FNE at Connecting Cottbus: Leave No Traces

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COTTBUS: Polish director Jan P. Matuszynski, who won the best debut prize at last year’s Cottbus Film Festival with The Last Family, returned to Cottbus to pitch his historical thriller Leave No Traces at Connecting Cottbus, 9 – 10 November 2017, winning the MIDPOINT Scholarship Award. The project was well received, with the film’s representatives booked non-stop with one-on-one meetings following their presentation.

The 2.5 m EUR film is produced by Leszek Bodzak for Aurum Film, which produced The Last Family. The project received development funding from the Polish Film Institute.

The film is based on a book by Cezary Lazarewicz about an investigation in the 1980’s into the death of a high school student, resulting from a police beating that involved a political cover up and led to mass demonstrations in Poland. The story incorporates the personal drama of the boy’s friends and relatives, who were harassed by the police, involving wiretappings and turning family into secret police informants. “Leave no traces” refers to the instructions given to the police in how to beat the student.

The film is in very early development and the script should be finished by spring 2018, with shooting taking place in spring and summer of 2019 and a premiere in 2020. The producers are looking for a Polish distributor and TV broadcaster, as well as international coproducers, sales agents and financing. The project already has 700,000 EUR secured and needs a minority coproducer to come in with 500,000. The high budget is required for visual effects, which will recreate Poland in 1983.

Matuszyinski’s debut film The Last Family was only the second feature film produced by Aurum Film and was a surprising box office success with over 500,000 admissions in Poland.

Aurum Film

Director: Jan P. Matuszynski
Writer: Kaja Krawczyk Wnuk
Producer: Leszek Bodzak