Xavier Henry-Rashid’s London-based sales agency Film Republic has closed deals for multiple territories on “F*cking Bornholm,” a tart comedy of social discomfort. The film had its international premiere in the main competition section of Karlovy Vary Film Festival, where it won the Europa Cinemas Label award.
In his review, Variety’s Guy Lodge commented that Polish writer-director Anna Kazejak‘s “precise, piquant film deserves wider festival exposure and discerning distributor interest.” It has now been acquired by Iceland’s Bio Paradis, Arsenal for Germany, Austria and Switzerland, Lithuania’s Garsas, Slovenia’s RTV, Israel’s Yes and Sweden’s Lucky Dogs. The international trailer has its debut below.
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In the film, two couples with kids go away for a short holiday on the Danish island of Bornholm. Each person has different goals and expectations, and each one of them and their relationships will be tested.
It was described by Lodge as a “dark, distinctly unrelaxing comedy from Poland that mines male abuse, entitlement and ennui for laughs that all come with an accompanying wince — while aligning its sympathies firmly with a put-upon wife and mother, superbly played by Agnieszka Grochowska.”
Lodge added: “With its coolly arch comic tone, neat formal composure and flourishes of orchestral scoring to accompany proceedings of escalating awkwardness and emotional injury, ‘Fucking Bornholm’ is likely to put many arthouse patrons in mind of Swedish iconoclast Ruben Östlund — in particular, his breakout feature ‘Force Majeure,’ which covered comparable thematic terrain of masculine absence and irresponsibility in the bourgeois family unit.”
Alongside Grochowska, the film stars Maciej Stuhr, Grzegorz Damięcki, Jasmina Polak and Magus Krepper.
It is produced by Marta Lewandowska, and the screenplay was written by Filip Kasperaszek and Kazejak. The production company is Warsaw-based Friends With Benefits Studio, which was set up in 2019 by Lewandowska, Kazejak and Kasperaszek. Its first production was Netflix’s first Polish original “Erotica 2022.” FWB’s “Roving Woman” had its world premiere in June at Tribeca Film Festival.
Kazejak attended Poland’s National Film School in Lodz, and with two friends produced “Ode to Joy,” about the economic emigration of young Poles. It won the Special Jury Prize at Gdynia Film Festival in 2005, and screened in competition at the Rotterdam Film Festival.
She made her feature directorial debut with “Flying Pigs,” which was a box office hit in Poland, and her third feature “The Word” had its world premiere at the Berlinale in the Generation section, and was shown at more than 40 international film festivals. She has also directed many episodes of Poland’s version of HBO’s “In Treatment.”
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