Polish film Scratch attracts international sales attention in Venice

By Anna Franklin in Venice
    Polish director and scriptwriter Michal Rosa's Scratch (Rysa) asks a lot from its audience as it shows the descent of its main character into madness in a brilliant performance by Jadwiga Jankowski-Cieslak that makes it worth the ride.

    The story revolves around the destruction of the marriage and lives of the two main characters after the husband is accused on TV of being an agent of the secret police during the communist period.

    The director along the main cast and Polish Film Institute helmer Agnieszka Odorowicz were in Venice to support the film.

    The €1.5 million production had its world premier in the Venice Days section of the Venice FF, and despite its disturbing subject matter there are already negotiations underway for a world distribution deal according to the film's producer Dariusz Sidor. He expects to close the deal before Scratch's Polish premiere as the opening film of the Polish Feature Film Festival in Gdynia on 15 September.

    Sidor helms Warsaw based Filmcontract Ltd (www.filmcontract.pl), one of Poland's oldest production outfits, and he is not afraid of tough subject matter. Filmcontract has produced films of Rosa, Robert Glinski, Lech Majewski and other distinguished Polish talents for over 18 years.

    Filmcontract is also a major player on the international co-production scene with co-production credits for Sergey Dvortsevoy's Tuplan co-produced by Pandora Film and Glinski's Call of the Toad (Wrozby Kumaka) together with Regina Ziegler Production Berlin among its recent work.

    Scratch is a co-production with Polish pubcaster TVP, The Documentary and Feature Film Studio (WFDiF) and supported by the Polish Film Institute (PISF)

    "Scratch was supported by PISF," said Sidor. "I cannot overemphasize the importance of the key role the PISF plays a key role in the production of quality films like ours. Without the work of the PISF such films would not exist."