Country Focus: Poland
TVP invests in national cinema once again
by Dorota Hartwich
- Following a lack of engagement over the last few years, the Polish public television network TVP is once again funding cinema: in fact, 15 million zlotys (around €3.5 million) have been allocated to film production in its 2014 budget.
Among the feature films being backed is City 44, by Jan Komasa. Financed by TVP to the tune of €714,300, the new film from the director of Suicide Room [+see also:
interview: Jakub Gierszal - Shooting S…
interview: Jan Komasa
film profile] was shot last summer after eight years of preparation. The Akson Studio production, which is also being funded by Orange and the Polish Film Institute (PISF), tells the story of a young boy who joins forces with his father during the 1944 Warsaw Uprising.
There is also €285,700 worth of backing for The Photographer by Waldemar Krzystek, a film that makes a return to the 1970s, set in a Polish village where the Russian Army was stationed. Also supported by the PISF, the feature is being produced by Yes To, in co-production with Odra-Film, Orka Studio, Banana Split Polska, Canal+ Pologne, EBH Polska and Dreamsound.
Also included among the works selected by TVP is Summer Solstice [+see also:
film profile] by Michal Rogalski, which recounts the misadventures of a group of young people who meet up during the Second World War. This is a production by Prasa & Film and Sunday Filmproduktions, and is being backed to the tune of €238,000.
The list also includes 11 minutes by Jerzy Skolimowski (a co-production by Skopia Film and Element Pictures, with the support of the Irish Film Board – and €143,000 from TVP) and Foreign Body by Krzysztof Zanussi (Tor Film Production in co-production with Wytwórnia Filmów Dokumentalnych i Fabularnych, with the involvement of Italian firm Revolver Film and Russian companies Agencja Teatralna W kregu rodziny and Ineureka i Bella Vostok – €119,000), two titles also being backed by the PISF. Lastly, other titles benefitting are Roj Story by Jerzy Zalewski (which will be developed into a feature film and a three-episode mini-series with a total budget of €1.4 million, covered in its entirety by TVP) and two films that have already been released in theatres: The Mighty Angel [+see also:
film profile] by Wojciech Smarzowski and Walesa. Man of Hope [+see also:
film profile] by Andrzej Wajda.
In the early 2000s, the Polish public television network was the top investor in national film production and was involved in 70%-80% of projects. After having withdrawn from film funding almost completely in 2009-2010, TVP is therefore making a gradual return to these activities, as demonstrated by this €3.5 million investment.