WARSAW: T-Mobile New Horizons IFF's industry event showcased 11 upcoming projects including international coproductions and new films by Jan Komasa, Borys Lankosz, Kuba Czekaj and Magnus von Horn.
One of the key events of the 6th edition of Polish Days held at the 17th T-Mobile New Horizons IFF was the pitching session showcasing new and upcoming Polish productions and coproductions that present the most potential to interest international film professionals invited to the festival. Polish Days is organised annually by T-Mobile New Horizons IFF in co-operation with the Polish Film Institute.
Here are the projects pitched during Polish Days 2017: Bailout, Folks! (Poland) Accomplished Polish filmmaker Marek Lechki’s new drama unravels during a few days in May and follows Maciek (35), who realises his life is pointless. He steals the car of his boss and spontaneously embarks on a desperate joyride. In the meantime, Magda (35), a town hall employee, handles the organisation of her anniversary. Highly committed at first, she gradually notices all the fiction around her.
"We want to make an art house film, where the narrative will be built not only by logic, but also by the raw emotions explored by the eye of the camera", director Marek Lechki told FNE. The film is the first feature produced by the company Telemark and producer Maciej Kubicki, who worked on prestigious TV projects including the local productions of Pact and In Treatment for HBO Poland.
"Everybody wanted to be someone else at one point. I want my film to depict the very real conflict between what society needs us to be and what we want to become, what would realise our full potential", director Jan Komasa told FNE. Corpus Christi is based on a Script Pro winning project written by Mateusz Pacewicz. Piotr Sobociński Jr. is the DoP. The film is produced by Leszek Bodzak and Aneta Hickinbotom through Aurum Film in coproduction with Canal+ with a planned budget of 1.1 m EUR and 356,638 EUR / 1.5 m PLN support from the Polish Film Institute. Shooting is planned for spring 2018.
Dark, Almost Night (Poland) This mystery thriller by the popular Polish director Borys Lankosz (author of the awarded drama Reverse) is based on a bestselling fantasy crime novel written by Joanna Bator. After years of long absence, Alicja comes back to her hometown of Wałbrzych (Waldenburg before WWII) to write a story about a mysterious disappearance of little children.
"The film is a cruel fairy tale mixed with elements of psychological drama. It tells a story of a horrifying and unstoppable power of evil, which affects mostly the innocent, but it also tells a story about the power of good, which gives a flicker of hope“, director Borys Lankosz told FNE. Magdalena Cielecka was cast in the leading role of Alicja. She will be accompanied by Anja Rubik, Aleksandra Konieczna, Marcin Dorociński, Dawid Ogrodnik and Jerzy Trela. The film is produced by Leszek Bodzak and Aneta Hickinbotom through Aurum Film with a planned budget of 1.6 m EUR. The project is supported with 82,999 EUR / 350,000 PLN by the Wrocław Film Commission. Shooting is planned for autumn 2017. The Polish distributor is Kino Świat.
The producers are currently looking for sales agents, festivals and international distribution. Production contact:
Fisheye (Poland) The debut feature by the Oscar shortlisted director Michał Szcześniak follows Ann (30), a workaholic who used to conduct science experiments in her laboratory. She is kidnapped just outside of her apartment’s door, where she lives with her partner John. The kidnapper locks her in a soundproof room and watches her on a monitor. Through a speaker he informs her that this is now his experiment.
"This story is scary but also universal, it could happen to anyone. In order to really appreciate life, we need to examine the roots of our problems. In my story the hero is forced to do that in an extreme way", Michał Szcześniak told FNE. Michał Szcześniak is an accomplished Polish film director, whose short documentary Starting Point was the only Polish title shortlisted for Academy Awards in the Best Short Documentary Subject category in 2016. The film is produced by Ewa Turczyńska and her company Kosmos Production with a planned budget of 656,735 EUR/ 2.8 m PLN. The film received development funding from the Polish Film Institute. Shooting is planned for 2018.
The filmmakers are currently looking for sales agents and potential coproducers.
The Hunter's Son (Netherlands, Poland) The second feature by Dutch filmmaker Ricky Rijneke follows 13-year-old Rabbit, who lives an isolated life with his overworked father, who is called The Hunter because he is good at his work. As a border guard he has to find hidden immigrants who want to cross the border.
