Despite the ongoing crisis in the Polish film industry that has seen the collapse of both production levels and budgets, local films continue to dominate the country's box office

Polish productions or co-productions currently account for five of the top ten films on release. Topping the box office is Andrzej Wajda's Vengeance (Zemsta) (pictured) produced by ARKA Film and starring Roman Polanski in his first film role in a local production since leaving Poland in the 1960s.

The $2.5m production, which opened October 4 on 107 prints, saw three-day admissions of 141,239 and a gross of $433,153 (zlo1.8m). Distributed by thre film's co-producer, Warsaw-based Vision, the film is a period comedy based on the Polish theatre classic of the same name by Aleksander Fredro

Wajda, one of the giants of the Polish cinema, was honoured with a lifetime achievement Oscar two years ago. His last film Pan Tadeusz grossed a hefty $19.5m in the country from 6.1m admissions and spent 19 weeks in the top ten from October 1999.

Meanwhile, The Pianist, directed by Polanski, is currently in third place in the charts in its fifth week on release. Canal Plus Polska co-produced the film, shot mostly in Poland, which has now grossed $2.4m from 768,575 admissions.

In sixth place is local comedy E=MC2, distributed by Best Film ($1.17m to date), closely followed in seventh by Day Of The Freak (Dzien Swire), winner of the best film award at the recent Polish Feature Film Festival in Gdynia.

Produced by Zebra Studios the film is another successful Vision co-production having grossed $1.24m to date. Bow & Axe Entertainment's youth comedy The Hacker, distributed and co-produced by Monolith Films, is in ninth place.

With the Polish production sector starved for funds and only five films expected to be shot in the coming year, investors should take note that Polish audiences have not lost their appetite for local films.