Plac zabaw (Playground) in Spanish Cinemas

May 25 marks opening night in cinemas around Spain for Plac zabaw (Playground), Bartosz M. Kowalski’s debut film co-financed by PISF.

The film, whose distributor in Spain is Syldavia Cinema, was released in Spanish cinemas under the title Playground.

In December 2017, Plac zabaw (Playground) was shown in Los Angeles, in the Laemmle Theaters network of arthouse cinemas. Currently, the film is available in the USA on VoD platforms. The American distributor of the film is Uncork’d Entertainment.

The debut film by Bartosz M. Kowalski will also be available in Turkey on DVD and VoD, with Sinema TV being the Turkish distributor.

Latido Films is the sales agent of the film.

Plac zabaw (Playground)

The end of the school year in a provincial Polish town. For 12-year-old Gabrysia, it is her last chance to tell one of her classmates that she has fallen in love with him. The girl sets up a secret meeting and blackmails the boy to show up. But what was meant to be an intimate conversation spins out of control and leads to an unexpected ending. The film questions the causes of crimes committed by children and also raises doubts as to whether there is any answer to the problem.

The filmmakers

Bartosz M. Kowalski is the director, co-writer and editor of Plac zabaw (Playground), his feature debut. The script, co-written with Stanisław Warwas, received the main prize in the Script Pro 2014 Screenwriting Competition. Mateusz Skalski, who previously worked with Bartosz M. Kowalski on his documentaries, was the director of photography. Production design for Plac zabaw (Playground) was done by Marek Warszewski and costumes were created by Agata Culak. The composer of the music score was Kristian Eidnes Andersen, a Danish composer known among other things for his collaboration with Lars von Trier.

The main roles in the film were played by young actors making their film debuts – Michalina Świstuń (as Gabrysia), Nicolas Przygoda (as Szymon) and Przemysław Baliński (as Czarek).

Wojciech Smarzowski was artistic supervisor on the picture.

Plac zabaw (Playground) was produced by Film it, as a co-production with Orka Production Studio, and it was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.

Premiere in San Sebastián and awards

The film’s premiere took place at the 64th International Film Festival in San Sebastián. The movie was also shown in the Main Competition at the 41st Film Festival in Gdynia, where Bartosz M. Kowalski received the award for best directing debut. Plac zabaw (Playground) won the Grand Prix and the Journalists’ Award at the 36th “Youth and Film” festival in Koszalin, where the four young actors also received the award for acting discovery of the year. “Playground” also received a special award in the 1-2 Competition at the 32nd Warsaw Film Festival and a special mention from the youth jury at the 60th BFI London Film Festival. The film was also recognised at the Monster Fest in Melbourne, where Bartosz M. Kowalski won the award for Best Director.