Magazine article Screen International

First Edition of New Horizons' Polish Days Includes New Films from Folman, Wajda

Magazine article Screen International

First Edition of New Horizons' Polish Days Includes New Films from Folman, Wajda

Article excerpt

New works in progress event in Wroclaw attracts more than 180 industry attendees.

Ari Folman's The Congress is aiming for a premiere in Cannes next year and Andrzej Wajda's biopic of Lech Walesa has been described as "the most difficult film" in the veteran director's 55-year career, industry participants heard at the first edition of the Polish Days held during Wroclaw's New Horizons International Film Festival.

Speaking at the presentation of eight works in progress, The Congress' Polish co-producer Ewa Puszczynska of Lodz-based Opus Film said that the live action sequences for Folman's film, based on Stanislaw Lem's novel The Futurological Congress, had been completed in Los Angeles, Berlin and Cologne last January.

"We are now working on the special effects as well as the classic 2D animation at Orange Studios in Bialystok," she said. "A reason why we decided to present this film in Wroclaw was to show that big international co-productions can also be made in Poland."

"Hopefully, we will manage to finish the film in time for Cannes next year. This is our aim, we're working very hard on this," Puszczynska added. (Folman's Waltz With Bashir played at Cannes in 2008.)

Turning to Walesa, producer Jan Kwiecinski of Akson Studio, which had also produced Wajda's previous features Katyn and Sweet Rush, explained: "there is no-one in Poland who doesn't have an opinion about Walesa, his life, his adventures and his decisions, his persona arousing extreme emotions in our country from pure love to pure hate."

""We wanted to make a film about his fight as an international hero, analyse the creation of a leader and show an amazing moment in the history of Poland. But, most of all, we wanted to show the story of a fascinating and complex human being who stands behind the story."

"As with our previous film Katyn, we want to approach, move and touch not only a Polish audience, but also an international one," Akson Studio's founder and CEO Michal Kwiecinski said. "In one month, we will have the first cut and will then show it to a young audience because the film is aimed at the young generation who don't know about these events. We are also inviting a Warner Bros executive to come to Poland and tell us whether or not he understands the film. …

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