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PRODUCTION Poland / Germany

The Coldest Game is playing out in Warsaw

by 

- The Polish thriller directed by Łukasz Kośmicki is being shot in the English language, and stars Bill Pullman, Lotte Verbeek and James Bloor

The Coldest Game is playing out in Warsaw
James Bloor, Bill Pullman and Lotte Verbeek in The Coldest Game (© K Wiktor)

It was literally the biggest gift from Joseph Stalin to the people of Poland – for decades, the Palace of Culture and Science symbolised the communist regime and served as one of Warsaw’s main landmarks. Now it is acting as a location for The Coldest Game, a Cold War thriller revolving around a genius chess player, Joshua Mansky (Bill Pullman), who gets involved in a run-in between the American and Soviet counter-intelligence agencies. It’s set in the 1960s, and any wrong move could trigger the outbreak of WWIII. William Hurt was originally cast as Mansky, but after an accident on set, he had to be replaced by Pullman. During a press conference held in Warsaw in March, the Lost Highway actor said that he made an on-the-spot decision to join the project based on the script and a conversation with the film’s co-writer and director, Łukasz Kośmicki. “You can feel the texture of an artist in the first two minutes,” he explained. 

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Lotte Verbeek (Nothing Personal [+see also:
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interview: Urszula Antoniak
interview: Urszula Antoniak
film profile
]
In Your Name [+see also:
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) and James Bloor (Dunkirk [+see also:
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]
) also star in the movie as CIA agents, Evgenij Sudikhin (A Woman in Berlin [+see also:
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, Dark Planet
) is the Soviet chess Grandmaster and Mansky’s opponent, while Robert Więckiewicz (True Crimes [+see also:
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]
Wałęsa. Man of Hope
 [+see also:
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) plays the general manager of the Palace of Culture and Science. 

The Coldest Game is the directorial debut by Kośmicki, who also co-wrote the script with Marcel Sawicki. Kośmicki is a well-known ad creator and producer, as well as a cinematographer and screenwriter (he wrote the famous Dark House together with that film’s director, Wojciech Smarzowski). The Polish crew includes Oscar-winning production designer Allan Starski (Schindler’s List, The Pianist [+see also:
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]
), Oscar-nominated DoP Paweł Edelman (The Pianist, The Ghost Writer [+see also:
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film profile
]
Oliver Twist [+see also:
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]
, Wałęsa. Man of Hope
), composer Łukasz Targosz (Letters to Santa 3 [+see also:
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]
Pitbull: New Orders
 [+see also:
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]
), and top Polish make-up artists Ewa Drobiec (Hatred [+see also:
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]
) and Agnieszka Hodowana (Demon [+see also:
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]
, Body
 [+see also:
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interview: Malgorzata Szumowska
interview: Malgorzata Szumowska
film profile
]
). The film is being produced by Piotr Woźniak-Starak and Krzysztof Terej from Watchout Studio (Gods [+see also:
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]
The Art of Loving
 [+see also:
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) and Daniel Baur from K5 (Paterson [+see also:
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]
). All 41 shooting days are taking place on location in Warsaw, and principal photography will continue until 20 April. The production was supported by the Polish Film Institute, while the City of Warsaw and the management board of the Palace of Culture and Science are named as partners of the film.

As Krzysztof Terej stated during the press conference, the film will be released in 2019, “hopefully in February”. The Polish distributor is Next Film, and the worldwide distribution is being co-ordinated by K5 international. Hyde Park Entertainment Group is the sales agent for The Coldest Game.

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