The Polish Film Institute (PISF) has awarded funding to four projects in its third funding session this year and has tagged a number of films as eligible for support in the coming months.
Husband and wife film-makers Krzysztof Krauze and Joanna Kos-Krauze (Saviour's Square, My Nikifor) will receive $1.9m (PLN 4.5m) for their project Ptaki spiewaja w Kigali (Birds Sing In Kigali). The film is a Polish-US co-production between Warsaw-based Studio A and Deco Entertainment producer Freddy Braidy.
Polish producer Maciek Strzembosz told ScreenDaily.com that the Polish side of the production amounts to $5.5m in funding from PISF, public broadcaster Telewizja Polska and private sources.
The film will be the Krauzes English-language debut. Strzembosz said the film-makers are looking for a major US actor to star in the lead role of a white, middle-aged ornithologist who returns to Rwanda two years after witnessing the 1994 genocide there.
Andrzej Wajda will receive $1.1m (PLN 2.6m) for Tatarak, which recently concluded filming in northern Poland. Wajda and Polish author Olga Tokarczuk have adapted the script from a novel by Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz and from a story by Hungarian author Sandor Marai. The film portrays a love affair between an older woman, played by Krystyna Janda, and a younger man. It is produced by Michal Kwiecinski of Akson Studio.
Director Maciej Pieprzyca (Splinters) will receive $1m (PLN 2.5m) for his film Kolaps, about the investigation of series of mysterious murders. The film will be produced by Zebra Film Studio.
The PISF also tagged Janusz Kijowski's project March 1968 as eligible for funding later this year. The film, about students at Warsaw in 1968, is to be released both theatrically and as a three-part TV film. It is produced by the Documentary and Feature Films Studio (WFDiF).
PISF deputy director explained that the delayed award for Kijowski's project is contingent upon the return of PISF funding previously announced for other projects. 'Some money will come back from projects that didn't come to fruition,' he explained. 'If the producer doesn't use the money in six months, he can appeal for a six-month extension, but after that the initial decision expires.'
Karpinski said it was impossible to say how much funding March 1968 would receive. 'We expect a certain amount will come back, but we don't know exactly how much,' he said.
Four other projects crossed the points threshold necessary to receive support, but the PISF found itself in the unprecedented situation of not having the funds available. 'With almost 50 films already in production this year, our films are pretty squeezed,' Karpinski said.
These four projects are: Joanna (dir. Feliks Falk) and Hidden (dir. Agnieszka Holland, both produced by Akson; Sluby Panienskie (dir. Filip Bajon, prod co. Kaleidoscope); Mistyfikacja (dir. Jacek Koprowicz, prod co. Yeti Films); and Park Hotel (dir. Magdalena Piekorz, prod co. Media Plus Ltd).
Instead, the four projects will be referred to the next funding session, in December. At that point they will receive funding depending on the funds available and the success of other, as-yet unevaluated projects.
In total, the PISF received 153 applications for production funding. Awards were also given to exhibitors and distributors.