Docs to Start

PUBLIC PRESENTATIONS ONLINE

4.06, 10.00 – 13.00 CEST

Repetition of the recorded pitching for decision makers from other time zones: 15.00 – 18.00 CEST

access with passes: Industry, Industry Pro, Media

A presentation of recent Polish documentary projects in development stage preceded by intensive workshop Doc Lab Poland: Doc Lab Start. Its purpose is to find additional source of financing and potential coproduction partners.

SELECTED  PROJECTS:

Being Benovsky

English title: Being Benovsky
Original title: Być jak Beniowski
Director: Katarzyna Trzaska, Marek Kucharski
Director of photography: Marcin Sauter
Editor: Marek Kucharski
Producer: Łukasz Bluszcz
Production company: Vision House Sp. z o.o.
Estimated running time: 90′
Production country: Poland
Film delivery: December 2022

Three enthusiasts from a small Polish town, fascinated by the figure of the 18th century traveller Maurice Benovsky, plan an excursion to Madagascar to experience a journey to their inner selves.

Janek, Jurek and Waldek reside in Nowa Sol, a little town in the west of Poland. All three admire the figure of the 18th century adventurer Maurice Benovsky. They admire values that he embodies such as: bravery, generosity and chivalry. Thanks to their enthusiasm they managed to attract foreign historians, writers and globetrotters to their foundation and inspire them with their love for Benovsky. Benovsky’s adventurous life, the only man who managed to escape from his exile in Kamchatka in Tsarist Russia and later became ruler of Madagascar, to this day evokes interest and a lot of emotions. Our characters want to follow their hero and travel the same way he did. Their trip to Madagascar will be a crowning moment showing all the effort they put into their object of fascination. They wish to find the grave and remains of their hero’s settlement before the teams from Slovakia and Hungary would manage to do so. This will also be a journey deep into their inner selves, discovering answers to more important questions: does their desire to follow Benovsky come from their need to escape small town problems and boredom? Does the intense admiration for the deceased hero make them ignore the real needs and problems of their closest? In a humorous yet reflective way this film will take a look at the lives of our characters and the source of their fascination. Will the journey to Madagascar make their dreams come true or will it be full of disappointments or even conflicts?

Katarzyna Trzaska

Director and scriptwriter of documentaries and TV series, local producer of the largest global television stations. Co-owner of Vision House Productions – production house working since 2006 for international partners like BBC, CNN, NHK, Al Jazeera or Discovery Channel. He co-creates and produces documentary films and television programs and is responsible for international news coverage regarding the current situation in Poland. Director and producer of the full-length documentary The Tipping Point. Energy aNew awarded for the best ecological film at the Millennium Docs Against Gravity Festival 2017. In 2013, he wrote the screenplay and produced a documentary entitled “Bunt” directed by Małgorzata Kozera devoted to dramatic rebellions in Polish prisons in 1989. The film was made as a co-production of Al Jazeera and TVP television with the support of the Polish Film Institute; Since 2014 he is responsible for production and directing some of the episodes of the popular documentary series Bieszczady Last Frontier realized for Discovery. Currently he is producing new projects for Al Jazeera and TVP. He’s a member of Aspen Young Leaders Central Europe and a graduate of BalticLead by the Swedish Institute.

Marek Kucharski

Marek Kucharski, born 1982, is a graduate from Film Editing at the Film School in Lodz, Photography and Interdisciplinary Doctoral Studies at the University of Arts in Poznan. Winner of the Marshal of the Lodz Region award and the artistic scholarship of the Minister of Culture and National Heritage. He works in photography, video, film, installation and art books. The film “Tipping Point: Energy aNew” where he worked as the editor won the Green Warsaw Award for the best film at the Docs Against Gravity festival in 2017.

Marek Kucharski is a artist and film maker who draws inspiration from travels and confrontation with otherness that offers the contact with the unknown. In 2013 he was invited by The Lock-Up Contemporary Art Space in Newcastle in Australia to hold an artistic residency. As a result of staying in Australia the exhibition “Trades” was created in the gallery’s exhibition space. However, the stay in Australia prompted Kucharski to reflect on postcolonialism and the theory of evolution. The resulting work “There is nothing there, anyway” was shown at the Photomonth in Krakow and found itself among the 50 best photographic works by the young generation at the prestigious “ReGeneration3” exhibition organized by the Swiss Musee Elisee.
The work ‘Return’ was on the Top 3 Videos list at the 6th International Video Festival in Jakarta, Indonesia. Kucharski exhibited his works in Germany, Australia, UK, Italy, the Czech Republic, Mexico and China. The most important exhibitions in which he participated in Poland is „Media Lab 6” in the Trafostacja Sztuki (2015), „Returning to Białowieża” at the Arsenal Gallery in Bialystok (2016), „Tide” in Art Station by Mia in Wroclaw (2016), „Maria Dokowicz Competition at the Arsenal Gallery” in Poznan (2012), „Black Hole” Wozownia Gallery in Toruń (2017). Marek Kucharski is also an organizer of exhibitions (Poznan explores Jazdów, 2016; Nieoczywiste, 2015; City Garden, 2013).

