Gdynia Polish Film Festival Competition spotlight: Rite of Passage

By Katarzyna Grynienko

    In Rite of Passage, director Janusz Majewski creates an image of turbulent events in post-WWII Poland, seen trough the eyes of boys on the verge of their adult life.

    {mosimage}Rite Of Passage is a coming of age story evolving around Ludwik, a fourteen year old who arrives in newly freed Cracow with his sister and parents right after the end of WWII. The boy is enrolled in a good gymnasium where he makes new friendships and meets his new role model, sixteen year old Marek. The older boy is a rebellious young intellectual, who is supposed to have fought in the Warsaw Uprising. The country is getting ready for a vote on a referendum to decide whether Poland will be a communist country. The boys decide to form a secret anti-communist organization.The Prime Minister of the Polish Government of exile visits Cracow and the teenagers become involved in a street brawl caused by the political turmoil. Marek tries to escape arrest and is killed, which Ludwik finds out just before he has to take the A-level exams, a rite of passage that seems insignificant in the face of post-war reality.

    "The period between 14 and 16 years old is the so called "silly age", a time of turning from childhood to adulthood, a time of school pranks and tomfoolery, the first struggles with Eros and the first moral dilemmas. A period that we remember all of our lives. For these boys it came during the turbulent post-war times, where things that were trivial mixed with the serious and tragic ones." said Majewski.

    Majewski is popular for his pictures The Deserters and Hotel Pacific. He gathered an all-star cast including his frequent leading man Marek Kondrat accompanied by Olgierd Łukaszewicz, Wiktor Zborowski and Wojciech Pszoniak as well as talented debutants Adam Wróblewski, Dawid Kot, Mikołaj Jodliński and Adam Zduńczyk.

    Rite Of Passage was produced by the Documentary and Feature Film Production Company (WFDiF, www.wfdif.com.pl) in co-production with Cracow Festival Office (www.biurofestiwalowe.pl). The total budget of the film was 7 million PLN (EUR 1.6 million) with 50% being financed by the Polish Film Institute (www.pisf.pl) and co-financed by the Cracow Regional Film Fund (www.rff.krakow.pl). The movie will open in Polish cinemas on December 31, 2010 and the national distributor is Monolith Films (www.monolith.pl) with PR being handled by I.Film.


    Director - Janusz Majewski
    Screenwriter - Janusz Majewski
    Producer - Włodzimierz Niderhaus
    Cinematographer - Adam Bajerski
    Set design - Andrzej Haliński
    Costumes - Elżbieta Radke
    Production manager - Tadeusz Drewno
    Production company - Documentary and Feature Film Production Company (WFDiF)
    Co-production - Cracow Festival Office
    Co-financing - Polish Film Institute, Cracow Regional Fund
    Distributor - Monolith Films


    {mosimage}Adam Wróblewski
    Antoni Królikowski
    Agnieszka Michalska
    Artur Żmijewski
    Wojciech Pszoniak
    Olgierd Łukaszewicz
    Marek Kondrat
    and others

    Production contact:

    Wytwórnia Filmów Dokumentalnych i Fabularnych
    ul. Chełmska 21, 00-724 Warszawa
    tel. (0-22) 840 00 30 39
    fax (0-22) 841 58 91