Within the Whirlwind, an international production directed by Oscar laureate Marleen Gorris, began shooting Jan. 24 in Poland. The movie's screenplay is based on the bestselling autobiography of famous Russian dissident Eugenia Ginsburg. More than half of the 200 million-zloty (€55-million) estimated budget will be spent in Poland.
Krakow is hosting the first international congress devoted to Regional Film Funds in Poland today and tomorrow (Jan. 24-25). The National Chamber of Audiovisual Producers (KIPA) and the Polish Film Institute (www.pisf.pl) organized the event to introduce this innovative source of movie financing to Polish local government officials and film professionals.
Filming is under way for a biopic about Jerzy Popiełuszko, the popular pro-Solidarity priest who was murdered by Poland's communist secret police in 1984. Agnieszka Holland's To Kill a Priest from 1988 focused on the circumstances of his death, but director and scriptwriter Rafał Wieczyński seeks in his film Popiełuszko to examine the priest's entire life.
The European Commission is calling on Polish broadcasters to cut back on commercial time. Polish daily Gazeta Wyborcza reports new research shows that some EU members are exceeding the 12-minute-per-hour limit on advertising. Spanish television has already been disciplined, and Italy and Poland are next in line.
A new Polish website has been launched to promote Łódź as an ideal place for filmmakers. The creators hope the website, called Action!Lodz (www.actionlodz.com), will bring new productions to the city that inspired both David Lynch and Peter Greenaway.
The Polish film A Life for a Life, which tell the stories of courageous Poles who gave their lives to help Jews during World War II, had a successful launch this month as part of a project to break down unjust stereotypes about Poles and the Holocaust.
International Film Festival Plus Camerimage wouldn't be able to celebrate its 15th edition without the support of Polish distributors. On the official Camerimage website, festival organizers note how over the years the constant involvement of the distribution companies influenced the quality of the program and allowed the event to gain international recognition. Plus Camerimage Special Awards for Distribution Companies is the way to honor and thank distributors for their contribution.
The Polish Film School is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year with a series of gala events including special screenings at the Plus Camerimage Festival in Łodź and the release of a boxed set of five Polish film classics including Andrzej Wajda's precedent-setting Canal.
A project organised by the Polish Filmmakers Association to help young scriptwriters and directors make their debuts in the film industry, Script Laboratory, is beginning to bear fruit. System, written and directed by Izabela Szylko, will wind up production on Jan. 17 and has been picked up by Canal+, while My First Job, written by Radka Franczak and directed by Agnieszka Smoczynska, is being seriously considered by Swiss production company Ventura Film.
Shooting began Nov. 12 on a new Polish political thriller, Warsaw Dark, after renowned Australian cinematographer Christopher Doyle got interested in the story and pushed production forward from its original schedule of March 2008, the Polish website www.wirtualmedia.pl reported
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