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1 item from 2016

2015 Was an Outstanding Year for Co-Productions and Foreign Films Shooting in Poland

4 February 2016 6:00 AM, PST | Sydney's Buzz | See recent Sydney's Buzz news »

2015 was a successful year regarding the quantity and quality of foreign productions shot in Poland. At the beginning of the year, Anne Fontaine (“Coco Before Chanel,” “Perfect Mothers”) filmed a French-Polish co-production “Agnus Dei” in Warmia, which premiered at this year's Sundance Film Festival. The film features Polish and French actresses among others Lou de Laage, Agata Kulesza, Agata Buzek and Joanna Kulig.

In the spring, the crew of a Polish-German-French-Belgian co-production about the life of Maria Sklodowska-Curie (dir. Marie Noelle) spent 20 days on the set in among others Lodz, Leba and Krakow. The cast is international, and the film is made in French. The Polish Nobelist is portrayed by Karolina Gruszka (“Oxygen”).

The summer brought about increased activity of German producers. A Zdf TV show, “Ein Sommer in…” was filmed in two resort towns in the north-eastern Poland – Mikolajki and Mragowo. Ard and Tvp collaborated on the set of "Polizeiruf 110" ("Police Call 110"), which was filmed in July and August among others in a Polish border-town – Swiecko. Also in July began the shooting of a new part of detective TV series "Der Usedom-Krimi" filmed on both the Polish and German side of the Usedom island.

However, a true influx of foreign productions took place in the autumn. American-Polish thriller “Chronology” was filmed in Poznan. The cast includes William Baldwin (TV series "Gossip Girl," "Adrift in Manhattan") and Danny Trejo (“Machete,” “From Dusk till Dawn”).

The Goetz Palace in Brzesk, in Malopolska hosted filmmakers from India who for six days were shooting “Fitoor,” an Indian adaptation of Dickens's “Great Expectations.” The crew consisted of over 40 Indians and almost 80 Poles. Another crew from India – this time from the so-called Kollywood in the south of the country – spent twenty days on the set in various Polish locations (among others Zakopane, Walbrzych, Krakow, Leba). The film titled “24” features Surya, a Tamil superstar, in the main role.

The autumn months were also very intensive in Lodz with three simultaneous big film sets. Andrzej Wajda (“The Promised Land,” “Walesa. Man of Hope”) worked on his new film “Powidoki”; Opus Film, the producer of “Ida”, organized for an Israeli partner eleven-day shoot to a film set in 1970s – “Past Life,” directed by Avi Nesher; and American director Martha Coolidge (“The Prince and Me,” TV shows “Sex and the City,” “The Twilight Zone,” “Weeds”) filmed her project “Music, War and Love,” whose producer is among others Fred Roos known from such films as “Apocalypse Now,” “The Godfather” or “Lost in Translation.” The picture features Adelaide Clemens (“The Great Gatsby”), Connie Nielsen (“Gladiator”), Toby Sebastian (“Game of Thrones”) and Stellan Skarsgård (“Nymphomaniac”).

The end of the year was also very successful for Malopolska and Krakow. Two movies were filmed in the region – an American-British biography of Martin Luther commissioned by PBS with Padraic Delaney (“The Wind that Shakes the Barley,” “The Tudors”) in the main role; and a feature titled “True Crimes” starring two-time winner of a Golden Globe – Jim Carrey (“The Truman Show,” “Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” “The Mask”) as the protagonist. The crew spent 32 days on the set in Krakow. The picture was directed by Greek Alexandros Avranas (“Miss Violence”), written by Jeremy Brock (“Brideshead Revisited,” “The Last King of Scotland”), and produced by Brett Ratner (“X-Men 3: the Last Stand,” TV series “Rush Hour”). Accompanying Jim Carrey were Charlotte Gainsbourg (“Nymphomaniac,” “Antichrist”); Marton Csokas (“The Lord of the Rings: the Return of the King,” “The Amazing Spider-Man 2”) and Polish actors Agata Kulesza (“Ida”) and Robert Wieckiewicz (“Walesa. Man of Hope”).

The first information about productions planned for 2016 has already been released. In January, Krakow will host the crew of French black comedy “Grand Froid,” Gérard Pautonnier's debut featuring Jean-Pierre Bacri (“The Taste of Others,” “Let It Rain”), Olivier Gourmet (“Rosetta,” “The Son”) and Arthur Dupond (“Bus Palladium”). The project won the first edition of the Krakow International Film Fund. »

- Sydney Levine

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