EXCLUSIVE: Piotr Kobus’ distribution-production company Manana is to produce Tomasz Wasilewski’s third feature which aims to go into produciton at the end of 2014.
Speaking exclusively to ScreenDaily at this week’s New Horizons Film Festival in Wroclaw, Wasilewski, whose second feature Floating Skyscrapers won the main prize at the East of the West Competition in Karlovy Vary earlier this month, revealed that he is currently working on a new screenplay with the working title of Zjednoczone Stany Milosci (United States of Love).
“My third film is going to be a portrait of four women right after Communism collapsed,” he explained. “This is an interesting period because it is a kind of ‘no man’s land’ for Polish cinema. There are films about the Communist period and nowadays, but there is a gap about how the changes influenced people.
“The mentality of the Polish people, and especially women, changed a lot during this time following the fall of the Berlin Wall: capitalism came and people got new jobs and more prospects, so women became more open and confdent.”
Wasilewski’s collaboration with Manana is still very fresh. Producer Piotr Kobus said: “I saw Floating Skyscrapers at the market in Cannes and Tomasz gave me the script for the new project about a month ago.
“We have now been giving each other DVDs to watch as we work on the development of the script.”
Wasilewski added: “We plan to do the film as a co-production and I want one of the story’s characters to be played by an international actress. I have written the part so that she is a foreigner who can speak a little Polish. But, as in my first film In A Bedroom, there is little dialogue so it won’t be a problem.”
After Floating Skyscrapers, it might appear that Wasilewski is returning to female characters in his new project. “I love women in cinema and, in fact, my very first idea for Floating Skyscrapers was to have the story between two girls.”
He plans to shoot at the height of winter at the end of 2014 and will probably locate the film in “an average small town with a population of, say, 80,000 people”.
Floating Skyscrapers had its world premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival in April before coming to Karlovy Vary and last week’s European Film Festival in Serbia’s Palic.
The film, which is being sold internationally by Berlin-based Films Boutique, is screening the New Horizons International Competition and kicked off the second edition of the Polish Days yesterday (July 25).
It will be released in Poland by High Point Media Group in association with the producer Alter Ego Pictures. Films Boutique has already concluded deals for the UK, Germany, France, Switzerland and the USA.
Manana’s first project as a producer - in addition to its activities as distributor, festival organiser and promoter of Polish cinema abroad - was Jacek Borcuch’s Lasting which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival where it won the Cinematography Award. Manana is also handling international sales on Lasting.
Meanwhile, the producers of Floating Skyscrapers, Roman Jarosz and Izabela Igel’s Alter Ego Pictures, for whom Wasilewski’s film was their debut as a production outfit, are now preparing a new feature project The Drawing to be directed by Piotr Szczepanski (Milosc), based on a true story about a couple in Warsaw who find a drawing by Picasso hidden behind the wallpaper of their apartment.