Marta Laryssa Plucińska • Federico Film
by Dorota Hartwich
02/05/2012 - A graduate of the Production department of the Łódź National Film School, Marta Laryssa Plucińska set up Federico Film in 1997. She produced Marek Stacharski’s first feature film, Facing Up, presented at the festivals of Karlovy Vary, Mar del Plata and Bergamo. She co-produced the Menachem & Fred documentaries by the Ronit Kertsner - Ofra Tevet duo (Cinema for Peace Award for the Most Inspirational Movie Of The Year in 2009) and Bruno Moll’s Zu Fuss nach Santiago de Compostela (screened amongst others in Locarno in 2007). Her international experiences also include Serb-Polish-Greek co-production Loveless Zoritsa by Radoslaw Pavkovic. She also produced Earthly Paradise by Gerwazy Regula and My Father’s Bike by Piotr Trzaskalski.
Cineuropa : Was the name of your production company, Federico Film, inspired by Fellini ?
Marta Laryssa Plucińska: I’ve always wanted to give it this name. Fellini has always been a source of inspiration for me. I’ve been running the company for 15 years and my brother has been helping me for eight years.
Before the Łódź National Film School, you got a degree in Natural Sciences. Did your passion for cinema only arrive later?
On the contrary. I started shooting films when I was six, with my dad and his 8mm camera. As a teenager I had already decided to devote my life to cinema. While at university I spent all my free time shooting short films and working as a production manager on other people’s films.
In Facing Up, which earned you your first successes, the story is set in places at the margins of society, in the provinces, with an exploration of the social conditions and a moral point of view. We find the same themes in Earthly Paradise and in Loveless Zoritsa. Are these your favourite subjects?
Exactly. That is how I view my role: talking about the injustices of this world, showing those who have been rejected, pushed to the margins, particularly women. At the heart of Facing Up, there is a woman who has been raped, but who is able to forgive. In Earthly Paradise, a woman raises her child by herself in a small village and a girl who has been adopted wants to set up a restaurant. She says: "instead of cooking like everyone else, I’d rather invent my own dishes." It’s important. And it’s the same thing in Loveless Zoritsa, with a woman who has been excommunicated from her environment. But each time I am keen to show these women’s potential, their strong will to change themselves and to change the world.
You produced My Father’s Bike by Piotr Trzaskalski, a well-known director whose new film is much awaited by the public. Was the project difficult to set up?
Financially, yes. It took us two years to bring together the funds to finally reach €1M. We were only able to do that thanks to a co-production with TVN and funding from Lodz’s Polish Film Institut and private investors, not forgetting my own investment. We also have the most important Polish distributor as a partner: ITI. That’s already a great success which confirms our gradual progression: with every new film we double the budget and our forecasts come true.
You also have solid international experience, having produced films together with Sweden, Serbia, Germany, Switzerland and Israel.
Yes and I currently have four new co-productions in the pipeline, of which two are underway…
In which you once again come back to the theme of injustice…
That’s right, except for one intelligent romantic comedy, a project currently being produced, which is rather commercial and which will allow us, I hope, to make the other three co-productions. The first, Empty Water by Jacek Bromski, is an adaptation of the brilliant eponymous novel by Krystyna Zywulska, who tells of her experiences in the ghetto, her escape and her involvement in the French Resistance. The second co-production is Marek Stacharski’s New Girl, about school violence, and the third is Maciej Dejczer’s The First Day at School which looks back on the Beslan and Tchechnia massacres, a truly frightening story. I also don’t quite understand why everyone remembers the date of September 11, and forgets that of September 1, 2004.