VMI Worldwide has picked up worldwide sales rights on Polish director Wojciech Smarzowski’s World War II epic “Hatred” (Wolyn), which is being screened for buyers at Berlin’s European Film Market.
The film, written and directed by Smarzowski, is loosely based around a battle that took place between 1943 and 1944 in Poland. The story begins in 1939 in a village between Poland and the Ukraine called Volhynia.
“Despite being in love with a Ukrainian boy from the same village named Petro, a Polish girl named Zosia (Michalina Labacz) is forced into marrying a wealthy widower,” according to a statement. “Soon World War II begins, ethnic tensions arise and a bloody battle ensues between the neighboring Polish and Ukrainians. Amidst the war and chaos, Zosia is forced to flee Volhynia, and protect the life of her children.”
The film was produced by Dariusz Pietrykowski and Andrzej Polec, and was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.
In its native Poland, it has attracted admissions of more than 1.4 million, while in the Ukraine, it has been banned and is seen as highly controversial.
“We’re very proud to be bringing this film to the international marketplace as it is truly an exceptional film that has received a lot of international attention due to its controversy, and we hope it will resonate with buyers,” said VMI Worldwide president Andre Relis.
VMI will also be screening “Justice,” starring Stephen Lang, and “Palm Swings,” starring Tia Carrere, at the EFM.