While the Polish film industry is still waiting for promised funding from new minister of culture Waldemar Dabrowski to revive the stalled industry, some producers are still managing to make films.
Director Jerzy Hoffman who ushered in the era of the Polish blockbuster in 1999 with With Fire And Sword which grossed a record $25m at the Polish box office is in post-production on Old Tale, another period drama that he hopes will make the same kind of splash at the Polish box office.
Based on the book by Jozef Ignacy Kraszewski, the $3m film produced by Zodiak Jerzy Hoffman Film Production, which also produced With Fire And Sword, is an action-packed historical epic about the tribes that lived in what is today Poland during pre-Christian times.
The film stars Michael Zebrowski who became one of Poland's biggest stars after his debut in With Fire And Sword. The film is the last to be shot by renowned Russian cinematographer Pavel Lebeshev who recently passed away and whose work gave Nikita Mikhalkov's greatest films their distinctive look.
But, in terms of financing, times have changed since Hoffman and his producer Jerzy Michaluk got backing for the $8m With Fire And Sword from the Polish government and public broadcaster TVP (Polish Television) as well as private backing from Kredyt Bank.
Poland is in recession and funding from both government sources as well as from broadcasters has dried up. Private backers like Kredyt Bank who embraced the film industry with open arms after the profits generated by With Fire And Sword were less enthusiastic after Jerzy Kawalerowicz's $10m Quo Vadis failed to turn a profit in 2001, bringing the short-lived era of the Polish blockbuster to a close.
Hoffman and Michaluk have had to put their personal property on the line to secure a line of credit to finance Old Tale. But Hoffman and Michaluk are confident the film which is due for release in September will be a hit.
They have experience of bucking the trend. When they shot With Fire And Sword, a budget of $8m was an unheard of sum for a Polish film and their critics muttered that it could never succeed.