Gdynia Polish Film Festival Competition spotlight: If You Go Away

By Katarzyna Grynienko

    If You Go Away, the feature film debut from Ewa Stankiewicz, is the emotional story of two people who struggle to find themselves after personal loss. Stankiewicz,a graduate of Łódź Film School, co-directed Touch Me (with Anna Jodowska), which was awarded the Best Independent Film Award at 2003 PFP in Gdynia (www.fpff.pl).

    {mosimage} In If You Go Away, A young woman and an ex-friar meet in a hospital while carrying for dying loved ones. Despite the apparent attraction the two fail to make a connection and even get into a conflict. After a year she fails to cope with her suffering after the death of her mother and sets out to the city, where he accidentally saves her life. The night that they spend together gives them hope to get their lives back on track.

    "Touch Me was more a happening during the summer holidays at film school. We managed to gather a crew with almost no funds and production. It was a major experience but If You Go Away is my real debut, throwing me into deep water. I am alone, without a co-director, I have professional production with a budget and script work. It's a big test for me," Stankiewicz said.

    Shooting took place in September/November 2008 and February 2009 in Wrocław, but the project began much earlier. "I started around 5 years ago, in 2005 with the producers from Centrala (www.centralafilm.pl), young people who try to make ambitious films and produced several brilliant documentaries. We went our own way in gathering the funds. First there was the Berlinale Co-Production Market (www.efm-berlinale.de), where this script found a German co-producer. The film was in development for so long because we wanted to get the funds needed to give it the proper quality of sound and picture, to make it professional. After my experience with independent cinema I really wanted to make a movie that would be fully finished and polished when it comes to image, sound and the story itself. On the script level it is still a bit rough, but I hope I managed to avoid that in the realization," Stankiewicz added.

    {mosimage} The main characters are played by Agnieszka Grochowska, awarded with 2005 Polish Eagles Award for the Best Female Performance in The Welts, and Wojciech Zieliński in his first lead role. The cast includes Grażyna Barszczewska, Daniel Olbrychski and Piotr Miazga.

    If You Go Away
    was produced by Centrala Sp. z o.o. (www.centralafilm.pl) in co-operation with Filmkombinat (www.filmkombinat.de), Telewizja Polska -Film Agency (www.tvp.pl) ,Odra Film (www.odra-film.wroc.pl), ZDF ( www.zdf.de) and Arte (www.arte.tv). The budget of the picture was 4.4 million PLN (EUR 1 million ) with 1.35 PLN financing from the Polish Film Institute (www.pisf.pl). The production was also supported by Mitteldeutsche Medienforderung (www.mdm-online.de).


    Director: Ewa Stankiewicz

    Screenwriter: Ewa Stankiewicz

    Cinematographer: Piotr Niemyjski

    Editor: Robert Ciodyk
    Production company: Centrala Film

    Co-financing: Polish Film Institute, Mitteldeutsche Medienforderung
    Co-producers: Filmkombinat, Telewizja Polska - Agencja Filmowa,
    Odra Film, ZDF, Arte


    Agnieszka Grochowska
    Wojciech Zieliński
    Grażyna Barszczewska
    Daniel Olbrychski
    Piotr Miazga

    Production contact:

    Centrala Sp. z o.o.
    tel:+48 22 20 12 111
    tel: +48 697 991 639
    fax: +48 222 072 511
    web: www.centralafilm.pl