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Poland is on the lookout for international co-productions


- At the 32nd Warsaw Film Festival, the CentEast Market presented a panel on the advantages of co-production with the Warsaw Meetings’ host country

Poland is on the lookout for international co-productions
An image from the panel (© Rafal Nowak / WFF)

Taking place as part of the  12th CentEast Market at the 32nd Warsaw Film Festival, a panel on how to make films with Poland was held on Saturday, 15 October. Aiming to give an introduction to the possibilities for co-productions with Poland, the representatives of relevant Polish film institutions, Michał Kosmala from the Mazovia Warsaw Film Commission, Dana Pohl from the Film Commission Poland and Robert Baliński from the Polish Film Institute (PFI), explained how to navigate the Polish film sector.

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The Mazovia Warsaw Film Commission is a service for national and international producers interested in making a film in Poland. They offer support with services assisting with matters such as obtaining permissions and location scouting. The Mazovia Film Fund offers funding for up to 50% of a film’s budget; the Fund’s budget for 2016 was €200,000.

But the first port of call for producers and filmmakers interested in shooting in Poland should be the Film Commission Poland. The commission offers production support, including finding domestic co-production partners, organising international co-production meetings and location scouting in the country, thanks to which budgetary savings could be as high as 30% compared to producing a film in Western Europe. They also hope to introduce film production incentives and, as Pohl claimed, “there’s a big chance that will happen in the first half of 2017”.

40 films funded by the PFI are released every year. The minority co-production scheme has a budget of approximately €2,000,000, with a single project eligible to receive up to €470,000. This year, the PFI has already supported 15 projects from a wide range of countries, including High Life by Claire Denis and Dovlatov by Alexei German Jr.

“Filmmaking without Borders”, a panel discussion featuring Mariusz Włodarski from Lava Films (The Here After [+see also:
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interview: Magnus von Horn
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, They Chased Me Through Arizona
 [+see also:
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interview: Matthias Huser
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), Marta Habior and Marta Lewandowska from No Sugar Films (The Saint [+see also:
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interview: Andrius Blazevicius
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) and Edyta Janczak-Hiriart from Kometa Films was also held at the CentEast Market. The participants stressed the importance of working with the right producers and building a professional network. According to Janczak-Hiriart, the most important thing to consider when coming to Poland is finding a very good Polish producer. “There are a lot of great people – young, independent, but very professional producers. I was impressed by how efficient they are.” 

Ola Salwa, the coordinator of the 12th CentEast Market Warsaw, added that, “out of the films supported by the Polish Film Institute, there were two projects presented yesterday at the works-in-progress session. So this co-production scheme really is working.”

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