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KFF Industry – summary

The industry segment of the 62nd Krakow Film Festival – KFF Industry – was held in late May and early June. This year, participants were able to meet live again, as all the most interesting events for the documentary and animation industry took place on location in Krakow. 

All KFF Industry events took place between 31 May and 4 June. As every year, the week was filled with pitches, workshops, presentations, and networking meetings. During this edition, Czech Focus featured events dedicated to Czech documentary cinema and the B2B Doc pitching. In the afternoons, attendees were able to spend some informal time while networking over a glass of wine. Meanwhile, those unable to make it to Krakow in person could watch some of the recorded project presentations and access the KFF Videolibrary online. An additional series of individual meetings with experts in an online format took place from 6 to 8 June.

ANIMATED IN POLAND

This year saw the 10th edition of Animated in Poland whose central event is a pitch session for Polish animated projects. Each year Animated in Poland starts before the main festival events – since it’s preceded by a workshop attended by all participants who are preparing for the pitching. Also this year, the training session was led by Wim Vanacker, a member of the selection committee of the Cannes FF short film competition. Previously, he had for many years headed the script section of NISI MASA and the European Short Pitch – one of the most important pitching events for short films in Europe. Eight projects took part in this year’s pitch session. After the presentations, participants had the opportunity to talk to the experts during one-on-one meetings. Representatives from Anim’est (Romania), Animateka (Slovenia), the Locarno FF (Switzerland), GLAS Animation (USA), the Kaboom Animation FF (Netherlands), New Europe Film Sales (Poland), and others, took part in the talks. The best projects were awarded prizes. The Sound Mind Studio award – a voucher for 10 days of film sound post-production – went to Magda a project directed by Adela Kaczmarek-Siwińska. The project The Miracle, directed by Ewa Borysewicz, won the Fixafilm Award in the form of a voucher for video post-production services worth PLN 10,000 at the Fixafilm studio. In turn, the Crew United award, a five-year premium subscription to Crew United for the director and producer, went to the project Conjunction, directed by Marta Magnuska. 

This year’s edition of Animated in Poland also saw a two-day screenwriting workshop organised in collaboration with the Association of Polish Animation Producers for filmmakers wanting to develop their storytelling skills when making animated films or producers in need of tools for evaluating stories and talking to screenwriters. They were conducted by Artur Wyrzykowski, script analyst and development producer, author of the nieskonczone.pl blog.

Talent Market is another part of Animated in Poland, also prepared in cooperation with the Association of Polish Animation Producers. Talent Market is an event organised for creators of animated films, as well as students and graduates of art schools, who are just planning to start a career in this industry. At this year’s Talent Market, creators looking for a producer for their projects had the opportunity to meet and present their films and portfolios to representatives of nine Polish animation studios – Animoon, Krakow Animation Center, Dash Dot Creations, EgoFilm, GS Animation, KAZstudio, Letko, as well as Pigeon Studio and Pigeon Productions.

DOCS TO START, DOCS TO GO! PITCHINGS, AND CEDOC MARKET

Another session of DOC LAB POLAND was held as part of the KFF Industry, co-organised by the Władysław Ślesicki Film Foundation. The participants of the selected 18 documentary projects had workshops and consultations with international tutors before the pitching. The workshops culminated in two pitching sessions: Docs to Start and Docs to Go!

The Docs to Start pitching is a presentation of film projects in the development or initial photography phase. Its aim is to attract potential co-producers and the funding necessary for further production. Participants showed their projects to producers, representatives of television broadcasters, regional film funds, and film production co-financing institutions, as well as selectors from major industry events around the world. Tutors in the Start session included Tracie Holder, an independent US producer, consultant and expert in US documentary film funds, and Adriek van Nieuwenhuiyzen, head of IDFA Industry. A total of 10 projects were presented during Docs to Start.

After the pitching, project representatives held one-on-one meetings with potential partners, including: DOK Industry (Germany), Canal+ (Poland), DOK Incubator (Czech Republic), East Doc Platform (Czech Republic), Emerging Producers (Czech Republic), Docsbarcelona Industry (Spain) , Baltic Sea Forum for Documentaries (Latvia), HBO Max (Hungary), Visions du Reel Industry – Pitching du reel (Switzerland), Hot Docs Forum (Canada), Ex Oriente (Czech Republic), Eurodoc (France), Lightdox (France), New York Times Op-Docs (USA), Al Jazeera Documentary (Qatar), MDR (Germany), Bohemian Productions (Czech Republic), ATM (Poland), Warboys Films (France), Schiwago Film (Germany), D1Film (Czech Republic), Parabellum Film (Germany).

The aim of the Docs to Go! pitching event is to present and promote the most interesting Polish documentaries in post-production and who are expected to release in the coming months. The producers and directors of the selected projects had the opportunity to present fragments of rough edits and talk about the production to the distributors, sales agents, and film festival programmers present at the meeting, as well as to other experts and decision-makers. Eight projects were presented during this year’s Docs to Go! Rada Šešić, who works with IDFA and the Sarajevo FF, and Martijn te Pas, an independent expert who runs e u R O P E doconsultancy were the tutors at the workshop.

