Brazil and Poland will be co-production partners on Ziembinski, a documentary about the Polish director and actor regarded as one of the founders of the modern Brazilian theatre in the 1940s. The Warsaw-based production company Kalejdoskop will team up with Plateau Producoes and Urszula Groska Producoes, both from Sao Paulo, to recreate the life of Zimba, as Zbigniew Marian Ziembinski was called in Brazil. If he were alive today, 2008 would mark the 100th anniversary of his birth.
Budgeted at $600,000, the documentary is set to be shot next year in Warsaw, Cracow and Wieliczka, Ziembinski's hometown, known for its salt mine. 'I am looking forward to shooting in Poland, where they host Camerimage, the most recognized festival dedicated to the art of cinematography,' says Kiko Goifman, the Brazilian director chosen for the project.
In Brazil the locations will include Sao Paulo and Rio de Janeiro, where the Polish director arrived in 1941, escaping from WWII. In addition to the new images, the production will use archive footage set against Ziembinski's voice - extracted from audios interviews. 'When a film project connects the two cultures so organically it's much easier to raise the money on both sides,'' says producer Wojciech Szczudto, from Kalejdoskop.
Brazilians and Polish directors and producers have been discussing other ideas for future co-productions since last week, when the eighth Era New Horizons film festival opened in Wroclaw, Poland. This year's special sidebars include a focus on Brazilian cinema, with around 30 titles. 'I am looking for a Polish partner to invest in the post-production of my documentary that has been shot in Brazil, US, Germany, Israel and also Poland,' says Brazilian producer LG Tubaldini Jr, refering to The March of the Living. Directed by Jessica Sanders, the film follows the annual pilgrimage of thousands of Jewish young people to Holocaust sites.
Representatives of the Polish Film Institute and the Programa Cinema do Brasil will
work together to select new projects of possible co-productions starting from September.
In addition to the Polish Film Institute annual budget of around $49.4m (zlo 100m), which can be accessed by foreign producers, Brazilians see another advantage in the partnership with Poland. 'Here the producers can also apply for subsidies from local TV stations, a luxury that we don't have in Brazil,' says Rachel Monteiro, international consultant of Programa Cinema do Brasil, created by Sao Paulo's film industry union in association with the Brazilian Export Promotion Agency (Apex).