Łukasz Bluszcz

Director and scriptwriter of documentaries and TV series, local producer of the largest global television stations. Co-owner of Vision House Productions – production house working since 2006 for international partners like BBC, CNN, NHK, Al Jazeera or Discovery Channel. He co-creates and produces documentary films and television programs and is responsible for international news coverage regarding the current situation in Poland. Director and producer of the full-length documentary The Tipping Point. Energy aNew awarded for the best ecological film at the Millennium Docs Against Gravity Festival 2017. In 2013, he wrote the screenplay and produced a documentary entitled “Bunt” directed by Małgorzata Kozera devoted to dramatic rebellions in Polish prisons in 1989. The film was made as a co-production of Al Jazeera and TVP television with the support of the Polish Film Institute; Since 2014 he is responsible for production and directing some of the episodes of the popular documentary series Bieszczady Last Frontier realized for Discovery. Currently he is producing new projects for Al Jazeera and TVP. He’s a member of Aspen Young Leaders Central Europe and a graduate of BalticLead by the Swedish Institute.

Debut

 
English title: Debut
Original title: Debiut
Director: Aleksandra Maciejczyk
Director of photography: Maciej Edelman
Editors: Sabina Filipowicz, Kamil Grzybowski
Producer: Marta Gmosińska
Production company: Lava Films Sp. z o.o.
Estimated running time: 72′
Production country: Poland
Film delivery: November 2021
 

Marysia comes from princely lineage, but her family has withdrawn from aristocracy. She goes against the grain and takes part in Debutants Ball. Through her act of rebellion she searches for identity.

Every two years, Polish aristocracy gathers at the Debutants Ball. 64 young people who come from noble families, are personally selected by the organiser, Countess Mycielska. They take part in intensive, two-week preparations – ballroom dance and savoir vivre lessons. The titular Debut is performed in front of an audience of 700 people. Marysia Krupska is 25 years old and is one of 7 children. Not a single one of Marysia’s 5 older brothers took part in the ball. Delving into Marysia’s family history, we are trying to find the ball’s modern meaning as a symbol of the upper class. The origins of modern Polish society can be traced back to WW II and the period of Stalinist terror. The domination of nobility, and the entire structure which justified this order, were destroyed. What Marysia’s grandparents went through and the impact of their biographies on the generations that followed clearly reflects the huge change in Poland’s social hierarchy. The film’s narrative structure will follow Marysia as she struggles to take part in the ball without the support of her family and faces difficult decisions concerning her future. Meanwhile, the story of her family will slowly be revealed. This year, after finishing her MA at Cambridge Marysia will come back to Poland after 10 years in England. We would like to film her as she comes back, curious to see what this return will be like. Will she find her place back in Poland?

 

Aleksandra Maciejczyk

Aleksandra Maciejczyk was born in 1993 and graduated Łódz Film School. Her short documentary film “Nils” was awarded in International Documentary Film Festival in Świdnica. she took part in a screenwriting workshop MIDPOINT, held in FAMU. She was awarded with a Silver Dragon for her film “Connected” in International Short Films Competition at 59. Krakow Film Festival, which was screen at IDFA and Hot Docs.

Marta Gmosińska

She was born in 1992 in Łódź, a graduate of Film Production at Łodź Film School. Junior Producer in Polish Production Company Lava Films. Since 2016, she has been developing her skills working on the production of several features in Lava including The Harvesters, premiered in Cannes 2018. She was the executive producer of the Polish-Israeli co-production The Hero by Shira Porat and the short documentary Connected by Aleksandra Maciejczyk, which premiered at IDFA 2018. Marta is developing her first feature Wet Monday in Lava Films. She was awarded the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage scholarship for outstanding artistic achievements. A fan of everyday life and Xavier Dolan films.

