In this year's first round of applications, the Polish Film Institute granted financial support to eight international minority co-productions. Among these are the latest films by Roman Polański, Soren Kragh-Jacobsen, and Florin Serban.
20 applications in the international minority co-production envelope were assessed by committee members Anna Kazejak, Krzysztof Kłopotowski, Alessandro Leone, and Michał Oleszczyk. The total of financing this round, the first of two rounds scheduled for this year, was 3,935,000 PLN. The annual quota for this envelope is 8,000,000 PLN. Among supported projects are six feature films, one documentary, and one animated film. Two of the co-financed films are by first-time directors.
"True Story" is the third project by director Roman Polański to receive support from the Polish Film Institute, and the second to be co-produced by Monolith Films on the Polish side. The film focuses on the rivalry of two strong female individualities, struggling for dominance and even for their lives, and stars Eva Green and Emmanuelle Seigner. The script was written by Roman Polański and Olivier Assayas, and the DOP attached to the project is Paweł Edelman. The film's leading producer is Paris-based WY Productions.
Poland will be one of six co-producing countries on "The Last Journey of Monsieur Pichon," the latest film by Soren Kragh-Jacobsen. Set in 1848 Scotland, the film tells the story of a journey by Frederic Chopin, who travelled under the alias of Monsieur Pichon, in search for a healer. The role of Chopin will be played by Romain Duris. The film will be scored by Jan A. P. Kaczmarek, and the production designer attached to the project is Katarzyna Filimoniuk. Poland will be home to ten days of filming. On the Polish side, the film is produced by Akson Studio. Other producers include Pandora Film GmbH (Germany), Sophie Dulac Distribution and Mact Productions (France), Nimbus Film ApS (Denmark), Panache Productions (Belgium), and Meteorit (Estonia).
The Polish Film Institute has also supported "Butterfly Kisses," the feature debut by Polish director Rafał Kapeliński, winner of the Crystal Bear award in the Generation 14plus section of the 2017 Berlin International Film Festival. This is the story of Jake and his two best friends. Their teenage world, full of violence, revolves around sex and pornography. The film's Polish co-producer is Solopan. Other co-producers include Blue Shadows Films (United Kingdom), Grump Films (USA) and Rocha World Films (USA).
"Balcanic 1: Dog" by Florin Serban is made as a co-production between Romania and Poland. The film will be the story of an extremely lonely man who falls in love with a woman who turns his world upside down and — using violence, despair and anger — makes him appreciate the fact that he is alive. The film will be lensed by Marcin Koszałka. Harine Films is the Polish producer, while Fantascope is producing on the Romanian side.
On New Year's Eve, a group of parents steals coffins with the remains of deceased presidents in order to force the governments to search for the graves of their children, lost at war. The film is composed of three surreal stories, their structure and interweaving plot lines unfolding with the story. That is the premise of "What a Country!" by Vinko Bresan, a co-production between four countries. The film's Polish producer is Studio Produkcyjne Orka. Other co-producers include Inter Film (Croatia), Vertigo (Slovenia), and Zillion Film (Serbia).
"Jackdaws on the Road" by Olmo Omerzu opens at a police station, during the interrogation of a 13-year-old suspected of hijacking a car and driving across the Czech Republic. As the story unfolds, we learn what really happened during that journey. The film is a co-production between four countries. The producer on the Polish side is Koskino Natalia Grzegorzek. The film's leading producer is Endorfilm (Czech Republic). Other producers on board include Cvinger Film (Slovenia) and Punkchart Films (Slovakia).
This year the minority co-production envelope at the Polish Film Institute was also open to documentary and animated film projects.
In the first session of 2017, financing was granted to the animated film "Jacob, Mimmi and the Talking Dogs," by first-time director Edmunds Jansons. The film tells the story of Jacob, a young boy from Riga who is forced to spend a summer in the suburbs and learns that the local dogs can speak in human voices. The Polish producer is Letko, and the leading producer on the Latvian side is Atom Art.
The Polish Film Institute also supported to "The Director's Chair," a documentary by Sophie Delvallee about a Moroccan director who spent his young days in Poland and today, following ten years of isolation and in spite of his old age, hemiplegia and being in a wheelchair, decides to resume work on the project of his life, which may prove to be his last. The film's Polish producer is Entertain Pictures, and the leading producer is Kaléo Films from France.
The second round of applications for international minority co-productions at the Polish Film Institute will take place later this year. Applications for feature-length narrative, documentary and animated films will be open from August 1 to August 14. Further details are available at: http://en.pisf.pl/funding/international-co-productions.