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Poland has one of the most successful production support programs in Central and Eastern Europe.

The revolving production fund managed by the Polish Film Institute is worth an annual $34 million out of a total budget of $57 million, with funds earmarked for international promotion, distribution, education, digitalization and other areas.

Applications to the fund — which is also open to international co-productions with a Polish partner — are assessed by independent expert commissions drawn that include producers, directors and other professionals. Expert support to help improve potential projects before they apply for funding has been available through the institute’s network of experienced screenwriters, actors, critics, producers and directors for the past two years under an initiative designed to “raise the level of Polish” films, the institute says.

Annual feature production in Poland has tripled since the institute was established to an average of 60 films a year.

Major projects supported in the past year include “In Darkness” by Agnieszka Holland and “Sponsoring” by Malgoszata Szumowska.

Wytwornia Film Studios: Warsaw’s Wytwornia Film Studios is the largest moviemaking complex in Poland and a key producer of films. Fully equipped with studios, technical facilities, costume and prop collections, crew and set building services, it also offers archiving services. Its archives contain more than 4,000 titles spanning a century of filmmaking.

Lodz: Home to a famous film school, Lodz has studios with two soundstages. In addition to a rich costume collection — with more than 200,000 items, the studios are also the only ones in Poland with a pyrotechnic division and a wide selection of arms from its collection of over 2,000 weapons. Close to Warsaw, Lodz is home to many film professionals and local branches of public TV.

Alvernia Studios: Privately funded Alvernia Studios is Poland’s newest, specializing in full service for productions and post-prod facilities. Studio has its own lab and can make DCI master copies and 35mm DI negative masters.

Poland’s crew depth rivals any European country in skill, although the country’s economy is performing well, and this means rising costs. Limited studio space may also be contrictive. While numerous companies specialize in services, few major studios have complete, modern facilities on offer.

One bright spot on the horizon is Alvernia Studios (alverniastudios.com) near Krakow, which wrapped its first U.S. co-production in April, Amy Heckerling’s “Vamps,” a comic story of urbanite women with a taste for blood and nightlife. The large facility, four years in the making, specializes in sound and vfx. It has just signed thriller “Arbitrage.” “Vamps” employed an 80-piece orchestra that recorded at Alvernia. It also has scanning, 4K grading, three soundstages — including 21,000 square-foot spherical blue screen for 3D motion capture — and lab.

Polish Film Institute
Agnieszka Odorowicz, director
+ 48 22 42 10 130
Email: pisf@pisf.pl

The Polish Film Institute is a major co-producer of Polish films and supports both domestic films and international co-productions. Its website is in Polish and English and a key source of industry information for the country. (pisf.pl)