 

Don’t Mess With Gienek

English title: Don’t Mess With Gienek
Original title: Nie z Gienkiem te numery
Director: Grzegorz Szczepaniak
Director of photography: Adam Lipiński
Producer: Joanna Popowicz, Grzegorz Szczepaniak
Production company: WF Anagram sp. z o.o.
Estimated running time: 52’/70′
Production country: Poland
Film delivery: April 2021
 

From tiny village in Eastern Poland to New York and Philadelphia, 70 years old folk musician Gienek, who has never been abroad has to face a hard decision, in the name of love of his beloved daughter.

“Don’t mess with Gienek” is a documentary variation on the theme of old polish comedy – “Sami Swoi”. Just as Pawlak and Kargul fought for land plowed three fingers too far, so Gienek and his eternal rival Brochocki argue about three sounds of an Advent melody played on an old, almost forgotten instrument – ligawka. Gienek defends the only right version, Brochocki, a professional trumpeter plays his own melodies which drives Gienek crazy. During the Shepherd Instrument Competitions, the whole village witness funny quarrels. 14 years ago his youngest daughter Ela went to America for work, met Radek there and got married. To this day, Gienek cannot accept that his beloved Ela lives abroad. Ela calls her parents regularly and encourages her dad to come. Recently, Ela confessed to her father that she is pregnant and Gienek began to seriously consider going overseas. What will happen to him there and how will such a great trip go? “Don’t Mess with Gienek” is a funny story of a explosive and stubborn man. This is a story about taming an old lion, for whom time flows relentlessly. Perhaps now is the last moment to overcome and finally fulfill the request of his beloved daughter. So far Gienek’s longest journey was a trip, 50 years ago, to a military unit 500 km from home. Now it’s time to visit New York.


Grzegorz Szczepaniak

Born in 1984. Director of documentary films, film producer, editor. In addition to film education: Łódź Film School – film editing specialization and Wajda School in Warsaw – documentary direction, also has music education – F. Chopin Music University in Warsaw. His debut, short “Snails” and second film, “The Ugliest Car ” have received over 20 awards around the world, including award for the best Polish film at the 57th Krakow Film Festival – Golden Hobby-Horse. The director’s films are called documentary comedies in which funny, sometimes absurd elements contrast with moments of reflection and reverie. Currently working on another documentary – “Don’t mess with Gienek.”

Joanna Popowicz

The owner and founder of WF ANAGRAM, a film and music production company. Her production debut, “The Ugliest Car “, she co-produced with Polish Television along with co-financing from the Polish Film Institute. Thanks to cooperation with Deckert Distribution, “The Ugliest Car” was shown at film festivals around the world – the international premiere at IDFA in Amsterdam, and broadcasted on numerous televisions in Portugal, Sweden, Croatia and Germany. In cooperation with Media Movie, the film was also distributed in cinemas throughout Poland. Currently working on the next film directed by Grzegorz Szczepaniak – “Don’t mess with Gienek”. The film is co-produced by the Masovian and Warsaw Film Fund and financed by the Polish Film Institute.

Grzegorz Szczepaniak

He works as a producer on his own films. He collaborated with Wajda Studio on his debut “Snails” and with Joanna Popowicz – WF ANAGRAM, on the next film “The Ugliest Car”. Combining the functions of producer and director allows him to fully use the production potential of his projects and assist the main producer in finding the best solutions for the film.

Easy Rider Behind the Iron Curtain

English title: Easy Rider Behind the Iron Curtain
Original title: Easy Rider za Żelazną Kurtyną
Director: Andrzej Miękus
Director of photography: Mateusz Wajda, Maciej Puczyński
Producer: Olga Bieniek
Production company: Filmicon Sp. z o.o.
Estimated running time: 90′
Production country: Poland
Production stage: development
Shooting period: 2020-2021
Film delivery: 2021
 

How abandoned by the Red Army iconic Harley Davidson motorcycles paved a way to freedom for a group of young people living beyond the Iron Curtain.

A story of a group of young people who 50 years ago challenged the system in a communist Poland. They assembled legendary Harley-Davidson motorcycles, abandoned by the Red Army returning home from Berlin after the World War II. The WLA model from 1942 was intended to serve soldiers for one year during the war. It was brought to Poland by the Red Army and for 20 years “hid” in rural barns, like a “sleeping spy agent”. It unknowingly became a Trojan horse for the communist regime. Behind the Iron Curtain even possession of Harley was politically incorrect and its owner was at least a suspect. Still, our protagonists – Wojtek, Krzysztof, Rafał and Fischer – brought this motorcycle back to life and managed to set out on a Harley journey in search of freedom. For each of them, the story began in a similar way. However, when we delve deeper, each of our protagonists had his own idea of freedom. We will take our protagonists on a journey through their lives, discover their stories and their individual extraordinary fate. We will mix timeline, formats, archival materials with contemporary materials, documentary scenes with re-enactments. Unique, never published archival materials from the private archives of our protagonists will be an extremely important element of the narrative. Re-enactments, just like in The Imposter or Wormwood series by Errol Morris, will aim to recreate the climate and atmosphere of the events we talk about.


