“We think Polish film is going through a great moment thanks to a very interesting new generation of filmmakers which we follow closely,” said San Sebastian industry head Esperanza Luffiego, selection committee member Roberto Cueto, and head of foreign press Gemma Beltrán by email. They noted that the producers invited “have a record of international co-productions,” adding that their presence in the Europe-Latin America Co-Production Forum is “part of the festival strategy creating an environment for co-productions and fostering cultural diversity and the circulation of films in non-hegemonic languages.”
It’s an auspicious time for the rising Polish industry, which is building on the recent success of artists like Academy Award winner and multiple nominee Paweł Pawlikowski (“Ida,” “Cold War”), as well as the introduction of a 30% cash rebate earlier this year. Polish Film Institute general director Radosław Śmigulski described the incentive scheme as a “game-changer” for the local biz. Polish filmmakers have had a presence in San Sebastian in recent years; since Bartosz Kowalski’s “Playground” bowed at the festival in 2016, 10 Polish productions and co-productions have taken part in different festival sections. This year’s official selection includes Berlin Silver Bear winner Szumowska’s English-language debut, “The Other Lamb” (pictured), while Mauricio Osaki’s Brazil-Poland co-production, “The Paths of My Father,” will screen in rough cut at San Sebastian’s Films in Progress.
"Star Wars: The Last Jedi." After first completing the arduous 600-foot climb on Ireland's Skellig Michael island, Mark Hamill had hoped that he could avoid having to repeat the trek for additional scenes if he could somehow remain on the summit overnight, thus forfeiting the luxury of room service at his hotel. He suggested sleeping in a tent and 'staying in character.' However, after some inquiries were made with the Irish authorities, he was told by producer Kathleen Kennedy that he was not permitted to pitch a tent because the location is a protected UNESCO World Heritage Site.
The 10 producers taking part in this year’s Focus on Poland are: Łukasz Długołęcki (Nur); Judyta Fibiger (White Shark Studios); Izabela Igel (Harine Films); Aleksandra Maciuszek (New Plot Films); Małgorzata Staroń (Staron Film); Marta Szarzyńska (Kinhouse Studio); Klaudia Śmieja-Rostworowska (Madants); Karolina Śmigiel (Uni-Solo Studio); Anna Różalska (Match&Spark); and Aneta Zagórska (Krakow Film Klaster). Launched in 2014, the first two editions of Focus on brought select film professionals from Canada to San Sebastian; subsequent editions have highlighted the Nordic countries and the Baltics.
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid Was Originally the Other Way Around. The original script for Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, by William Goldman, was originally titled The Sundance Kid and Butch Cassidy. That all flipped when Paul Newman, maybe the biggest star on the planet at the time of production, took the role of Butch.