Among others, representatives of Berlinale (Germany), Visions du Réel (Switzerland), the Ji.hlava IDFF (Czech Republic), DOK Leipzig (Germany), Festival dei Popoli (Italy), Doclisboa (Portugal), Hot Docs (Canada), the One World International Human Rights Film Festival (Czech Republic), FIPA DOC (France), Trieste FF (Italy), Febiofest (Slovakia), Docsbarcelona (Spain), Full Frame IDFF (USA), Thessaloniki Doc Festival (Greece), IDFA (Netherlands), the Sundance FF (USA), CPH:DOX (Denmark), Taskovski Films (UK) Cat’n’Docs (France), First Hand Films (Switzerland), Sideways Film (UK), Syndicado (Canada), Visible Film (Belgium), DOK Incubator (Czech Republic) were invited to take part in individual meetings with project creators.

This year, eight awards and five special mentions were given out after the pitching session. As part of Docs to Start, the HBO Max Award went to Insurance Against Meteorites, directed and produced by Natalia Śliwowska and Jorik Amit Galama, which received PLN 10,000 in cash. The project The Perfect Date, directed by Małgorzata Goliszewska and produced by Agnieszka Skalska (ZPR MEDIA / Koi Studio), received the ORKA Award, i.e. a video post-production service worth PLN 20,000. The project The Tenderness of Transience, directed by Mateusz Mularski and produced by Joanna Zielińska (Big Wave Films), received the FIXAFILM Award – video post-production services worth PLN 15,000, while the project A Hole in the Wall, directed by Arjun Talwar and produced by Karolina Śmigiel (Uni-Solo Studio) received the MX35 Award in the form of an equipment rental service worth PLN 10,000.
The aforementioned distinctions went to the projects: A Hole in the Wall (DOK Leipzig special mention – invitation to Co-pro Meetings in Leipzig), the project Towards the Sun directed by Agnieszka Kokowska and produced by Justyna Ziemkiewicz and Slawomir Richert (Warsaw Production Team) (Institute of Documentary Film special mention – invitation to East Doc Platform), and the project Go&See directed by Julia Kuzka and produced by Małgorzata Małysa (Furia Film) (Polish Docs Pro special mention – support in international promotion and invitation to one of the international industry events).

During Docs To Go!, The SMAKJAM Award – a PLN 25,000 video post-production service – went to the project Coal Daughters directed by Aneta Nowicka and produced by Jacek Kucharski (Trafik), two ORKA Awards – PLN 20,000 worth of video post-production services each – were given to the project Signs of Mr Plum, directed by Urszula Morga and Bartosz Mikołajczyk and produced by Stanisław Zaborowski, Daria Maślona and Jan Borowiec (Silver Frame), and to Fear Out of Head, directed by Grzegorz Brzozowski and produced by Natalia Grzegorzek (Koskino), while the project Hasan’s Joy, directed by Natalia Pietsch and Grzegorz Piekarski and produced by Katarzyna Kostecka (Larmo), received the CAFE OLE Award, a sound post-production service worth PLN 10,000. Distinctions were awarded to the projects: Hasan’s Joy (Institute of Documentary Film distinction – invitation to the East Doc Platform) and Faces of Agata, directed by Małgorzata Kozera and produced by Maria Krauss (Plessnar&Krauss Films) (Władysław Ślesicki Film Foundation distinction – invitation to Co-pro Meetings in Leipzig).

CEDOC Market – Central European Documentary Co-Production Market – the only co-production meeting in Poland for documentary producers looking for Polish and foreign partners was another KFF Industry event co-organised by the Władysław Ślesicki Film Foundation and with the support of the Pitch The Doc platform. This year, 29 documentary projects were selected for meetings between producers invited to the market and one-on-one meetings with the international documentary industry: producers, sales agents, TV broadcasters, film funds, as well as representatives of leading European training and pitching programs. Representatives of the projects had the chance to talk to representatives of, among others: DOK Industry (Germany), Canal+ (Poland), HBO Max (Hungary), Hot Docs Forum (Canada), Ex Oriente (Czech Republic), Eurodoc (France), CPH Industry (Denmark), Sundance Institute (USA), Lightdox (France), New York Times Op-Docs (USA), Al Jazeera Documentary (Qatar), MDR (Germany), Bohemian Productions (Czech Republic), ATM (Poland), Warboys Films (France), Schiwago Film (Germany), D1Film (Czech Republic), Parabellum Film (Germany).

