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Poetry biopic in motion

New Europe nabs sales rights to 'Papusza'

Warsaw-based New Europe Film Sales has picked up international rights for “Papusza,” the story of the first published Romany Gypsy woman poet, whose verses enraged her patriarchal community.

The black-and-white film was directed by Joanna Kos-Krauze and husband, Krzysztof Krauze.

Produced by Poland’s Argomedia with Telewizja Polska, Canal Plus Poland, Studio Filmowe Kadr and Krakow’s Biuro Festiwalowe, the picture is largely shot in Roma, the language of Europe’s Gypsies.

Directors won best film at the Karlovy Vary Film Festival in 2005 for “My Nikifor.”

Papusza” is currently in post-production with release scheduled for early summer.

“Papusza was the first and only Gypsy woman to put her poems into writing and publish them,” said New Europe’s Jan Naszweski “By doing so, she confronted the traditional female role in her community and was banished. Shame and the inability to find a role in Polish society drove her mad.” Papusza spent time in a mental hospital and lived the last decades of her life alone and isolated before her death in 1987.

Film, based on an original script by the directors, is New Europe’s fourth feature after Matt Porterfields’ Sundance-Berlin Forum player “I Used to be Darker”; “Now, Forager: A Film About Love and Fungi” by Jason Cortlund and Julia Halperin, which has already sold to eight territories; and Anka and Wilhelm Sasnal’s Rotterdam 2012 competish title “It Looks Pretty From a Distance.”

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