FNE Film Meets Games: Q&A with Magdalena Zimecka, Managing Director of Polish ORKA Film

    Magdalena Zimecka Magdalena Zimecka credit: Orka Film

    WARSAW: FNE spoke to Magdalena Zimecka, managing director of Polish ORKA Film, about their current projects and activities.

    Magdalena Zimecka - managing director of ORKA film studio. A graduate of the Fryderyk Chopin Music Academy in Warsaw. Commercial producer in OTO film studio; she established the Cafe Ole sound studio in 1999, Expresso postproduction boutique in 2007. For 15 years she has been managing ORKA - one of the largest production and postproduction studios in Poland - as a co-owner. A leader with vision, setting alternative paths for the company's development, with a "DO culture" and always out of the box thinking.

    ORKA Film is a Polish production and postproduction company established in 1995. Even though initially focused on a commercial market, ORKA very quickly grew into the top Polish motion picture facility providing full service production and postproduction line for the greatest Polish and international commercial and feature film projects. During almost 20 years of activity, ORKA has gathered under one roof the most advanced technology in Poland.

    Central and Eastern Europe is one of the most important locations for global games developers and studios, and artists in the region are increasingly working for both film and games. FNE looks at how these two sectors of the entertainment industry are converging and why this trend is important for the future development of both.

    FNE: When was ORKA founded and what have been your main missions and strategic projects so far?

    Magdalena Zimecka: ORKA was established in 1995 in Warsaw. From the very beginning our goal was to provide the best quality; we always treat video footage with respect. Years of developing gave us a chance to be a leader both on feature as well as on the commercial market. Now we started to develop our own feature film projects as an executive producer.

    FNE: What big projects is the company currently working on?

    Magdalena Zimecka: We are currently working on the Snot and Splash directed by Finnish director Teemu Nikki and produced by It's Alive Films, which is a film fantasy for kids with a great number of VFX shots. One of the biggest successes in 2022 was Infinite Storm directed by Malgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert, produced by Maven Screen Media and JamTart Productions, and starring Naomi Watts. We were involved in this project as a postproduction and VFX studio, as well as a producer.

    FNE: What sets your company apart from other companies and what technical equipment do you offer to interested artists?

    Magdalena Zimecka: ORKA is a unique place where you can find technologically advanced postproduction solutions and support of experienced producers. We work on projects from the very beginning, literary from development through to the entire production and postproduction processes. We raise funds as coproducers, we carry out the entire production process, including special effects and sound, to broadcast materials in accordance with the requirements of such demanding platforms as Netflix or Canal +.

    Now we are about to open The Reference SPOT, which is already our second reference cinema room with an excellent laser projector and screen. Our artists always work on the latest versions of the highest-class software. We always try to work with our own in-house graphic team.

    ORKA employs over 50 people, excellent graphic designers, and great producers with experience in working on large international projects.

    FNE: What can you tell us about the cash rebate programme, as you provide your clients with outstanding services while accessing a variety of incentives. How many foreign productions applied for the cash rebate in 2022?

    Magdalena Zimecka: Cash rebates are usually thought of as a business option for on-set service. But at ORKA we see it in a different way: we propose to also use the cash rebate system for postproduction and VFX budgets as well. It gives greater possibilities and budget flexibility, and it extends the schedule of expenses included in the cash rebate system.

    FNE: How important is it for Poland to coproduce and to service the shooting of productions from FNE countries?

    Magdalena Zimecka: Poland is a large, safe country with a very long Oscar-winning history of cinema and an excellent film school in Łódź. From the mountains to the seashore, you'll find scenery for the most challenging films. There are also a lot of possibilities to raise funds for international coproductions. This model of filmmaking is the main production priority for ORKA.

    FNE: Film and games convergence is a hot topic now. What can you tell us about the relationship between the gaming industry and film in your experience?

    Magdalena Zimecka: Now all branches of technological science come together. Experts in various areas of that business are sharing their discoveries and advances with each other.

    In my opinion, this is a good time to join forces and to use the potential gained from the experience of filmmaking in games and vice versa. Games will become more and more cinematic, they will have a rich storyline and great characters. In films, the action will increasingly resemble the multi-layered plot of the games.

    This is a great opportunity for film producers to expand their activities and to enter the lucrative game financing market. Film projects will naturally start preparing the game version right away, which will increase the possibility of raising money.

    FNE: How do you see the development of the relationship between the film and gaming industries?

    Magdalena Zimecka: Doing cinematics is a natural way to combine our industries. But I would rather get forward. At the stage of film development, working on scripts and building the budget and financing plan, in ORKA we will think about both games and films. Planning it from the very beginning will give us a chance to find partners in the film industry to join forces. Hopefully soon on our website www.orkafilm.pl