Jakub Gierszał. Photo by Jarosław Sosiński
Sala samobójców (Suicide Room) by Jan Komasa will screen in the Panorama Special section of the 61st Berlin International Film Festival.
Jan Komasa was previously known for having co-directed the acclaimed Oda do radości (Ode to Joy). Suicide Room, Komasa's solo debut as a director, for which he also wrote the script, will have its international premiere on February 12 at the Berlin International Film Festival. The film was produced by Kadr Film Studio, Poland's oldest production company, which, after a 14-year-long hiatus, recently returned to the Polish market with the successful Rewers (Reverse). Suicide Room is the second major production of the revamped Kadr. Almost 6,000 films from around the world are submitted for Berlinale consideration each year.
Suicide Room tells the story of Dominik. Dominik is a regular kid. He is popular, his girlfriend is the prettiest girl in school, he has wealthy parents and therefore money to afford clothes, gadgets, and parties. Until one day a single kiss changes everything. She - the girl who chats him up online. She is intriguing, dangerous, and devious. She leads him into the 'suicide room', a place of no return. Dominik, trapped in a ruse of his own emotions and drawn into a deadly intrigue, will lose the one thing that is most valuable in life.
Komasa's feature combines the real world with the virtual by mixing live action and animation. In addition to traditional photography, Suicide Room contains over 20 minutes of CGI. The film's virtual reality was created using the latest accomplishments in film technology and special effects.
Panorama is one of Berlinale's official programme sections, complementary to the festival's Main Competition. It showcases films that give an overview of recent trends and accomplishment in arthouse and independent world cinema. The Panorama Main Programme usually screens about 18 feature films. Each year, the Panorama Documentary section screens a selection of about 15 of the world's most interesting films that focus on social issues. The Panorama Special section is a selection of about 16 films that exhibit high potential in terms of distribution. After screening at the Berlin Film Festival, many of these films go on to have wide theatrical distribution in various countries. Several juries award their prizes to films screening in the Berlin Panorama, including the FIPRESCI Jury, the Ecumenical Jury, Amnesty International, and the Label Europa Cinema award. Films screening in Panorama also compete for a special prize for best debut, awarded by a three-member jury, and for the audience award.
Thanks to the joint efforts of Kadr Film Studio and the Polish Film Institute, Suicide Room is the first Polish feature to have an international sales agent at the production stage. The film's world sales will be handled by LevelK, a Denmark-based sales agent. Tine Klint, CEO of LevelK, who previously handled films by Lars von Trier and Lone Scherfig, describes the Polish director: "Jan is an extremely interesting first-time director. He was successfully able to combine an important issue with captivating visual poetics." LevelK included Komasa's feature in Future Classics, a project that focuses on promoting new and interesting examples of world cinema.
Sala samobójców (Suicide Room), produced by Kadr Film Studio, features Roma Gąsiorowska, Agata Kulesza, and Krzysztof Pieczyński. The lead role of Dominik is played by Jakub Gierszał, one of the most promising actors of the young generation and this year's graduate of the Drama School in Krakow. Suicide Room will be released in Polish cinemas on March 4. Distribution in Poland is handled by ITI Cinema.
Translated by Karolina Kołtun