns into his passion. Years later, he wins the Double Ironman Championship in Huntsville, Alabama, and becomes an unofficial world champion. No Pole has managed to repeat his success so far.
"Presenting the truly inspiring story of Jurek Górski to a wider audience gives me another chance to talk about a protagonist with whom I’d like to share certain character traits, since I find it hard even to quit smoking. It is also a chance to tell the viewers how important it is for anyone to fight against their inner demons as well as how great determination and pursuit of an impossible aim can make us better people", director Łukasz Palkowski said. The film is produced by Iron Films in coproduction with Polsat, Lutetia, Cavatina Studio, Odra Film and Monternia.pl with a budget of 2.2 m EUR, of which 816,514 EUR / 3.5 m PLN is a production grant from the Polish Film Institute. The film will be theatrically released by Mówi Serwis on 17 November 2017.
The producers are currently looking for a sales agent and festivals.
The Mute (Poland, Belgium)
Oscar nominated Polish filmmaker Bartek Konopka’s new drama is set in the Middle Ages. Two men come to a pagan land - one to bring Christianity, the other to find his way. They choose two different ways of reaching the pagans. In the fight between dialogue and force, one of them will die.
Nina (Poland) The first feature film by the young filmmaker Olga Chajdas follows Nina (Julia Kijowska), a teacher in her mid-30’s struggling to have a child, who looks for a surrogate mother. It would seem that together with her husband she has found an ideal candidate. But Nina falls for the woman who could have given birth to her child, a 25-year-old who enjoys life and has no commitments.
"Nina is a vivid looking, densely shot, character driven movie. The film is not a social statement, rather a sincere tale of love and sexuality. And most of all a movie about finding one’s freedom", director Olga Chajdas told FNE. The film is produced by Dariusz Pietrykowski through Film It with a budget of 850,000 EUR. The project received a production grant of 466,692 EUR / 2 m PLN from the Polish Film Institute. The film was shot under the artistic tutorship of Agnieszka Holland and will be ready by the end of 2017.
Back Home (Poland) Magdalena Łazarkiewicz’s new drama tells the story of a very typical family. The hidden secrets and rules governing the parents-children equation lead to the disintegration of the relationships both between the closest family members, as well as between them and the local community.
"Our generation, which fought for progress and individual liberty, has the painful feeling of moral and mental regress. Freedom has unleashed conservative, petty-bourgeois, obscurantist and xenophobic attitudes. In our film we want to touch this ‘contemporary nerve’, so clearly present in our reality: in violence, disintegration of basic family relations and obstruction of one’s social activity", director Magdalena Łazarkiewicz told FNE. The film is produced by Lambros Ziotas through Argomedia Production in coproduction with Dreamsound and Chimney. The budget of 820,000 EUR is partially covered by financial support from the Polish Film Institute and the Wroclaw Film Commission. The film is currently in production and will be completed by 2018.
The Art of Understanding (Poland) Slovak filmmaker Matej Bobrik’s documentary is a coming of age story following one year in the life of a group of Japanese students, who decide to sign up for Polish Language and Culture Studies at the Tokyo University. One of the compulsory tasks for second-year students is to stage a play in Polish.
"I am showing people who struggle with language and culture they don’t have any idea about. It is a group of youngsters on the verge of their maturity. For the first time they are opening to the world and to each other. They are full of hopes and dreams, but they slowly discover that the adulthood which seemed so exciting at first has also a dark side", director Matej Bobrik told FNE. The film is produced by Agnieszka Dziedzic through Koi Studio in coproduction with TVP with a budget of 100,000 EUR. The film received production grants from the Polish Film Institute and Łódź Film Commision. Shooting took place in Japan in 2017 and will be completed by the end of 2017.
Speedway (Poland) The new project from the accomplished Polish filmmaking duo of director Dorota Kędzierzawska and producer Artur Reinhart explores the world of speedway racing. Speedway follows Lowa, a kind-hearted young boy, who is infatuated with motorcycles and the glamorous world around them.
"There is an inner force that makes him act according to his own rules. And the extreme emotions that accompany speedway racing give him a crash course in life, allowing him to discover the mechanisms behind human behavior, overcome his limitations, arouse his curiosity, and ‘open his eyes’", said director Dorota Kędzierzawska. The film is produced by Kid Film in coproduction with Canal+ and Odra-Film with a budget of 1.7 m EUR. The production will be completed by the end of 2017.
The producers are looking for coproduction support, a sales agent and festivals. Production contact: