FNE ScripTeast at Berlinale Session: In Person by Arkadiusz Biedrzycki and Bartłomiej Konarski (Poland), My Short Encounter with Happiness by Andras Salamon (Hungary), Priceless by Piotr Domalewski (Poland)

By ScripTeast

WARSAW: Participants of the 12th edition of the ScripTeast scriptwriting workshop are gearing up for the next stage to be held at the Berlin International Film Festival from 17 to 21 February 2018. In Person by Arkadiusz Biedrzycki and Bartłomiej Konarski (Poland), My Short Encounter with Happiness by Andras Salamon (Hungary) and Priceless by Piotr Domalewski (Poland) are among the 11 best scripts from Eastern Europe developed within the 12th ScripTeast.

In Person by Arkadiusz Biedrzycki and Bartłomiej Konarski (Poland)

Inspired by the facts story of young Polish teacher, who became a spy and operated in the West Germany in the 1970s, using the identity of the Polish worker. His activities influenced the policy of Polish-German relations and cost the lives of innocent people.

1973, Poland. Marek, a young German language teacher, due to his origin is sent to work in the countryside and deprived of any prospects. His life changes when three gentlemen come to his village and offer him a job in Warsaw.  Marek has excellent German skills, many achievements as a scout and he remains loyal towards the country despite his family’s degradation by the authorities. All of that earned him being selected to work as an intelligence agent

After months of training, he’s offered a mission. He is to take on the identity of Jan, an ordinary workman from Bydgoszcz, who is a post-German orphan. Then using this identity, Marek is supposed to meet with his biological mother, whom Jas hasn’t seen since she abandoned him as a baby in 1946.

Before leaving, Marek monitors Jan and makes sure that he won’t look for his biological mother. He decides to spare him and allows him to continue living a peaceful life.

Marek succeeds in getting over to Germany and meets Jan’s mother, Hildegarda. When his contact decides to execute the woman, Mark realizes that the Polish secret services actually want her brother, Ernst, who is the leader of the SPD (The Social Democratic Party of Germany). Marek manages to earn Ernst's trust at Hildegard's funeral and later becomes his assistant.

Over the following years, Marek invigilates the SPD party and influences the outcome of the agreement between West Germany and the People’s Republic of Poland. But when Jan’s friend recognizes him, his mission is compromised. It was a mistake to leave Jan alive.

After negotiations between the Federal Republic of Germany and the People's Republic of Poland, Marek is exchanged on the famous spy bridge and returns to his homeland as a puppet hero.

Arkadiusz Biedrzycki

Director, graduate of Wajda School and Krzysztof Kieślowski Faculty of Radio and Television University of Silesia in Katowice in film directing. Part-taker of various workshops, including Passion to Market in NFTS Beaconsfield and La Fémis in Paris, Talent Lab in Reykjavík and Directing Actors in New York. Scholarship holder of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage and the Nipkow foundation. Author of films created within the Munk Studio debut programmes - "Plain Landscape with a cradle" and "Beat Frequency". During his film studies he has made, among others, "Errata", "You keep an eye on us" and "It happens", which competed in many international film festivals where they have received a lot of recognition. Script Pro Contest 2017 winner. 

Bartłomiej Konarski

Scriptwriter, graduate of Academy of Film and Television in Warsaw. Started as a creator of one of the first Polish scripted web series SOAPED. Worked as a script reviewer at Alvernia Studios. Author of several original pilot scripts which were bought by major Polish networks. The only screenwriter who has won two prestigious Polish writing competitions – Script Fiesta (for best pilot script HOUSING OF FEAR) and Script Pro 2017 (for best feature film script IN PERSON). Finalist of Hartley-Merrill 2008 competition with script JOIN US AFTER THE BREAK.

My Short Encounter with Happiness by Andras Salamon (Hungary)

A coming of age LOVE STORY set in the world of Eastern European child beggars as seen through the eyes of Jonuc, a small child who fights against all odds and crosses many borders to reunite with the love of his life, taken away from the orphanage they grew up.

Based on true events this coming of age LOVE STORY follows Jonuc, an orphan boy for 6 years across Europe. From Bucharest, to Budapest, to Paris and back. At the age of 8 he falls in love and playfully marries a little girl in the orphanage but the two of them get separated when she is adopted to a foreign country. Jonuc has nothing: no country, no parents, he even loses a leg and gets mixed up with beggars. Despite all hardship - and with the help of his trumpet - his joyful nature keeps him going until he finally reunites with his wife. True love overcomes all obstacles. There are no borders in his world, only music, integrity and strong commitment. 

But is there happiness, as the title suggests, for a child who has never experienced security or care; who has to fight like a grown-up; who is excluded from society by the time he takes his first breath; who has no roots and no experience of belonging? 

Love, dignity, faithfulness, struggling, surviving and a special person are in the focus of this film. And as we will see surprisingly by the end, one might just envy his Short Encounter with Happiness.

András Salamon

Andras has been a child actor, a photographer, a musician, a cinematographer; has studied film making and liberal arts; has travelled all over the world with a camera; has made 30 documentaries, 20 shorts, 15 television productions, numerous commercials and 3 feature films; has written short stories, scripts, articles, plays and a doctoral thesis.

Currently, he teaches at three universities. He is one of the founders of the Roma Film School, the Screen Actors School, and an International Film School in Budapest; contributes a great deal to the work of these institutions.

His films focus on extraordinary characters who go unnoticed by others. These people are lonely for some reason or have drifted to the periphery of life, but he is interested in their souls. The majority of his films are about travelling and exploring ways; about ordinary people who become film heroes.

Priceless by Piotr Domalewski (Poland)

Adam and Marek hire a surrogate mother to carry their baby. Just before the baby is born, it turns out that Marek, the sperm donor, is terminally ill. Marek wants to see his daughter before he dies, but the surrogate's husband, fresh out of prison, refuses to give the child away to a gay couple.

Poland, the present day. When Adam and Marek, a same-sex couple, hired a surrogate to give birth to their baby, they thought their dream was finally coming true. But soon after they sign the contract with Ewa, the surrogate mother, Marek, the sperm donor is diagnosed with cancer. We meet the protagonists on the day of the labor. After nine months of waiting for the birth of their daughter, Marek is a man consumed by the disease. Adam is confident that the arrival of their child will give Marek the strength to go on fighting and that they will finally become a happy family in the country increasingly torn by intolerance.

But the newborn girl is also the hope for a new life for yet another man – Robert, Ewa's husband. Since, on paper, he is the girl's father and the only breadwinner in the growing family, he is released from jail. But the family has long since broke off any contact with him. When Robert finds out about the sexual orientation of the future dads, he refuses to give the girl away. As a conservative guy, he decides to fight Adam for the parental rights. Marek's deteriorating condition makes Adam even more desperate. None of the men is prepared to give up fighting for their happiness. 

Piotr Domalewski

Film director, screenwriter and actor. Laureate of the Munk Studio's prestigious 30' programme which supports outstanding young filmmakers. His short films have won awards at various festivals across Europe. He is also a playwright. His play "Pięć metrów kwadratowych" ("Five square meters") has been awarded at the Metafory Rzeczywistostości Contest, a National competition for playwrights. His film "Obcy" ("Stranger") has won Grand Prix at the International Film Festival Cinemaforum in Warsaw. His feature debut "Cicha noc" ("Silent Night") won Grand Prix at the 42nd Polish Film Festival in Gdynia.