Andrzej Miękus

Andrzej Miękus is the Creative Producer, Director and Script Writer of independent documentary movies and other TV & film projects. He started 30 years ago in Polish TV, producing and creating over 800 hrs of TV programming. He then moved to publishing and concentrated on “start-ups” as Founder and Publisher of magazines like: Reader’s Digest, Businessman Magazine, Malemen, Champion and others.

Few years ago he came back to TV & Film industry. His recent works include feature documentaries:
The Quest – the story of an American scientist, Howard Urnovitz and his life long quest to find the ‘cure for cancer’
Angels of Sinjar – young Yazidi girls, ISIS “sexual slaves”, disgraced, mutilated and deprived of all rights, take on a struggle to return to normality. The biggest challenge however is not their heroic escape from ISIS captivity, but the self-acceptance after their dramatic past. – Co-developed and produced with Polish director Hanna Polak, to be released in 2020.

Olga Bieniek

A graduate of the film and television production department of the Polish National Film School in Television and Theater in Łódź. From 1995 she cooperated with Polish Television (production manager, producer). She began her adventure with a feature film in 2009 as a production manager in the film “Black Thursday. Janek Wiśniewski fell “dir. Antoni Krauze. Co-owner (next to Mirosław Piepka) and producer at FILMICON since 2010. As a production manager, she produced and supervised such titles as the feature film “Closed Circuit” by dir. Ryszard Bugajski, the documentary film “Black Box” dir. Krzysztof Kowalski and recently ‘Kamerdyner’, dir. Filip Bajon. Awarded by the Association of Employers of Poland the prestigious Vector 2012 award “for courage in striving to present the truth about the problems that Polish entrepreneurs face every day in the clash with the ruthless clerical machine, and for the extraordinary stubbornness that made film making possible.” She also received the “European Medal” awarded annually by the Business Center Club as well as the “Women of Success of the Pomeranian Voivodeship” statuette. She was also honored by the Polish Audiovisual Producers Chamber of Commerce for the best producer debut (first film) for the film “Closed Circout”. Recently a laureate of the “Silver Lions” Festival of Polish Feature Films in Gdynia for the film “Butler” (also an award for costumes, makeup and a leading male role). Nominated for the Polish Eagles Award 2019 for the best film (in total the film has received eight nominations). Currently producing a feature film “The Hunt”. Also a producer and director of a documentary film about the popular and controversial rock band Kult and its leader Kazik Staszewski, “Kult Film”, which collected record attendance in cinemas as a Polish documentary film.

Gypsy Gadji

English title: Gypsy Gadji
Original title: Gypsy Gadji
Director: Dasa Raimanova
Director of photography: Zuzanna Zachara
Producer: Rafał Sakowski
Production company: Story Vehicle
Estimated running time: 80′
Production country: Poland
Film delivery: July 2022
 

Roksana, a bicultural Polish – Romani in her 30s, could be the perfect bridge between the two cultures, but instead, she struggles to find a place in either.

Roksana’s identity was sculpted by two worlds. At the age of five, abandoned by her native Polish mother, her Roma father took care of her. Her childhood was a constant balancing act between a Roma environment that favored unschooling and the strict rules of a traditional Polish household – today this conflict pushes her into an existential dilemma. Both the Polish and Roma society wants her to pick a side and renounce the other culture, but her rebellious nature makes her want to belong to both. Working as a teaching assistant, she ensures that Roma children attend school, this takes her into their homes. Although the families are often suspicious of outsiders (Gadjo), Roksana has become a valued presence, but not without some critical remarks. On the outside, she is a fighter, but deep inside she is in pain. The audience discovers her agony of being abandoned by her mother and feels her sorrow about never becoming a mother herself. Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and lacking a partner, these seem like insurmountable obstacles in her pursuit of motherhood. Her conflicting identities and traumas ultimately bring her to the church. Her prayers to the Virgin Mary, the effigy of the mother she never had, illustrate her desire for love and belonging. Roksana confronts her conflicted past and takes up therapy. Her transformation gives her the courage to confront her mother, step up to her bossy sister, and re-evaluate the trajectories for her future.

