PRODUCTION: PISF finances new projects

By Katarzyna Grynienko

    In the last session of financing for 2010, the Polish Film Institute announced funding for debuts, veteran filmmakers, and several international co-productions.

    The last session of financing covered over 60 new Polish film projects, most in the early pre-production stage. The Polish Film Institute (www.pisf.pl) informed filmmakers preparing applications that there are no more funds for the Operational Program "Film Production" this year.

    In the Author Cinema priority PFI supported 8 feature films including the new title from Marek Koterski who is known for his dark comedy style. His new project titled Baby są jakieś inne ( Broads Are Somehow Different)is produced by "Kadr" Film Studio (www.kadr.com.pl) with a planned budget of 3.4 million PLN (€ 818,000) with 2.5 million PLN from PFI. The film revolves around two men on a trip who talk about various women in their lives. Another project financed this session is controversial film Chemo directed by Bartosz Prokopowicz. The script follows the life of a couple in their 30s, Benek and Lena who struggles with the most vicious form of G3 cancer. When she gets pregnant and decides to give birth despite her fatal illness, Benek has to support her through a series of humiliating medical procedures. The film is produced by "Rak'n Roll- Wygraj życie!" (www.raknroll.pl), a Polish foundation promoting cancer awareness with a planned budget of 4.7 million PLN (€1.2 million) with a 2 million PLN grant from PFI.

    PFI supported 3 new feature productions in the category "Films with historic topics" including The Battle Of Warsaw 1920, a new Jerzy Hoffman film. The film is produced by Film Production (www.filmproduction.com.pl) with a budget of 18 million PLN (€ 4.3 million), 50% being financed by PISF. One of the bigger grants was assigned to the historical drama Daas, a directing debut from Adrian Panek. The film centers around the figure of a false messiah Jakub Frank, whose adventurous life made him run from Poland to Vienna. The film is produced by Agromedia Production's Lambros Ziotas with a planned budget of 3.9 million PLN (€ 938,000) with 3 million PLN financed by PFI. Another history film supported by PFI is a fresh outlook on the prose of Bruno Schulz titled The Hour Glass Sanatorium by the Quay brothers . The movie will be produced in Poland by Opus Film (www.opusfilm.com) with a total budget of 9 million PLN (€ 2.1 million) with 800,000 PLN input from PFI.

    An international co-production also based on the works of a Polish writer is The Futurology Congress, directed by Ari Folan. The film, based on a novel by Stanisław Lem under the same title, is a co-production between Poland, Germany, France, Israel and England. The Polish production company for this project is Opus Film. The planned budget is 34 million PLN (€ 8.1 million) with 3 million PLN from PFI. The Institute also supported a new film from Russian director Ivan Wyrypajew titled Salvation, produced by a Polish company Baltmedia (www.baltmedia.com). The film depicts the search for title salvation of a young nun Anna, who hears the voice of Christ which tells her to move to Tibet and live in a small deserted village 10 km from the nearest church. The planned budget for this project is 5.5 million PLN (€ 1.3 million) with 800,000 PLN from PFI.

    International projects include Piotr Fudakowski's debut titled Tajemniczy sojusznik (A Secret Allie). The film is a Polish-British co-production about a 30-yearl-old Pole who embarks on a journey for a better life in the 90's. He chooses to immigrate to China, where he becomes a captain of an old, rusted ship with a Chinese-only crew. The script is based on Joseph Cnorad's novel titled Secret Shaker. The Polish producer of the film is Akson Studio (www.akson-studio.pl) and the planned budget of the picture is 19.3 million PLN (€4.6 million) with 3 million PLN from PFI.