FNE at Krakow Film Festival 2020 DOC LAB POLAND: Being Bieniowski, Don't Mess with Gienek, I Have Seen Everything


    KRAKOW: Being Bieniowski, Don't Mess with Gienek, and I Have Seen Everything were among the eleven new documentary projects showcased to international distributors, sales agents and festival representatives at the 5th edition of the DOC LAB POLAND: Docs To Start (3-4 July 2020) pitching session held during the 60th Krakow Film Festival. Each project is in development or an early stage of production and should be completed in 2021-2022.

    Being Bieniowski (Poland)
    Directed by Katarzyna Trzaska, Marek Kucharski

    In their new documentary Katarzyna Trzaska and Marek Kucharski follow three enthusiasts from Nowa Sól, fascinated by the figure of the eighteenth-century adventurer, traveler and explorer Maurycy Beniowski, on their plan to follow his path to Madagascar. The film is produced by Łukasz Bluszcz through Vision House in coprudction with TVP, with a planned budget of 250,000 EUR. The film is currently in development and it has received support from the Polish Film Institute.

    “When I learned the amazing story of Beniowski myself, I thought it was a subject worthy of a Hollywood film with Brad Pitt in the main role,” said Marek Kucharski about the beginnings of work on the film. “I thought there must be some people who know the forgotten history of Beniowski,” he added. He found Janek, Jurek and Waldek, who plan to set out to Madagascar to find Beniowski's grave. They race against time, because teams from Slovakia and Hungary have similar plans. In the film, adventure is an excuse to ask deeper and more difficult questions: are the heroes, following the traveler, not trying to escape from something of their own?

    I Have Seen Everything (Poland)
    Directed by Wojtek Łazarowicz

    “The main character of the film is Adam, a Polish Jew who has lived in Denmark for 50 years. When he was a teenager, his parents were murdered, the land was taken, and his younger brother sent for adoption. Throughout his life he searched the world until he succeeded, after 70 years,” said the director Wojtek Łazarowicz. “The found brother is now called Arie and is 73 years old. He lives in Israel. Nobody ever told him he was adopted. The brothers meet for the first time, and this event is accompanied by the camera of Wojtek Łazarowicz. The heroes lived diametrically different lives - one in trauma after the loss of loved ones, the other quite happy, without remembering the fate of war. They meet again in Poland.”

    The film has already been shot but the director is working on developing the story out of the raw material, working with renowned script doctor Andrzej Fidyk. The film is produced by Małgorzata Małysa through Furia Film with a planned budget of 150,000 EUR and 30,000 EUR in place. The film is planned to be completed in May 2021.

    Don't Mess with Gienek (Poland)
    Directed by Grzegorz Szczepaniak

    Don't Mess with Gienek is a documentary variation on the theme of the Polish classic comedy Our Folks. Just as Pawlak and Kargul fought for land plowed three fingers too far, so Gienek Szymaniak and his eternal rival Brochocki argued about three sounds of an Advent melody played on an old, almost forgotten instrument. Gienek defends his melody as the only right version. Brochocki, a professional trumpeter, prefers his melodies, which drives Gienek crazy. During the Shepherd Instrument Games competitions, the whole of Ciechanowiec is witness to funny quarrels. But just as in the third part of the trilogy about Kargul and Pawlak, the heroes are going to travel to America, so Gienek is getting ready to go overseas.

    "You may wonder why you have to watch an explosive Polish being stubborn for 70 minutes. I hope, however, that his sinister face will be on screen for only 15 minutes. The rest of the time I want to show the different faces of Gienek and his story. The pandemic somewhat thwarted the plans of the film crew. The trip to the States was to take place now, but was postponed. However, work is ongoing," said director Grzegorz Szczepaniak.

    The film is produced by Joanna Popowicz through Anagram with a planned budget of 80,000 EUR. The film has already received support from the Warsaw Film Fund and the Polish Film Institute. The film is currently in production with plans of competition in April 2021.