"The Hunter’s Son will have a life-like narrative. It is set against the backdrop of a cross border zone, where thousands of migrants are waiting for their chance to escape to another world, their El Dorado dream, a universal background for a story about identity, strangeness and detachment from society", director Ricky Rijneke told FNE. The film is a Dutch/Polish coproduction between Rotterdam Films and Balapolis with a planned budget of 1.8 m EUR. The script was developed at Torino Film Lab and Film Lab Jerusalem. The production is planned for 2018, with principal photography in Poland with the participation of a Polish crew.
The Autumn Girl (Poland) Katarzyna Klimkiewicz’s new project is a musical drama inspired by the life of Polish 60s TV bombshell Kalina Jędrusik. A high-ranking TV official is taking his revenge on her after she refused to have sex with him. How can a sex bomb cope with sexual harassment and expectations people have of her?
"I don't aim to reconstruct a 60's film, but rather to bring back the feeling of watching these iconic scenes. The conflict between a liberated woman and a repressed TV executive is the core of a film full of singing, dancing and eccentric visions of Kalina’s imagination", director Katarzyna Klimkiewicz told FNE. The film is produced by Renata Czarnkowska-Listoś and Maria Gołoś through RE Studio with a planned budget of 1.6 m EUR, of which 1 m EUR is already in place. The project received development funding from the Polish film Institute. The film is in development, with casting search in progress. Shooting is planned for 2018 with Weronika Bilska as the DoP,
Neon Tears (Poland) The debut feature by documentary director Karolina Bielawska (most recognised for her internationally acclaimed film Call Me Marianne) is a biopic about Violetta Villas, a 70's singer and cabaret star surnamed "the Polish Marylin Monroe".
"Violetta Villas sparks different reactions, from laughter to admiration. I see her as a colorful butterfly, too fragile to face reality. I want to explore her world and the relationship with her son", director Karolina Bielawska told FNE. The film is produced by Ewa Jastrzębska and Jerzy Kapuściński though Munk Studio – Polish Filmmakers Association with a planned budget of 2m EUR, partially covered through development support from the Polish Film Institute. The film is currently in development, with shooting planned in Poland and the USA in 2019.
Lipstick on The Glass (Poland, Germany) The third feature by the award winning Polish director Kuba Czekaj is an experimental road movie about a woman fighting for her independence within a marriage and a family. "Kuba Czekaj created his own, specific style of filmmaking and this time he is taking us on a journey filled with blood, sex, love and vengeance", producer Paweł Kosuń told FNE. The film is produced by Centrala Film in coproduction with Indu Film with and a planned budget of 1.6 m EUR. Shooting is planned to take place in Poland, Germany and Denmark in the late summer of 2018. Agnieszka Podsiadlik will star.
Pilot 9/11 (Poland) Experimental filmmaker Norman Leto’s new project tells the story of the events of 11 September 2001 from a unique perspective – the military pilots who tried to avoid tragedy in a highly dynamic pursuit of passenger planes.
"Pilot 9/11 should lean towards realism but will be edited in a way so as not to be tiring for the viewer. The main character of the film is a former military pilot who took part in the pursuit of the planes that hit the World Trade Center towers on 11 September 2001. After retiring from the military, his normal life has slowly turned into an internalised nightmare. Pilot 9/11 is in some way a record of Tim’s therapy", director Norman Leto told FNE. The film is in the early stage of development and is produced by Lightcraft with a planned budget of 1.5 m EUR. Shooting is planned for 2018, with extensive postproduction using CGI effects.
Sweat (Poland) The new drama by Magnus von Horn (most recognised for his debut feature Hereafter) follows Sylwia, a successful fitness instructor, who has gained fame through her avid use of social media. She has motivated thousands of women to lead a healthier life but attracted a stalker in the process.
"We became inspired with the fitness models, who share a lot of their intimate life with their followers on social media. Sweat is a story of a girl who has a fracture within her personality and is forced to face it outside of the perfect image she built online", producer Mariusz Włodarski told FNE. The film is produced by Lava Films with a planned budget of 1.4 m EUR. The project is in the development stage and is planned as an international coproduction with Sweden and France. Shooting is planned for 2019.