The scoop: International co-productions have increased since the Polish Film Institute was set up in 2006, with an annual budget of $30 million — 75% of that earmarked for local producers and co-productions.
EU producers can apply to the Institute for funds and international co-productions can tap up to $2 million.
Some regional funds have also been established: Gdansk co-produced Robert Glinski’s “Wrozby kumaka” and Lodz gave $250,000 for Uri Barbash’s “Spring 1942.”
Starting in 2008, there will be several more regional and city funds available, including Poznan with a $350,000 fund, Krakow, the Dolny Slask region and Lublin.
English-speaking Polish crews — and world-class cinematographers — don’t need a hard sell, and many local producers are fast gaining international experience.
Local food and housing expenses are relatively low compared to Western Europe. But value added tax in Poland runs at 22%, on the high side in the European Union where member states charge VAT rates from 15% to 25%. Polish Film Institute director Agnieszka Odorowicz acknowledges that dealing with VAT is a high priority.
Shot there: “Inland Empire” by David Lynch; “Nightwatching” by Peter Greenaway; “It’s a Free World” by Ken Loach; “Strike” from Volker Schlondorff
Bonus: It’s a building boom in Poland. Some 49 miles from Warsaw, the $134 million Cinema City is being built with 10 soundstages, the largest of which will be 75,000 square feet. Cinema City aims to bring in its first customers at the end of 2009. Two other studios are also planned: the $175 million Multimedia City, which aims to bring Hollywood and Silicon Valley to the southern city of Nowy Sacz; and the David Lynch-backed World Art Center in Lodz, which will house a post-production facility.