EXCLUSIVE: Fandango Portobello to handle sales on writer-director Pawlikowski’s [pictured] drama Sister of Mercy, Le Pacte takes French rights.

Polish-born director Pawel Pawlikowski has begun principal photography in Lodz, Poland, on his first Polish language feature, Sister of Mercy.  

Written by Pawlikowski and playwright Rebecca Lenkiewicz, Sister of Mercy tells the story of a young nun, Anna, in 1960s Poland who discovers her Jewish roots and an aunt she never knew she had, who was once a notorious Stalinist judge. Together they go on the road to uncover the truth about her past.

Newcomer Agata Trzebuchowska plays Anna opposite Polish star Agata Kulesza. Pawlikowski regular Ryszard Lenczewski is DoP.

Eric Abraham and Janine Gold produce for Phoenix Film Investments with Ewa Puszczynska for Poland’s Opus Film.

Backers include the Polish Film Institute, Eurimages and Canal Plus Poland. Fandango Portobello will handle sales with Le Pacte distributing in France.

Pawlikowski made waves in 2000 with acclaimed drama Last Resort and went on to win the Best British Film BAFTA in 2004 for second effort My Summer of Love. The Woman in the Fifth, starring Ethan Hawke and Kristin Scott Thomas, is his only feature since then.