Janosik nears completion of filming

By Katarzyna Grynienko
    Five years from the start of production, The True Story of Janosik is finally in production, with Agnieszka Holland directing.

    Polish daily Rzeczpospolita (www.rp.pl) reports that the work on this project had started nearly five years ago, when about 40% of the scenes were shot. The script was written by a Slovak scriptwriter and director Eva Borusovicova and the initial producer was Rudolf Birman. The project collapsed in 2003 when the crew run out of funds.

    Agnieszka Holland and the second director Kasia Adamik, Holland's daughter and storyboard author, were eager to continue with this film and brought Apple Film Production (www.applefilm.pl) on board. The Polish company bought the rights for the material from Bierman and financed the rest of the movie with Polish public broadcaster PTV (www.tvp.pl) and the Polish Film Institute (www.pisf.pl) as co-producers. The film is also supported by HBO Central Europe as well as other Polish, Czech and Hungarian producers.

    According to the Polish Filmmakers Association database (www.bazafilmowa.pl) the movie's total budget is 22,270,000 PLN (6,808,100 Euros) with the 1,069,500 Euros from PFI for production.

    Janosik was a famous Slovak Robin Hood-type character in the Slavic tradition, who was the hero of a popular Polish television series directed by Jerzy Passendorfer in 1974. "The movie will be different then the series. It is based on facts but at the same time it is a poetic and metaphysical story. I am fascinated with the Slovakian legends full of poetry, absurdity, and cruelty," Agnieszka Holland said.

    Principle photography was transfered from Slovakia to Polish Zakopane and other locations in the Tatra Mountains will end on September 8. The crew will finish up with a few days on set in October. The movie premiere is planned for September 2009, and based on the popularity of the topic is expected to do good business in Poland, Slovakia and the Czech Republic.