Dasa Raimanova

Dasa Raimanova, originally from Slovakia, is a freelance filmmaker. She graduated with a BA in Film, Video and Interactive Arts at Middlesex University (UK | 2012) and prior with MA in Cognitive Science (France | 2004). Currently, Dasa works as part of the documentary team at Deutsche Welle (DW), an international public broadcaster based in Berlin.

Her documentary work explores socio-political topics, focusing on ordinary people with extraordinary lives. Her work in progress, Gypsy Gadji was developed as part of Creative Europe supported program, EsoDoc. Her latest short EBU documentary Across the Road – Worlds Apart (2019), a story of a young Syrian facing prejudices in Berlin premiered at Prix Europe 2019 and was broadcasted in 9 European countries. Her recent feature POLYLAND (2018), gives a voice to three women from different minorities in Poland, screened at international film festivals, it became part of Amnesty International campaign against hate crimes in Poland.
Her food and farming themed short documentary Resistance Recipes (2012), highlights the everyday struggles of Palestinians in the West Bank in cooperation with NGO Nomada was screened at various festivals as well as self organised screenings.

Rafał Sakowski

Rafał Sakowski – producer, CEO of his own production company. An alumnus of the law in Jagliellonia University, Film and television management at Kieślowski Film School, postgraduate Internationals Studies for Creative Producers at Łódź Film School. He also finished Film and video editing workshop at New York Film Academy, Script Factory at WFDiF, Creative development at Wajda School, or Accelerator for AV industry by Polish Producer Alliance.
He produced many commercial projects – both ads and corporate, cinematic VR experience – “Hen thief” and “Idyll” for an ethnographic museum at Chorzów, and now working at vnLAB with project “Self,” interactive films – documentary “Virtual theater” funded by the National Culture Center, fiction – “Smith son” for an ethnographic museum at Pszczyna, short fiction – “Part ways” and “Backfist,” documentary series “Poland beyond Poland.” He is in Post-production with his first future documentaries, “The pack.”

House of Sand

English title: House of Sand
Original title: Dom z piasku
Director: Paweł Wyszomirski
Director of photography: Paweł Dyllus
Editor: Katarzyna Orzechowska
Producer: Marta Dużbabel
Production company: With Passion Production
Estimated running time: 75’/52′
Production country: Poland
Film delivery: January 2022
 

A bitter-sweet documentary comedy. Maciej is building a house out of trash and tires. He deals with the climate crisis but more importantly, he is looking for a medicine to loneliness in his life.

Maciej is a 60-year-old modern Don Quixote, exemplary dreamer. He moved from comfortable life in Germany to the heart of Warmia region in Poland, where – together with his son Szymon – he is building an Earthship – a passive solar house which is made mostly of trash. He preaches of a global climate catastrophe and wants to show people how we can live without harming the planet… But it turns out that the eco revolution that he starts is only a tip of the iceberg in the face of his everyday struggles. Earthship is not the first of his “life’s projects”. Actually, it is just another cloak for more and more disappointments in his life. Every time he is under a pressure or just fails, he changes his life completely and runs from the solutions instead of trying to find one. He is 60, but he has achieved nothing. That’s the reason he decided to brace out of the system – with no billings, obligations and most of all with zero carbon footprint. Self-sufficient house gives hope for a cheap leaving but also can be an attempt to preserve a dignity and rebuild the family. While he is trying to save the planet and deal with the climate crisis, he doesn’t cope with his every-day reality what is mostly harmful for his family.

Paweł Wyszomirski

Paweł Wyszomirski was born in 1980. He is a student of the graduate year of the Gdynia Film School. Since 2003 he is a photographer. Winner of Grand Press Photo and BZWBK press photo. Founder of Testigo Documentary Association (www.testigo.pl). Teacher of photography at the Sopot School of Photography.

Marta Dużbabel

Marta Dużbabel, creative producer who has been a commissioning editor in TVP for many years. Now independent producer in With Passion Production. She cooperates with big media group ZPR Media, where she is a lead producer conducting documentary TV series for the biggest TV broadcasters in Poland. She has been working with such films as multi-awarded “Over the Limit” by Marta Prus „Call Me Marianna” by Karolina Bielawska, “All These Sleepless Nights” by Michał Marczak.

