Louise Archambault’s World War II drama “Irena’s Vow,” starring Canada’s Sophie Nélisse (“Yellowjackets,” “The Book Thief”), the U.K.’s Dougray Scott (“My Week with Marilyn,” “Mission: Impossible II”), and Poland’s Maciej Nawrocki and Andrzej Seweryn, is in production in Poland, and is set to premiere next year, according to Film New Europe.
The film tells the story of Polish nurse Irene Gut Opdyke (born Irena Gut), who in 1982 was awarded the Righteous Among the Nations medal for showing remarkable courage in her attempt to save Polish Jews during World War II. In 2009, her story hit Broadway as a play, written by Dan Gordon, who is also the film’s scriptwriter.
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“About 25 years ago, I was driving to my home in Los Angeles and listening to the radio. I heard a woman, Irene Gut Opdyke, telling her story. When I got home, I sat in the car in the driveway for another hour and a half, because I couldn’t stop listening to the story she was telling,” Gordon told FNE.
Courtesy of PISF
The film is produced by Canada’s Entract Studios, Canada’s Darius Films, Telefilm Canada and K&K Selekt in Poland, with a budget of Euros 4.1 million, with Euros 212,220 of production financing from the Polish Film Institute. The local government of Lublin added Euros 26,500.
The world sales company is Quiver Distribution, and Kino Swiat has rights in Poland.
Pavo Marinković Enters Post with ‘Vampires of Miljacka’
Pavo Marinković has wrapped filming on his feature film “Vampires of Miljacka,” produced by Croatia’s Telefilm in coproduction with Austria’s Nanook Film, and in collaboration with the Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Oktavijan Theater and the Film Association.
The sentimental immigrant comedy explores the relationship between the “civilized” West and the “temperamental” Balkans through the story of Faruk, a poet from Sarajevo, who is desperate to avoid deportation to Bosnia after 20 years of living in Austria.
The main role is played by the Bosnian actor Senad Bašić, and the cast includes Bruna Bebić, Andreas Kiendl and Birgit Stöger.
Stanislav Babić is producing. The budget is estimated at Euros 750,000 ($791,000). The project was supported by the Croatian Audiovisual Center with Euros 454,200 for its production in 2020, and also with Euros 24,000 as extra support for feature film production under the COVID-19 restrictions in 2021. Additional support of Euros 140,000 was provided by Eurimages in 2021.
Previously, funding had been secured by the Austrian Film Institute, the MEDIA fund and the Sarajevo Film Fund. Additional support was given by Cinestyria, the Graz Film Commission, and the Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT).
Shooting started in Graz, Austria, in October 2021, but it was interrupted due to the lead actor’s illness. The second part of the filming finished on April 25 in Zagreb.
Admissions to Local Films in Slovenia Drop by 30%
Admissions to Slovenia films in the country reached 16,867 in 2021, compared with 24,470 in 2020, and the gross was Euros 54,332 (compared with Euros 80,900 in 2020), which represents a 30% drop.
However, total admissions last year increased to 725,612, compared with 539,970 in 2020, and the total box office was Euros 4.07 million, compared with Euros 2.88 million in 2020. This represents a 70% drop compared to the average in non-COVID years, according to the Slovenian Film Center.
Courtesy of FNE
The top local title in 2021 was “Wild Slovenia,” directed by Matej Vranič, produced by Fotokom in coproduction with RTV Slovenija, with 6,565 admissions and Euros 24,294 gross, followed by “Sanremo,” directed by Miroslav Mandić, produced by Filmostovje in coproduction with RTV Slovenija and Incipitfilm (Italy), with 1,757 admissions and Euros 4,465 gross.
The third top local title in 2021 was “Don’t Forget to Breathe,” directed by Martin Turk and produced by Bela Film, with 1,738 admissions and Euros 4,734 gross. The film was partially released in cinemas in March 2020, before the first COVID-19 restrictions caused the complete closure of cinemas.
This article is published in partnership with online news service Film New Europe, which covers film and TV industry news from across Central and Eastern Europe.
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