With the introduction of a 30% cash rebate at the start of 2019, Poland has been wooing foreign productions to Eastern Europe. Production was steady before the coronavirus pandemic struck, and the industry is optimistic about an incentive scheme that in its first year has received more than €12 million ($13 million) from the Polish Film Institute (PFI) to support 26 projects.
The rebate is open to feature films, animated films, documentaries and TV series. The PFI also provided 127 million zloty ($30.6 million) for project development and production in 2019, while a dedicated fund to support minority co-productions is helping to boost ties between Polish and international producers.
Along with evocative locations rarely seen onscreen, Poland offers competitive costs on par with or lower than any in the region, as well as highly skilled crews that benefit from a proud and storied moviemaking tradition. Among the projects that recently shot there are an adaptation of Harlan Coben’s thriller “The Woods,” produced by local production powerhouse ATM Grupa for Netflix, and “The Turncoat,” a World War II miniseries directed by Florian Gallenberger, an Oscar winner for live-action short.
ATM Studio, owned by ATM Grupa, has a 150,000 sq.-ft. facility on the outskirts of Warsaw, offering seven soundstages, television studios and post-production facilities, as well as a smaller complex outside the city of Wrocław. Leading lighting rental company Transcolor has five soundstages in its Warsaw studio. Production company Opus Film also has an 8,600-sq.-ft. facility outside the city of Łódź, offering soundstages and in-house editing and sound-mixing suites.
Upcoming projects to be lensed in Poland include Jonathan Glazer’s Holocaust drama “The Zone of Interest,” which is being co-produced and distributed in the U.S. by A24, and “Rhino,” a new movie by Ukrainian filmmaker Oleg Sentsov, who was released last year after being imprisoned in Russia on trumped-up terrorism charges.