New UK distributor Cooltura — an offshoot of the London-based Polish weekly magazine of the same name — is launching to handle Polish movies in the British marketplace.
The company’s next major release is Jerzy Hoffman’s 3D epic, Battle Of Warsaw 1920, which will be shown exclusively at 21 Cineworld sites across 16 UK cities. The release date is set for Oct 7, the day after a London premiere that will be attended by Radosław Sikorski, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Poland, as well as by Hoffman and key cast and technicians.
The film, shot by Slawomir Idziak (an Oscar winner for Black Hawk Down), is budgeted at around $9 million. The UK release follows quickly from the Polish premiere, held in Warsaw earlier this week in the presence of President Bronislaw Komorowski.
Cooltura Films has already released two Polish films this year: the Polish comedy Weekend (which went out in the spring) and another comedy How To Get Rid Of Cellulite (which went out in the summer.) Both were targeted primarily at the UK’s large ex-pat Polish community. (There are estimated to be between 700,000 and one million Poles currently living in Britain.)
At present, Cooltura has an exclusive deal to release its movies through the Cineworld chain.
“In the beginning, we thought comedy was the easiest product to distribute and promote among the Polish community,” commented Cooltura’s Piotr Grzeskiewicz. “That is not our only aim. We want to show good Polish movies to the British audience as well.”
Following the release of The Battle Of Warsaw, Cooltura has lined up further Polish films to go out in British cinemas, among them the follow-up to 1997 Polish hit Sztos by Olaf Lubaszenko. The current aim is to release 4 to 6 Polish films theatrically in the UK every year.
Grzeskiewicz hasn’t discounted the possibility that Cooltura may, in the future, distribute non-Polish fare. The company may also become involved in production. “Of course, in the future, everything is possible but at the moment, we are focused on distributing Polish films in the UK.”
Cooltura is part of the extensive business empire owned by entrepreneur Wlodzimierz Wojciech Witkowski, Chairman and CEO of 4YOUUK and Sara-Int Ltd.