Wroclaw’s traditional feature film studios WFF is to be transformed into a state-of-the-art facility with a focus on innovative special effects techniques from 2012.
The Wroclaw Studios of Visual Technologies is being established on the WFF studio lot under the supervision of the Academy Award-winning director Zbigniew Rybczynski and has received funding from the Polish Film Institute (PiSF) and Poland’s Ministry of Culture towards the first two years of 15m Zlotys worth of investment.
After the Second World War, over 400 Polish films were produced at the Wroclaw studios including Andrzej Wajda’s Ashes And Diamonds, Wojciech Has‘ The Hour-Glass Sanatorium and Roman Polanski’s Knife In The Water. In addition, Peter Greenaway’s Nightwatching was shot on WFF’s sound stages in 2006.
Speaking at this year’s Polish-Norwegian Co-Production Forum within the framework of the 11th New Horizons International Film Festival, Rafal Bubnicki, deputy director of the Lower Silesia Film Fund, said that other new studio facilities had also been established in the city by Poland’s leading production ATM Grupa for TV productions, feature films and other programmes.
Moreover, he revealed during a discussion on the role of regional film funds in film financing that the City Of Wroclaw is planning to set up its own film commission following the examples already set in other Polish cities such as Lodz and Krakow.
Bubnicki explained that the Lower Silesia Film Fund had co-produced 18 projects since being established in 2008, including four films selected for this year’s Polish Feature Film Competition at the New Horizons International Film Festival: Magdalena Lazarkiewicz’s Dance Marathon, Jan Komasa’s Suicide Room, Wieslaw Saniewski’s The Winner, and Adrian Panek’s Daas.
Meanwhile, Krakow Film Commission’s Rafal Orlicki confirmed to Screen Daily that the historical city in the south of Poland had played host this week to its second Bollywood production after Prashant Chadha’s Azaan came to shoot there over 20 days last autumn.
A 40-strong production crew spent six days shooting on the city’s market square and other locations including the Vistula Boulevard and the Jagellionian University, for Yei Hah Jo Mohabbat, a modern take on Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet, starring young Indian actors Aditya Samanta and Nazia Hussain.
The production is now moving on to the mountain resort of Zakopane.
Orlicki said that a third Bollywood production could be coming to Krakow for a 45-day shoot this September.
He added that 35 projects had been submitted for the Krakow Film Fund’s latest call for projects, with six selected for funding totalling 1.15m Zlotys. The projects to be supported include Wojciech Smarzowski’s Aniol and Jacek Borcuch’s Chwile Nieulotne.
Apart from case studies of Jerzy Skolimowski’s Essential Killing and Marius Holst’s King Of Devil’s Island, the Co-Production Forum presented 10 feature and documentary projects from Polish and Norwegian producers.
They included Anna Jadowska’s period drama Love In Times Of Communism, adapted from Nina Fitzpatrick’s The Loves Of Faustyna, Leiv Igor Devold’s black comedy A Pole Can Do It, and Mona J. Hoel’s One last Chance about a woman confronting her past as a victim of physical abuse.