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WARSAW 2018 Industry

REPORT: Warsaw Industry Days 2018

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- An integral part of the Warsaw International Film Festival since 2000, the Warsaw Industry Days presented films, works in progress, panels and workshops focused on Eastern Europe

REPORT: Warsaw Industry Days 2018
Stefan Laudyn, director of the Warsaw International Film Festival (left), and Wojciech Smarzowski, writer-director of Clergy, at the Warsaw Industry Days

This year running between 18 and 20 October in the Palace of Culture and Science in the Polish capital, the Warsaw Industry Days (WID) have been an integral part of the Warsaw International Film Festival for 19 years. Organised by the Warsaw Film Foundation, with the Polish Film Institute as a key partner, the industry event focuses on film professionals – from producers, sales agents, distributors and festival programmers to critics, journalists and others – and places a special emphasis on newcomers. Stefan Laudyn, director of the Warsaw Film Festival, which has now reached its 34th edition, noted in his introduction that careful selection has always been the most important part of the WID.

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The most eagerly anticipated event of this year’s WID was the panel discussion about the previously announced audiovisual production incentives in Poland that are planned to be introduced in early 2019. The panel, moderated by Anna E Dziedzic from the Polish Film Institute, hosted Maciej Dydo from the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage in Poland and Ukrainian film producer Igor Savychenko, who outlined the proposed cash-rebate system. Dziedzic, however, stressed that the information on the incentives bill, which is currently still being debated in the Polish Parliament, is still subject to change. More details on the bill will therefore be announced at the American Film Market in November.

The Warsaw Screenings, a regular section of the WID, presented a selection of the freshest Polish films ahead of their international premieres to international sales agents, distributors and festival programmers, including fiction features, documentaries and short films. Among them were the box-office hit Clergy [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Wojciech Smarzowski
film profile
]
 by Wojciech Smarzowski, the record-breaking critical look at the institution of Catholic priesthood in Poland (see the news), and Ether [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
, a historical drama set at the beginning of the 20th century, helmed by renowned Polish director Krzysztof Zanussi. Offering an alternative view of Poland’s interaction with foreign cultures, Our Little Poland by Slovak director Matej Bobrik is a coming-of-age story about Japanese students of the Polish language.

Works in Progress, a successor of the CentEast market, presented six promising film projects from Poland, Ukraine and Russia, as previously reported (see the report). As in previous years, WID also hosted the FIPRESCI Warsaw Critics Project, aimed at Eastern European journalists and film critics. Other workshops were intended for filmmakers: in Warsaw Next, young Polish filmmakers with at least one short film under their belt could meet with professionals from Poland and abroad. Organised together with the Polish Film Editors Association, The Art of Editing was an open workshop for anyone interested in film editing, while First Cut Lab and Doc Lab Poland (organised with the Ślesicki Foundation) were aimed specifically at directors and producers, who could present and discuss their projects with Polish and international film-industry representatives. 

“I’m very glad that we’re doing so many workshops because markets are about works in progress, about pitching and about meeting people,” said Małgorzata Dochniak, head of Warsaw Industry Days. “All the rest you can see at any market. We want to help young people get into the film business, and the workshops put them in touch with the industry professionals.”

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