 

I Have Seen Everything

English title: I Have Seen Everything
Original title: Widziałem Wszystko
Director: Wojtek Łazarowicz
Director of photography: Wojtek Łazarowicz
Producer: Małgorzata Małysa
Production company: Furia Film
Estimated running time: 90′
Production country: Poland
Film delivery: May 2021
 

After the tragic death of their parents, the Jewish orphans were separated and adopted by different families. This is the story of one brother finding the other after 73 years.

Adam has lost his parents, his family land and his newborn brother who was adopted. However, he remembers about his brother and keeps looking for him for his entire life. He finds him after 73 years. This is when Iiving in Israel Arie is told that he had been adopted and that he has a brother living in Denmark. They meet in Poland, their homeland. The two brothers are very similar and yet completely different. The older one is a traumatized ghetto survivor. He has spent three years hiding underground and keeps reliving the murder of his parents. The younger brother is an easy-going pensioner who devotes his time to painting and traveling. Can they avoid the trap of their expectations and frustrations? Can they overcome the Holocaust trauma? Is it possible to start loving each other having lived 73 years apart? The two brothers will have an unexpectedly short time to find out. Although the film tells a story infused with Holocaust reminiscences, it merely serves as the background of a universal story about the need for love.

Wojciech Łazarowicz

Wojciech Łazarowicz worked for television (mainly public) for 20 years. He started as a journalist, reporter, publisher, director. I have also become a cameraman for reportages, films and documentary series – and this is how he appears in the www.filmpolski.pl database. He worked as a cinematographer on the documentary series and the documentary films. Member of The Polish Filmmakers Association.

Małgorzata Małysa

A graduate of the Program for Creative Producers at the Wajda School. Producer and production manager with experience in both feature films and documentaries. She runs FURIA FILM with Karolina Galuba, producer.

FURIA Film is a production company based in Poland. It was founded by Karolina Galuba and Małgorzata Małysa, experienced film and TV producers and production managers, graduates from Andrzej Wajda School in Warsaw. At FURIA Film we produce films. We focus on emerging talents and subjects suitable for international co-productions. We also produce commercials and provide production service for external partners.

 

Nina Gets Married

English title: Nina Gets Married
Original title: Nina idzie za mąż
Director: Andrzej Szypulski
Director of photography: Andrzej Szypulski
Editor: Filip Drzewiecki, Andrzej Szypulski
Producer: Anna Reichel
Production company: Fine Day Promotion
Estimated running time: 75’/52′
Production country: Poland
Film delivery: May 2022
 

Nina is a 68-year-old widow, a Jehovah’s Witness. She unexpectedly falls in love with Krzysztof – a dozen years younger Catholic. This love turns her life upside down.

A documentary romantic comedy with religious drama in the background. Nina lives in a small town and has been a widow for a couple of years. Her worldview and moral principles are shaped by her religion – she is a Jehovah’s Witness. Nina does not get involved in current politics and does not engage in friendships with people “from the world”. One day, at a bus stop, Nina meets Krzysztof, a 15 years younger Catholic from a big city. Although they come from different worlds, they fall in love with each other. However, severe moral principles and strong pressure from Nina’s spiritual brothers and sisters get in the way of their love. Breaking the rules could lead to Nina’s exclusion from the congregation of Jehovah’s Witnesses and to the loss of her friends. Also, Nina gradually discovers Krzysztof’s dark secrets. Will their love endure all those adversities? Nina’s story is told from her son’s perspective. Thanks to the intimate atmosphere of the filming, he gets to know his mother better. It is a tender tale about love and happiness that everybody is entitled to and that is worth fighting for at all price.

 

Andrzej Szypulski

I am a director, cameraman and editor. I have created several short documentaries shown at festivals in Poland and abroad. As a freelancer, I work with companies to create video content. I work socially in my hometown in organizing cultural events. I am associated with the Film Spring Open foundation which organizes film workshops in Krakow every year.

Anna Reichel

Prior to joining Fine Day Promotion, Anna worked as documentary/factual buyer and commissioning editor at National Polish Television. She sat on decision making panels at various documentary pitching sessions (Prix Europa, EBU, Baltic Sea Docs, IDS, GZDOC).
Fine Day Promotion is a company set in 2015. It provides professional marketing, promotion and production support for filmmakers within different stages of film production, since development through distribution phase.

 

The Chums

English title: The Chums
Original title: Kumotry
Director: Emilia Śniegoska
Director of photography: Ewa Radzewicz
Producer: Łukasz Bluszcz
Production company: Vision House
Estimated running time: 52’/70′
Production country: Poland
Film delivery: May 2022
 

“The Chums” is a story about a 30 years long friendship between Hanka and Bronka, two neighbors belonging to the Polish minority living since generations in the Romanian Bukovina.

