Polish films start their pre-Oscar promotion with the support of the Polish Film Institute

The Polish Film Institute will provide promotional support to three Polish productions which will compete for the Academy Awards. In addition to „Never gonna snow again” by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert, two other films will compete for the nomination: „Mr Jones” by Agnieszka Holland and „Kill It and Leave This Town” by Mariusz Wilczyński. All films are co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.

The image by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert „Never gonna snow again” is a Polish candidate for an Oscar in the Best International Feature category. On the other hand, Agnieszka Holland’s film „Mr Jones”, awarded with the Golden Lions at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia, was submitted in the competition in the Best Film category. The third production is the film „Kill It and Leave This Town” awarded at the festival in Annecy, directed by Mariusz Wilczyński, who will fight for  a nomination in the Best Animated Feature category. Shortlist of candidates will be announced on February 9, 2021.

Radosław Śmigulski, director of the Polish Film Institute declared promotional support for all three films. Its first stage will be market screenings during TIFF Industry (September 10-14), one of the most important industry events in the world, accompanying the Toronto festival:

TitleDirectorRights HolderScreening TypeDateTime
KILL IT AND LEAVE THIS TOWNMariusz WilczyńskiOutsider PicturesIndustry Selects9/12/202010:00 AM EST
NEVER GONNA SNOW AGAINMałgorzata SzumowskaThe Match FactoryMarket Screening9/10/202010:00 AM EST
SWEATMagnus von HornNew Europe Film SalesIndustry Selects9/14/202010:00 AM EST
MR. JONESAgnieszka HollandWestEnd FilmsMarket Screening9/13/202010:00 AM EST

„Never gonna snow again”

The film, directed by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert, based on their mutual script, will have its world premiere at the Main Competition of this year’s Venice International Film Festival (September 2-12). It is also included in the official selection of the Telluride Film Festival, one of the most important American film festivals, which increases its chance of winning an Oscar nomination. The film cast includes: Alec Utgoff, Maja Ostaszewska, Agata Kulesza, Weronika Rosati, Katarzyna Figura, Andrzej Chyra, Łukasz Simlat and Krzysztof Czeczot.

One foggy morning in the city appears HE – an attractive man from a true, exotic east. Zenia, because that is his name, has a gift. His hands heal, and his eyes look into the souls of single women. The man works as a masseur in a wealthy estate near the city. Working for people separated by a wall from the „worse” world, he learns about their stories and personal dramas. Soon Zenia’s remarkable abilities will change their lives.

Michał Englert is responsible for cinematography for the film, for editing: Jarosław Kamiński and Agata Cierniak, for sound: Kacper Habisiak, Marcin Kasiński and Marcin Jachyra. Production was managed by: Dagmara Bagnecka and Stefaan Schieder. The set design was prepared by Jagna Janicka, costumes – Katarzyna Lewińska, make-up – Waldemar Pokromski. The producers are: Agnieszka Wasiak and Mariusz Włodarski from Lava Films, Viola Fügen and Michael Weber from Match Factory Productions, Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert, and the co-producers are: Mazowiecki and Warszawski Fundusz Filmowy, Kino Świat, DI-Factory, Bayerischer Rundfunk in cooperation with Arte . The project, apart from the Polish Film Institute, is co-financed by Film – und Medienstiftung NRW, Deutscher Filmförferfonds, Medienboard Berlin Brandenburg, Polish-German film fund, Cinecopro Award, and Amsterdam Post Lab. The Match Factory is the sales agent, and Kino Świat is responsible for distribution in Poland.

„Kill it and leave this town”

Mariusz Wilczyński’s full-length animation was presented at the last Berlinale in the  Encounters  section and was honored by the jury of this year’s Annecy International Film Festival. In addition, „Kill it and leave this town” was included in the competition of the International Animation Festival in Ottawa and the International Film Festival in Melbourne, and will open the 20th New Horizons International Film Festival in Wrocław.

Mariusz Wilczyński’s film, which was made for 14 years, is a tender dialogue with ghosts, blues in honor of friendship, resurrection of people, places, dialogues, neon lights, sounds, and even wisps of cigarette smoke. Autobiographical, evoking the atmosphere of communist childhood and growing up in post-transformation, color-taking Poland – it combines poetry with harsh realism, living with the dead, nostalgia with accepting loss. The animation by Mariusz Wilczyński is a moving farewell to the generation of his parents marked by the war, but also a reminder that the conversation with those who shaped us is endless.

Voices in the animation are given, among others, by Barbara Krafftówna, Andrzej Wajda, Irena Kwiatkowska, Krystyna Janda, Gustaw Holoubek, Anna Dymna, Marek Kondrat, Daniel Olbrychski, Magdalena Cielecka and Małgorzata Kożuchowska. One of the main characters of the film is music: songs by Tadeusz Nalepa and the band Breakout sound incredibly modern, giving the animation a bluesy, unhurried rhythm. The voice of Nalepa, Wilczyński’s close friend, resounds not only in the songs, and the film itself was created out of the need to continue the conversation that lasted many decades, interrupted by the musician’s death.

„Mr Jones”

The political thriller „Mr Jones” had its world premiere at the Main Competition of the International Film Festival in Berlin, and was also presented at New Horizons. It won the Golden Lions, which is the most important award of the 44th Polish Film Festival in Gdynia. The film, directed by Agnieszka Holland, was written by the American journalist and screenwriter Andrea Chalupa, and its international cast includes, among others James Norton, Vanessa Kirby, Peter Sarsgaard, as well as Krzysztof Pieczyński and Michalina Olszańska.

The young journalist Gareth Jones rose to fame by writing an article about his meeting with Adolf Hitler, right after he took power in 1933. Now the ambitious Welshman is getting ready to tackle another great topic, the rapid modernization of the Soviet Union. Wanting to thoroughly investigate the matter, the reporter decides to travel to Moscow to interview Stalin. There, he meets a young journalist, Ada Brooks, working for Walter Duranty, thanks to whom he discovers that the truth about the Stalinist regime is brutally suppressed by Soviet censors. Hearing alarming rumors about the great famine in the USSR, Jones goes on a lonely journey through Ukraine. The journalist becomes an eyewitness to the Holodomor tragedy. After returning to London, Jones writes an article about the horror he experienced. The publication is silenced and its authenticity is undermined by Western journalists who are under the influence of the Kremlin. Despite the death threats, Gareth continues to fight for the truth. He decides to share his discoveries with a young, aspiring writer – George Orwell.

Tomasz Naumiuk was responsible for the cinematography for the film, the set design was created by Grzegorz Piątkowski, and the costumes were created by Aleksander Staszko. The director of the second plan was Olga Chajdas, and Colin Jones and Magda Szwarcbart were responsible for casting. The music for the film was composed by Antoni Komasa Łazarkiewicz. The image, which is a Polish-British-Ukrainian co-production, was produced by FILM PRODUKCJA and Parkhurst. The producers are Andrea Chalupa, Klaudia Śmieja-Rostworowska and Stanisław Dziedzic. The film was produced with the financial support of the Ukrainian State Film Agency and Creative Scotland.