Jakub Duszynski - Polish distributor of Irina Palm
by Dorota Hartwich
16/10/2007 - Why did Gutek Film decide to release Irina Palm [trailer, film focus] in Poland?
We saw the film for the first time at the Berlin Film Festival, but we knew the script before the Berlinale. However, the script wasn’t the deciding factor. What was also important for us was the very lively reaction from the festival audience; the fact that they reacted to the nuances of the script moved us.
The strategy of the introduction and promotion of the film in Poland was not at all conventional.
That’s very true. At the beginning we thought that we needed to go beyond the traditional schemas of promotion. We also started by what is the strongest in the film, the participation of Marianne Faithfull. Irina Palm was slated for release in early September but we decided to show the film to the public more than a month earlier and to make a big event of the 7th Era Nowe Horyzonty Festival programme (of which Gutek Film is co-organiser and Roman Gutek president, ndlr).
In the end the film was screened on the first day of the festival, on July 19, in the presence of Marianne Faithfull.
Yes, after long negotiations, she accepted our invitation and came to the festival, not only to assist at the film’s screening but also to help us in the global promotion of the title – by giving a concert, while honouring the opening of the Wroclaw festival. The public loved the concert – they stayed standing and gave a heartfelt applause. Following the press conference that we’d organised with the singer, a range of interviews were published. The presence in the media of this charismatic character, before the film’s release, was not insignificant however.
The film was released as expected, on September 7, in small arthouse cinemas as well as in some multiplexes.
Yes, it’s because we decided to show the film – which, in brief, is not difficult – to different types of audiences. Before the release we carried out a promotional campaign as usual, insisting that the title not be ignored. So we made trailers well in advance, put up posters in the streets, which presented the film. The film was released on 22 prints, which is a lot when compared to other titles like this in Poland.
Although reviews were good, the opening wasn’t very promising: 5,366 filmgoers during the first weekend of screening.
At present, on month after its release, the film has drawn 18,251 filmgoers which is not such a bad result. You have to know that we are dealing with a market where each week there are more films with more and more prints being released. You shouldn’t expect too much.