The promising Behind the Blue Door
by Dorota Hartwich
- Mariusz Palej’s feature, which has just finished shooting, will be aimed at young audiences, who have been deprived of national productions
One of the most blatant gaping holes in the Polish film market is the shortage of movies targeted at younger audiences. Not a single feature aimed at this target audience has seen true success for over five years now, not since the release of Andrzej Maleszka’s The Magic Tree. And because national output of this type of title is marginal to say the least, the movies offered by Polish distributors are almost entirely dominated by US films. This cinematic landscape can be explained by the minimal level of attraction that Polish directors and producers feel towards this type of film, by an underestimation of their share of the existing demand and by the overly weak support provided by financiers. While over 30 films for young audiences are produced every year in Europe (including eight in the Scandinavian countries), Poland only produced five of them between 2008 and 2013.
However, Poland now has fresh hope in this regard, as Mariusz Palej has just wrapped the shoot for Behind the Blue Door, which will be hitting screens at the start of 2016. Adapted from a book by Mariusz Szczygielski, the film recounts the misfortunes of an 11-year-old boy whose mother falls into a coma following an accident. The boy is left at his aunt’s house, where he discovers a blue door that is actually a gateway to a fascinating and difficult world: the world of magic.
The children in the cast will be joined by a number of stars of Polish cinema, including Ewa Blaszczyk, Michal Zebrowski and Adam Ferency. Produced by TFP with backing from the Polish Film Institute, Behind the Blue Door is benefitting from co-productions by TV Polsat, FremantleMedia Polska, Heliograf, Alien FX, AB Film Production, Dreamsound and Odra-Film. The DoP was Witold Plociennik, while the special effects were entrusted to Ryszard Rogocki.
(Translated from French)