EFP Producer On The Move: Lukasz Dzieciol

By Katarzyna Grynienko

European Film Promotion's (EFP) Polish Producer on the Move Łukasz Dzięcioł is one of the youngest and most successful film professionals in Poland. Thanks to his experience in the American film industry, he develops projects that modernize the Polish film market.

Educated both in Poland and the USA, Dzieciol admits that his passion for cinema was handed down to him by his father Piotr Dzięcioł, the Polish founder of Opus Film (www.opusfilm.com). After graduating with a master's degree in Film Studies from the University of Lodz, Łukasz enroled in the Producing Program at the Los Angeles Film School.

"I left for the States to see how the production industry works from the inside. I felt that in L.A. I would learn things that were not readily available at the schools in Poland. Apart from the theoretical part of the program, the studies were based mainly on practical classes, which were focused on organizing productions on all levels. We had access to working professionals, excellent equipment, and fully equipped post-production facilities. It was as much an academic experience as it was a real life experience," he said.

After graduation, Lukasz decided to use his American experience to boost the Polish film industry. He is now an essential co-creator of the vision for Opus Film, a film and television production company that has emerged as one of the leading players on the Polish market. Founded in 1991, Opus Film is a major production house managing international projects in every stage of development.

"One of our priorities is international distribution. We want our productions to be visible abroad as well on as the domestic market in Poland. We are engaged in international networking on a large scale. The effect is that currently the films from the Opus Film catalog are broadcast by television stations all over the world, screened at international film festivals, and distributed in cinemas," he said.

Dzięcioł's production credits include Slawomir Fabicki's Retrieval and Adam Guzinski's A Boy On A Galloping Horse. Recently he produced My Flesh My Blood by Marcin Wrona and Zero by Pawel Borowski, which will be presented during EFP Producers On The Move in Cannes this year.

Zero is the feature film debut of Paweł Borowski, a director known in Poland for his satirical drawings in one of the ountry's major papers, "Gazeta Wyborcza." Thought to be one of the most interesting recent debuts in the Polish cinema, the film covers 24 hours in the lives of several characters, with their stories intersecting in Robert Altman style. Innovative and challenging, as well as entertaining, Zero is the perfect example of the direction that Opus Film has taken.

"Debuts are the proverbial apple of our eye. I have a very good understanding with directors of the young generation. Coming from the generation and sharing similar life experiences, we draw upon each other's energy. Working with debuting directors is also a long-term investment. We often take months or even several years to develop a script. We also often decided to make multiple projects with the same director," Dzięcioł said. Describing his role as a producer, he underlines the role of co-operation between film professionals. "There are no ‘director's cuts' at Opus Film, because the final effect is the joint effort of the director and producer, worked out along the lines of compromise and a shared vision. Suggesting various solutions is the role of a producer, but all discussions take place in an atmosphere of professionalism. I certainly wouldn't go and decide something behind the director's back. It's not my style."

With a great number of projects undertaken by Opus Film, Dzięcioł has several interesting Polish and international titles lined up for the future."We are currently wraping up the post-production of a new film from Greg Zglinski entitled Courage. We co-produced a Norwegian production, entitled King's of Devil's Island, directed by Marius Holst with Stellan Skarsgard in the lead. In the near future, we will start shooting a Pawel Pawlikowski drama Sister of Mercy and family-oriented project by Slawomir Fabicki entitled Bonobo Jingo.We are also taking part in a large international co-production entitled The Futorogical Congress directed by Ari Folman. Currently, I am preparing I Am Lying Now by Pawel Borowski.Our plans also cover the The Hour-Glass Sanatorium directed by Brothers Quay and new projects from Greg Zglinski and Marcin Wrona. Overall, we have a lot of work ahead of us, but we are approaching it with even greater enthusiasm than in the past."

Opus Film

ul. Łąkowa 29, 90-554 Lodz
tel.: (+48) 42 634 55 00
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www: http://www.opusfilm.com
ul. Willowa 8/10 lok.32, 00-780 Warsaw
tel.:(+48) 22 646 69 51
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