Regional Film Funds Catching Up to Europe
The presentation of regional film funds that took place before the annual filmmakers’ forum at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia was no coincidence. The increasing significance of regional involvement in film production is a fact. Regional film funds have quickly become an important source of financing film production in Poland.
In 2010, film production in Poland will be supported by more regional film funds than in both Norway and the United Kingdom. While the first was only launched in 2007, today there are nine such regional film funds in Poland. The first effects of their efforts are already clearly visible.
The first films co-financed using regional film funds were Drowsiness by Magdalena Piekorz and Little Moscow by Waldemar Krzystek, winner of the 2008 Grand Prix at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia. The 2009 competition in Gdynia saw a number of productions supported by regional film funds, including Happy Afonia, the latest feature by Jan Jakub Kolski; I Am Yours by Mariusz Grzegorzek and City of the Sea by Andrzej Kotkowski (this last feature was co-financed by the Gdynia Film Fund).
In 2009 alone, the Lower Silesian Film Fund granted financial support to twelve feature films and five documentaries. Among these projects was Operation Danube by Jacek Głomb. The Silesian Film Fund had a record of 40 applications, of which three documentaries, an animation project and four feature films received financing.
The Kraków Regional Film Fund is supporting production of the newest feature by Janusz Majewski, Mała Matura 1947 with a record 2.12 million PLN, whereas the Gdańsk Film Fund is co-financing Milion dolarów by Janusz Kondratiuk.
More regions are planning to support Polish cinema. The Mazowsze Film Fund is expecting to allocate 1 million PLN per year to the production of Polish films.
The next stage in developing regional film funds is the establishment of film commissions. The purpose of film commissions is to provide filmmakers with free administrative and organizational support at all stages of film production. Their mission includes helping with finding specialists, fostering cooperation with municipal authorities, helping to obtain various types of permits and assisting in location scouting.
The first film commission in Poland was the Łódź Film Commission. It is a member of the Association of Film Commissioners International (AFCI) – an organization with 300 members from 40 countries.
The Kraków Film Commission is soon to be launched.
Further details available at www.lodzfilmcommission.pl
Translated by Karolina Kołtun