European Coproduction Forum in Łódź

By Katarzyna Grynienko

    The XVth European Cinema Forum CINERGIA 2010 in Łódź hosted a special discussion panel devoted to the development of film co-productions in Europe. The panel "European co-productions - europudding or originality?" was held on 6 November at the Łódź Film School (www.filmschool.lodz.pl) with special guest Deana Jakubisko, a Slovak producer and head of Jakubisko Film (www.jakubiskofilm.com).

    She was accompanied by the President of the Polish Se-Ma-For film studio (www.se-ma-for.com) Zbigniew Żmudzki who spoke about the animation coproductions market, Ewa Puszczyńska from Opus Film (www.opusfilm.com) who presented the standpoint of one of the biggest Polish production companies, cinematographer and EAB representative in Poland Jarosław Szoda, and Wenancjusz Szuster of the Łódź Film Commission.

    Jakubisko presented the most recent and biggest project of her company Bathory as a model Cent-East European co-production. "Our company specializes in big budget coproductions. Our last film is Bathory, a Hungarian-Czech-English-Slovak coproduction shot in English. While working on this film, I had a chance to see the current position of coproductions on the European market. We decided to approach an English coproducer to ensure that our film will be distributed in other countries. Most of the films made in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia are not recognized in Europe. One of the biggest problems with present coproductions is their weak promotion and marketing," Jakubisko said.

    Wenancjusz Szuster explained the role of the Łódź Film Commission (www.lodzfilmcommission.pl) in creating coproductions in Poland. "We don't produce the films, but we help coproductions to develop in the Polish territory. Very often foreign co-producers approach us to find Polish partners for them," Szuster said. "We help the foreign coproducers with the production process, taking care of necessary formalities at Polish offices. We also offer them a database of locations and film professionals in Poland," he added. During the panel Łódź Film Commission had also presented a special "Producer's Guide," created to help international filmmakers in using the full potential that the Polish market has to offer.

    The European Cinema Forum CINERGIA (www.cinergiafestival.pl) is a special event devoted to familiarizing the Polish audience with European productions and their potential. One of the main goals of the forum is to present co-productions "not only as a financial necessity and the guarantee of a broader distribution, but also a very interesting fusion of new, original topics, the future of European cinema (...)". The XV edition of the event takes place in Łódź 4-12 November 2010 and includes retrospectives of new directors and experienced filmmakers as well as screenings of new European productions, with the focus on cinema from Norway, Belgium, Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia and Ukraine.