“The Chums” is a delightful yet thoughtful story about more than 30 years of friendship between the neighbours Hanka and Bronka. Two friends live among Polish minority of the Romanian Bukovina. Both widowed, each with four children that left abroad. They face the daily challenges of a solitude life at land. Locals say that “where the devil cannot go, he sends the Chums.” Hanka and Bronka do everything together, and their life is ordained by the rhythm of nature. Although they support each other, sharing memories of their deceased husbands, past hopes and problems, sometimes differences in their characters and temperaments take over. Hanka often has high blood pressure, so during tense situations, Bronka bites her tongue not to upset her friend. Knowing this Hanka, from time to time, abuses Bronka’s loyalty. This will lead to a crisis, followed by a profound silence between the two best friends. For the first time, they will feel what it is like when suddenly the other Chum is gone. A common path through the life of two seemingly ordinary women from a tiny Romanian village becomes a tale of female solidarity and the power of unconditional friendship.

Emilia Śniegoska

born in 1984 in Poland. Director and linguist. 2010 She graduated from the Universität of Greifswald (Germany) with degrees in German as a Foreign Language, Baltic and Finnish Studies. 2006-2010 she cooperated with the Centre of Theatre Practices Gardzienice. 2018 she graduated in film directing at the Polish National Film and Television School in Lodz (Poland). From 2014 she gains experience as an assistant director at feature fiction and documentary films and works at television formats. Currently she lives and works in Berlin. Her short documentary from 2019 made in Studio Munka “19.91” is currently shown and awarded on festivals in Poland and abroad.

Łukasz Bluszcz

Director and scriptwriter of documentaries and TV series, local producer of the largest global television stations. Co-owner of Vision House Productions – production house working since 2006 for international partners like BBC, CNN, NHK, Al Jazeera or Discovery Channel. He co-creates and produces documentary films and television programs and is responsible for international news coverage regarding the current situation in Poland. Director and producer of the full-length documentary The Tipping Point. Energy aNew awarded for the best ecological film at the Millennium Docs Against Gravity Festival 2017. In 2013, he wrote the screenplay and produced a documentary entitled “Bunt” directed by Małgorzata Kozera devoted to dramatic rebellions in Polish prisons in 1989. The film was made as a co-production of Al Jazeera and TVP television with the support of the Polish Film Institute; Since 2014 he is responsible for production and directing some of the episodes of the popular documentary series Bieszczady Last Frontier realized for Discovery. Currently he is producing new projects for Al Jazeera and TVP. He’s a member of Aspen Young Leaders Central Europe and a graduate of BalticLead by the Swedish Institute.

The Daughter of Fuji (AKA Grace)

English title: The Daughter of Fuji (AKA Grace)
Original title: Bogini Fuji
Director: Eri Mizutani
Director of photography: Alicia Devaux
Editor: Sabina Filipowicz
Producer: Anna Fam
Production company: Polished Productions
Estimated running time: 90′
Production country: Poland
Film delivery: 2022
 

Keiko, a teacher of a dance for Fuji, breaks the conspiracy of silence among Japanese women. She wants to reinvent impractical tradition she has lived for. She opposes the local community and culture.

Keiko has practised a worship dance for the Fuji goddess from an early age. She is the only teacher of this traditional form of prayer, which today most of the Japanese treat as a tourist attraction of a village by the volcano. The locals call it a national treasure, but can’t answer the question about its primary meaning. Only Keiko, a widow and a loner, knows the true sense of this tradition. Only girls can dance, selected under strict rules by the board of men. Keiko, like any Japanese woman, must politely hide her feelings and complaints about social conventions. She is like Fuji – strong outside but restless inside. Villagers gossip about her traumatic childhood. The chief monk avoids her due to their conflict. Her sons sometimes call her, secretly believing her biggest mistake was their father. Some mothers of her students oppose her view on the dance. At the annual performances, the most influential elderly lady in town criticises her teaching methods. Keiko suffers but never stops dancing. Dance is her life though not by her own choice. For the first time she starts talking about it aloud; about everything boiling up inside her for years. Right now, when the threat of Fuji eruption returns, as every 300 years. Precisely when she must choose her successor. She knows a dance teacher’s fate is a burden. If she rejects it, she will lose her identity. Therefore she will pass the tradition to the next generation but only on her own terms, one against all, guarded by Fuji.

