FNE VISEGRAD FORUM: Coproductions in Poland

    Despite a lack of tax rebates, Poland is becoming more open to co-productions, usually with one or two partner countries.

    Polish producers usually apply for national grants provided by the Polish Film Institute, with coproductions receiving the same level of support as domestic films.

    "The Polish Film Institute had proposed suitable changes in the Polish law that would introduce different requirements to encourage European film producers. Unfortunately it seems that the international economic crisis has reached the Polish market, which makes these efforts currently impossible" Anna Godzisz, the official spokesperson for PISF told FNE.

    The European Co-production Convention requires 20% of the budget funding for a film produced by 2 countries and a minimum of 10% for a triple co-production. For minority co-productions, the Polish partner must supply over 50% of the Polish spend, with 80% of the public donation spent in Poland.

    In 2008 Poland coproduced over 10 significant international co-productions, all supported by PISF. They includes 33 scenes from life directed by Małgorzata Szumowska(production: Pandora Filmproduktion, STI Studio Filmowe, ARTE; budget 4 million PLN) Four nights with Anna directed by Jerzy Skolimowski (Skopia Film, French Alma Films; 8.2 million PLN), The Karamazov Brothers by Petr Zelenka (Warsaw Pact Film Production, Czech Television, Falcon a.s, 1.2 million euro) and And A Warm Heart directed by Krzysztof Zanussi (WFDiF, Sota Cinema Group, TOR Film Studio, Monolith Films; 3.5 million PLN).

    In 2009 Poland had attracted eight international projects including the biggest Central European co-production of the year Janosik. A True Story directed by Agnieszka Holland (Apple Film Production In Film, Telewizja Polska S.A., Charlie's, Eurofilm Studio, HBO Central Europe; 6 million euro), Antichrist from Lars von Trier (Zentropa International Poland; 25 million PLN), Miracle Seller directed by (Fabryka-Spółka Realizatorów Filmowych i Telewizyjnych Polish Public Television, Performance Marketing Group, Film i Väst, Republiken AB; 4.1million PLN) Pigglets directed by Robert Gliński (WIDARK - Produkcja Filmowa i Telewizyjna, 42film GmbH; 3.8 million PLN) The Courageous Heart of Irena Sendler directed by John Kent Harrison (Hallmark Hall of Fame, Beata Pisula - K&K Selekt, Krzysztof Grabowski - Grupa Filmowa Baltmedia; 38 million PLN) , Operation Danube directed by Jacek Głomb ( WFDiF - Wytwórnia Filmów Dokumentalnych i Fabularnych, In Film Praha , Odra-Film; 2 million euro) and Within the Whirlwind directed by Marleen Gorris (TatFilm, Saga Film/Lorival, Telewizja Polska - Agencja Filmowa; 9.8 million dollars ).

    The level looks set to continue in 2010, with four big titles already in development: Hidden (Ukryci) directed by Agnieszka Holland (Zebra Film Studio, 22.3 million PLN); the Polish-Czech-Slovak coproduction Lidice directed by Alice Nellis (Apple Film Prod.; 10.8 million PLN); the Polish-French-UK co-production Essential Killing directed by Jerzy Skolimowski (Skopia Film, 8.1 million PLN);and Immigrants (Imigranci), from Dariusz Jabłoński which attracted international interest during the Strategic Partners Market in Halifax ( Apple Film; 11.2 million PLN).