The establishment of the Andrzej Munk Studio "The Youth and Film"
It is to be a place of unrestricted freedom for young filmmakers to pursue creativity, invention, and aesthetic quests. An agreement on creating the Andrzej Munk Studio was signed by Bogdan Zdrojewski, Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Agnieszka Odorowicz, General Director of the Polish Film Institute, and Jacek Bromski, President of the General Board of the Polish Filmmakers Association.
The studio incorporates the tradition of Film Teams. Its goal is to support directing debuts and oversee their quality; its activity is expected to result in more programmes on TVP (Polish Television).
“It is a return to the tradition of Polish cinema which is based on cooperation, where young filmmakers are supported by their older friends,” said Minister Zdrojewski. “We began with signing a five-year agreement, but I want to declare that the minister’s participation in this project will be increasing.”
The idea of Film Teams was first used in the 1950s and has produced several generations of Polish filmmakers. The artistic concept of the creator was respected within the teams (of course in the framework that was allowed in that time) and simultaneously the shape of the work was influenced by help of friends from the team.
Young creators seek a similar model. Artistic group work seems to be the best solution for debuts. Documentary filmmakers from the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing, including Andrzej Jakimowski, work in a Film Team called the Paladino Group.
During the last few years, there has been a lot of activity for young filmmakers. The first initiative was a television project “Generation 2000”, which resulted in the creation of such films as Warsaw (Warszawa), Bellissima, My Town (Moje miasto), My Roast Chicken (Moje pieczone kurczaki), Inferno, I’m Looking at You, and Mary (Patrzę na ciebie, Marysiu).
“The Andrzej Munk Studio guarantees young creators not only artistic attention but also financial support,” said Agnieszka Odorowicz, “It will contribute to advancing the accomplishments of debut, and most of all to increasing their quality. The formula of the studio will allow the debutantes to be liberated from market restrictions. We would like it to be a place for experimenting, for courageous creativity, and for new forms of artistic expression.”
The Polish Film Institute (PISF) allocates a significant part of its budget to debuts. This is possible due to the Direction Debuts from Film Production Operational Programme. The Institute allocated nearly PLN 22 million in co-financing such projects in 2006-2007. This year PLN 10.5 million is planned.
PISF has also co-financed numerous educational programmes for young creators, for instance “30 minutes”, “First Documentary”, “Script Laboratory”, “Young Animation”, Script East workshops, the “Screen” programme in the Andrzej Wajda School, EAVE (The European Audiovisual Entrepreneurs) Workshops, and the School of Animation and Post-production Platige Image.
The Institute also co-finances films completed in film schools, trips to international training sessions and festivals, and unconventional ways to produce debut films (such as Wszystko by Artur Wyrzykowski). The latest initiative of the Institute is an information programme called “First Shot”.
The Andrzej Munk Studio will be a producer of featured debuts. The films will be produced under careful artistic attention; working on the script will be a particularly important stage.
“When we were the debutantes, we had protectors,” said Jacek Bromski. “We went to ‘Zespoły Filmowe’ and there Kawalerowicz, Morgenstern, and Wajda helped us to accomplish our first films. They discussed with us from the stage of ideas, through scripts, and finally they used to come to the editing stage. Now young filmmakers have an easier start because there is money for debuts at the Institute. But I am sure that this debuts would have been better if they had used the experience of older friends.”
“Polish Television is interested in taking part in this important project,” said Sławomir Jóźwik, the Director of the Film Agency TVP. “Although we do not sign any agreement today, we will not stay as passive extras. Together with PISF we worked out procedures which will soon enable TVP to actively join this undertaking.”
The Munk Studio will be a natural place to integrate young directors and screenwriters. There will also be a Programme Office of the Festival “The Youth and Film” in Koszalin working with the Studio.
The Studio is backed by the Polish Filmmakers Association (SFP). It is supported by the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, and PISF. The Studio co-operates with TVP.
- The studio is the main producer or co-producer of debut films.
- The studio is planning to produce or co-produce each year:
- feature films through the programme “30 minutes”
- documentary films through the programme “First Documentary”,
- animated films through the programme “Young Animation”
- The Script Laboratory works with the Studio.
Film production financing
- PISF – PLN 4 000 000
- The Ministry of Culture and National Heritage – PLN 2 000 000
- SFP – PLN 1 000 000
In addition, the participation of TVP is planned (PLN 4 million), as well as Regional Film Funds and sponsors.
The SFP covers the cost of the functioning of the Studio.
Procedures for feature projects recruitment
- the recruitment will take place in a competition;
- the projects will be assessed by expert commission;
- an expert commission recommends the best projects;
- the decision on producing a film is made by the Studio Programme Committee;
- Committee Members are the creators delegated by PISF and SFP, selected from film representatives;
- The procedures concerning short programmes recruitment is identical.
Translated by Monika Miziniak | Edited by Patricia Koza