Eri Mizutani

Born in Kyoto. In 2009 graduated from TAMA Art University. Her film Ki-ka (2006) got the Special Jury Prize at the 29th Pia Film Festival. In 2019 graduated from Polish National Film School in Łódź. Directed a short documentary Their Voices (2017) which took part in 2018 DOK Leipzig Panorama, won Take One! Competition at 26th Curtas Vila do Conde, got special jury prize at Verzio FF and 2nd prize at 21st Mecal Pro Barcelona. Currently, co-writing UNAWARE with Paulina Lewicka a drama feature based on her concept.

Anna Fam

Anna Fam is Polish-Vietnamese producer. She graduated from Polish Philology at the University of Warsaw with double MA diploma. She participates as the only one Polish project from Poland in EURODOC 2020 programme with “The Daughter of Fuji” (previously know as “Grace” project). Last year, she graduated from Wajda School and became alumni of Ace Producers (Central Europe) Training Days, Accelerator 3.0 for emerging young producers programme in Poland. In the same year she was awarded by Ministry of the Culture and NAtional Heritage in Poland for documentary project “Generation 2.0”.
At the European Work in Progress at the Cologne Film Festival (Germany), she was awarded by Jury and received award for proper sound mixing for “The Daughter of Fuji”, sponsored by K-13 Studio. This brought many publications in the industry and opens door for Polished Productions debut and its creators. Anna is opening a branch of Polished Productions in Vietnam. She co-produces Polish-Korean feature-length documentary “Missing Aunt”, dir. Juyeon YANG.

When The Harmattan Blows

English title: When The Harmattan Blows
Original title: Gdy powieje harmattan
Director: Edyta Wróblewska
Director of photography: Marcin Sauter
Editor: Katarzyna Orzechowska
Producer: Marta Dużbabel
Production company: With Passion Production
Estimated running time: 72’/52′
Production country: Poland
Film delivery: June 2022
 

Despite her traumatic past, Barbara tries to move on with her life, forgive her abusers and fight for happiness with the help of her closest friend, Father Piotr.

Harmattan is a dry wind from Sahara. It occurs in Ghana where it reminds 23-year-old Barbara of her difficult past. When she was a little girl she experienced a lot of trauma caused by her parents, her aunt and a school coach who brutally abused her. She was finally rescued by Father Piotr, a Salesian from Poland. Piotr used to work in Ghana, but lately he has moved to a distant Gambia and Barbara had to put her broken life together again. She wants to prove to herself and to her parents what she’s worth. She needs to learn how to read and write. Then, she wants to find a job as a cook. She would love to start her own family one day. She wishes for telling her parents what they sentenced her to by giving her to the aunt’s home. Barbara knows that she won’t have a peace of mind if she doesn’t forgive the people who hurt her so deeply. She decided to take this challenge because this is what Piotr advised her to do and he is the only man she can trust. Piotr knows that he can’t fail this trust as Barbara becomes also very important to him. He wants her help to rescue a woman from Gambia who has the same experiences as Barbara used to. Soon, due to Barbara’s health problems, she will visit Poland and Piotr will support her during this trip. This will be an empowerment story of a woman, who doesn’t want to be a victim anymore, about the difficult process of forgiveness and regaining one’s dignity and about unusual deep bond between a Ghanian girl and not so typical Polish priest.

 

Edyta Wróblewska

Documentary film director. Graduated from Wajda School (Doc Pro, Development Lab) and Camerimage Film School, Warsaw School of Economics and French Institute of Management (MBA diploma). In 2018 started PhD studies at the Lodz Film School (Direction Department). Her documentary films (i.a. “Small instruments”, “PRL de Luxe”, “The Girl From a Reading Primer”) has been selected for many international film festivals, such as Visions du Reel, Sheffield FF, ZagrebDOX or Vancouver FF.

Marta Dużbabel

Marta Dużbabel, creative producer who has been a commissioning editor in National Polish Television for many years. Now independent producer in With Passion Production. She cooperates with big media group ZPR Media, where she is a lead producer conducting documentary TV series for the biggest TV broadcasters in Poland. She has been working with such films as multi-awarded “Over the Limit” by Marta Prus „Call Me Marianna” by Karolina Bielawska, “All These Sleepless Nights” by Michał Marczak.

With Passion Production has been set up in 2019 by Marta Duzbabel, the creative producer who has been a commissioning editor in National Polish Television for many years. The company rose on her experience in working with many different film producers in Poland and abroad. Marta started to pay bigger attention to the marketing and distribution vision while the films are still in the development process or on their production lead.