03-04-2020

Director of Polish Film Institute Appeals to the Management of Television Stations

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WARSAW: The Polish Directors' Guild has appealed to public and private television broadcasters to broadcast Polish films and original TV programmes to support creators currently deprived of any source of income. Their appeal is supported by the Director of the Polish Film Institute Radosław Śmigulski.

The Director of the Polsh Film Institute Radosław Śmigulski asked the TV broadcasters to ease contract penalties on film producers and amend agreements with filmmakers involved in production.

"The current situation may prevent film producers from performing activities aimed at fulfilling the contracts concluded with you. We already know about the need to cancel shoots due to the widespread COVID-19 pandemic," Śmigulski said in an open letter. "In connection with the above, taking into account the unique situation in which Polish cinematography is currently located, as the Director of the Polish Film Institute, guided by its good and out of concern for its future, I am asking for a flexible and individual approach to the implementation of each of the concluded contracts and conducting talks to renegotiate concluded agreements in a spirit that gives the opportunity to develop the best solutions enabling the survival of Polish entrepreneurs operating in the film industry during this difficult period."

Śmigulski also heads the special 16-person cinematographic crisis team composed of creators, producers, distributors and cinema owners. "There is an unbelievable amount of legal and organisational work that is currently in front of the Institute, hence the idea for cooperation between many entities. This is how PISF sees its role for the creators," he said.

The crisis team met on 20 March 2020 and proposed the first financial and legal solutions, ranging from changes to the grants procedure to a special fund providing assistance for those in need.

When asked about the crisis in the film industry, the producer of Jan Komasa's Corpus Christi (Aurun Film) Leszek Bodzak said the activities of the Polish Film Institute have a chance to mitigate the effects. "These are certainly steps in the right direction and they will help in the future. It must be taken into account that there were several dozen productions on the market and we are dealing with a big problem. It is associated with financial losses," he said.