PRESENTATIONS AND MEETINGS WITH EXPERTS

Czech Focus

Czech cinema was a special feature this year at the 62nd Krakow Film Festival. The Czech Focus program included screenings of selected recent Czech documentaries, shorts, and animated films. Another important element was a series of panels and meetings focusing on financing, producing, distributing, and promoting documentary films in the Czech Republic, all attended by representatives of the Czech film industry. The section involved a series of Polish-Czech roundtable co-production meetings during which Czech and Polish production companies were introduced. These meetings were aimed at kicking off co-productions between Poland and the Czech Republic. The event was organised in cooperation with the Polish Audiovisual Producers Chamber of Commerce (KIPA) and the Audiovisual Producers’ Association (APA). A panorama of the Czech film industry was presented by representatives of the most important Czech events for film professionals: Zdenek Blaha (Institute of Documentary Film/East Doc Platform), Sofia Tocar (East Silver), Miriam Ryndová (dok.incubator), Jarmila Outratová (Emerging Producers/Ji.hlava Industry), Tereza Šťastná (Ex Oriente Film), Tomáš Poštulka (One World IHRDFF). On the other hand, Radim Procházka (Kuli Film/APA), Alice Tabery (CINEPOINT), Zdenek Blaha (Institute of Documentary Film/East Doc Platform) discussed production and financing opportunities for documentary films in the Czech Republic.

Panels and presentations

A presentation on film funding opportunities in the US was led by Tracie Holder, a leading film funding strategist, who outlined the basics of documentary film funding available to non-US filmmakers and the most effective ways to access US funding.

As part of the Meet the Festival Programmers and Meet the Sales Agents discussion panels, one could learn more about the profiles of individual festivals and companies selling documentaries and talk to representatives from Doclisboa, the Trieste FF, the One World IHRDFF, Febiofest, FIPADOC, Visions du Reel, Cat’n’Docs, Taskovski Films, Visible Film, or Film Motor.

As every year, there was also a legal panel prepared in cooperation with the Lassota Krawiec sp.j. law firm. This year, the topic of the panel focused on screenwriting agreements – in documentaries, features, and animated films. Attorney Marcin Lassota, who specialises in copyright and film law and who has been involved in the audio-visual market and the creative industry for many years, answered questions on the agreements that screenwriters typically conclude.

Documentary and Animation Forum

As usual, the Documentary and Animation Forum has also been held. In addition to competition screenings, reviews of Polish animation and documentary film productions from the last year, the annual meeting of documentary and animation filmmakers is an equally important part of the program. The theme of this year’s Forum was “Film and Reality”. During the 3 Panels, participants discussed, among other things, contemporary documentary and the condition and prospects of animated film in Poland. Panellists at the Forum this year included members of SFP-ZAPA (Jacek Bromski, Sylwia Biaduń, Karolina Bielawska, Kamil Skałkowski) and directors Zuzanna Solakiewicz and Ewa Borysewicz, Plesnar & Krauss FILMS producer Maria Krauss, Jerzy Kapuściński – artistic director from Studio Munka-SFP, Jerzy Armata from the Animated Film Section of SFP and Robert Jaszczurowski, producer from GS Animation. The Documentary and Animation Forum is organised by the Polish Filmmakers Association in cooperation with the Polish Audiovisual Producers Chamber of Commerce, the Polish Documentary Directors Guild, and the Krakow Film Foundation.

KFF Industry Meetings

KFF Industry Meetings are individual meetings with festival programmers attending the Krakow Film Festival. The meetings are aimed at producers, filmmakers, and other professionals involved in film promotion and come in the form of 15-minute-long individual consultations. This year’s KFF Industry Meetings were divided into two categories: animated films, fiction films, and documentaries. The meetings were held in person, exclusively for guests present in Kraków. In the animation and feature section, the experts were Laurence Boyce (POFF Shorts – Estonia), Emilio Occhialini (Sedicicorto IFF – Italy), and Anne Gaschütz (Filmfest Dresden – Germany). Meanwhile, the meetings dedicated to documentaries were an opportunity to talk to programmers like Tomáš Poštulka (One World International Human Rights IFF – Czech Republic), Massimo Tria (Trieste Film Festival – Italy), Tomas Baltazar (Doclisboa – Portugal), Mourad Moussa (Visions du Reel – Switzerland), Monika Lostakova (IFF Febiofest Bratislava – Slovakia), and Marion Czarny (FIPADOC – France).

B2B Doc Launch Pad Pitching

KFF Industry also hosted a guest event – the B2B Doc Launch Pad Pitching, which was originally planned for Kyiv. Organised by the Baltic to Black Sea Documentary Network in cooperation with KFF Industry, 14 documentary film projects from Belarus, Ukraine, Moldova, Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan were selected for pitching and presented publicly to a group of international decision makers consisting of recognised producers, film funds and institutions, TV stations, film festival programmers, distributors, and sales agents. After the presentations, participants could attend one-on-one meetings.

The partners of KFF Industry 2022 include: the Władysław Ślesicki Film Foundation, Polish Animation Producers Association, B2B Doc, APA, KIPA, Institute of Documentary Films, Sound Mind Studio, Fixafilm, Crew United Polska, Lassota Krawiec sp.j.

The event is co-organised by Creative Europe Desk Poland.

The project is realised with the financial support of: the Polish Film Institute, Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, the City of Krakow, and the Polish Filmmakers Association.

Media sponsors: Film & TV Camera, Polish Docs, Polish Shorts, Polish Animations, Business Doc Europe, Modern Times Review, Film New Europe.

KFF Industry is organised and produced by the Krakow Film Foundation. The event takes place during the 62nd Krakow Film Festival.

photos: Tomasz Korczyński / KFF, Agnieszka Fiejka / KFF, Agnieszka Cynarska-Taran / KFF