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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Poland

Bartosz M Kowalski finishes shooting the slasher Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight

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- Kowalski’s debut feature, Playground, enjoyed a healthy festival run that took in San Sebastián, London and Warsaw

Bartosz M Kowalski finishes shooting the slasher Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight
Julia Wieniawa in Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight (© Michał Chojnacki/Akson Studio)

Bartosz M Kowalski is a Polish writer-director whose debut film, Playground [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Bartosz M. Kowalski
film profile
]
, revolving around a group of pre-teens and the tension between them that erupts into violence, was very well received on the international market. It was presented at the San Sebastián, London and Warsaw Film Festivals, and at the latter, it scooped a Special Mention in the 1-2 Competition. Kowalski’s second feature, Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight (W lesie dziś nie zaśnie nikt), delves deeper into the realm of fear, thrills and cruelty.

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“Oh, the horror!” is probably what a group of smartphone-addicted teenagers think when they are sent to an “offline camp”. Instead of browsing and scrolling, they walk around the woods and chat – using their tongues rather than their thumbs. Soon, dread and terror rear their ugly heads when the group is faced with a killer who starts picking them off one by one.

Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight is the first Polish slasher film, and it’s said to also address social concerns and apprehension, just like every smart horror flick should. “Our project came to life because we wanted to add some colour to our local film market. Also, it’s a movie we would like to watch ourselves,” producer Jan Kwieciński tells Cineuropa exclusively. Asked about box-office expectations, he says, “It’s hard to define them, since it will be an experiment in our market, where genres other than romantic comedies are only just beginning to find their audience. However, we are aware that the Polish audience likes foreign horror films, which makes us optimistic,” he adds.

Kwieciński, who works at Warsaw-based Akson Studio, previously produced Panic Attack [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Pawel Maslona
film profile
]
by Paweł Maślona and is currently working on Piotr Domalewski’s second feature, I Never Cry (see the news). He also co-wrote the script for Nobody Sleeps in the Woods Tonight with Kowalski and the film’s creative producer, Mirella Zaradkiewicz.

What may help to boost the box-office performance of the film is the decision to cast Julia Wieniawa, one of today’s most popular Polish actresses, in a leading role. Stanisław Cywka (The Erlprince [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Kuba Czekaj
film profile
]
), Gabriela Muskała (Fugue [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Agnieszka Smoczyńska
film profile
]
), Wiktoria Gosiewska, Sebastian Dela, Mirosław Zbrojewicz and Michał Lupa also star. The Polish distributor is Next Film, while the international rights are currently up for grabs.

The 23-day shoot wrapped in late October, and the movie is set for a 13 March 2020 release (a Friday, naturally).

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