11-06-2020

FNE at Krakow Film Festival 2020 DOC LAB POLAND: When Harmattan Blows, DEBUT, The Chums, Nina Gets Married

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KRAKOW: When Harmattan Blows, DEBUT, The Chums, and Nina Gets Married were among the eleven new documentary projects showcased to international distributors, sales agents and festival representatives at the 5th edition of the DOC LAB POLAND: Docs To Start (3-4 July 2020) pitching session, held during the 60th Krakow Film Festival. Each project is in development or an early stage of production and should be completed in 2021-2022.

When Harmattan Blows (Poland)
Directed by Edyta Wróblewska


When the Harmattan Blows by Edyta WróblewskaEdyta Wróblewska is working on her new documentary inspired by Harmattan, a dry wind full of sand that blows in Ghana. The film is produced by Marta Dużybabel through With Passion Production with a planned budget of 250 000 EUR. The film has already received development funding from the Polish Film Institute and is planned to be completed in June 2022. 

“When it blows, you can't run away from it. It creeps into every corner and you can't breathe. This wind symbolises the traumatic past of 23-year-old Barbara, who was sent (by her mother) to her aunt when she was a child. The aunt promised to give her better education and a future. It turned out, however, that she broke all promises and began to treat the girl like a slave. Barbara then escaped into the world of sport, and she started running. She was quite good at it. She met a trainer who promised to train her, but turned out to be just another stalker. The only person who helped Barbara was the priest Piotr. Barbara survived and gained great strength from her traumatic experiences,” said director Edyta Wróblewska.

Recently, Piotr moved to Gambia as a missionary. He wants to invite Barbara to help him in his work with those who are going through the same things she used to. The director has finished the first two weeks of shooting, and she presented the footage from Africa at the virtual pitching. In her film, she wants to talk about women who refuse to be victims, about the difficult process of forgiveness and regaining dignity. She also wants to show a deep bond between a girl from Ghana and an unusual Polish priest.

DEBUT (Poland)
Directed by Aleksandra Maciejczyk

Director Aleksandra Maciejczyk and producer Marta Gmosińska invite us to a completely different world and to take part in another journey. The authors are working on a documentary about the balls of the debutants of modern day Polish aristocracy. The film is in advanced development with footage of the title ball already completed. The film is produced by Marta Gmosińska through Lava Films with a planned budget of 75,000 EUR. The film has already received development support from the Polish Film Institute and is planned to be completed in November 2021. 

"Every two years, Polish aristocracy gathers at the Debutants Ball. Young people from aristocratic families take part in intensive two-week preparations. The title debut takes place before 700 people. The ball represents a tradition for them that ceased to exist with World War II and Stalinism. We managed to reach this world closed to outsiders. During the ball we met our heroine, Marysia, who clearly stood out from the crowd. On the one hand, she was looking for friendship, on the other, she remained an attentive observer," said director Aleksandra Maciejczyk.

Marysia, who comes from a royal family, returns to Poland after 10 years from Great Britain, where she's graduated. Through the Debutants Ball, organised by Countess Mycielska, she wants to return to the roots of her grandmother, although the rest of the family would rather cut themselves from these circles. Marysia decides to participate in the Ball a little perversely, looking for her own identity.

The Chums (Poland)
Directed by Emilia Śniegoska

The intimate story of two elderly women from a small village is produced by Łukasz Bluszcz through Vision House with a planned budget of 100,000 EUR. The production has already received a scholarship from the Ministry of Culture. The film is currently in development, planned to be completed in May 2020.


This is a story about a unique bond between two widowed neighbours, Hanka and Bronka. For over 30 years, the friends have been struggling with the hardships of life in the village of Plesza, less than 100 inhabitants, in Romanian Bukovina. Everyone here belongs to the Polish minority. Most of the young went abroad to study. Every third house is empty. Hanka and Bronka came together after the unexpected death of Hanka's husband. At the age of 44 she was alone with four children. Bronka was also in a difficult situation at the time, with five children and an alcoholic husband, but she decided to support Hanka. Since then, the women are actually inseparable.

"It will be a bittersweet women's feminine film in a fairy-tale style with elements of magical realism,” said the director Emilia Śniegoska during the pitch. 

Nina Gets Married (Poland)
Directed by Andrzej Szypulski

Nina Gets Married will be a documentary romantic comedy with a religious drama in the background, produced by Anna Reichel through Fine Day Promotion. The planned budget is 145,000 EUR and the film is planned to be completed by May 2022. 

“I've known Nina for many years and I can say with full responsibility that ... Nina is a little crazy. She is my mother. Nina has always been a perfect mother and a housewife. She always looked after us and the house, other people. Sometimes she forgot about herself. Nina is 70 years old and has been a widow for 7 years. One would expect her to live a peaceful life now. But instead ... Three years ago I discovered, to my surprise, how Nina was playing and dancing at a party in my hometown. She looked like a teenager at the time. Something changed in my mother's head; she began to take care of herself, enjoy life, dance, laugh,” said director Andrzej Szypulski.