Record half-year for the Polish cinema

Written by Katarzyna Grynienko

During the first six months of 2009 Poles bought 19,8 million cinema tickets, breaking the record from 2004.

According to the www.boxoffice.pl Polish viewers bought 2.7 million more tickets than during the first half of 2008 and broke the record of 18.8 million viewers in the first half of 2004. Thus, 2009 could shape up to be a record-breaking attendance year, topping the 34 millions of tickets sold overall in 2008 when the Polish title Ladies led the box office chart.

Similarly to 2008, Polish viewers seem to favor national productions. While the number one film at the box office is Madagascar 2, the next two places on the chart are occupied by Kochaj i tańcz (Love and Dance), the first Polish dance movie directed by Bruce Parramore (1.34 million viewers) and Popiełuszko.Wolność jest w nas (Popieluszko: Freedom Is Within Us), a historic drama devoted to the brutal murder of a Polish priest under the communist regime directed by Rafał Wieczyński (1.31 million viewers).

The increased presence of local titles on the top of the box office chart is due to a 33% growth in the national film production (from 39 in 2007 to 60 movies a year in 2008), strongly supported by the Polish Film Institute (www.pisf.pl). This trend could continue in Poland, despite the international economic crisis.

"In 2009 we had initially planned to administer 76 million PLN for the support of Polish cinema. As always our attention is especially on debuts, as the first step in a filmmaker's life needs support from an institution created to assist the development of Polish cinema," Agnieszka Odorowicz, the Director of PFI told FNE.