“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.
"Birdman Or (The Unexpected Virtue Of Ignorance)." Given the unusual style of filming long takes, Edward Norton and Michael Keaton kept a running tally of flubs made by the actors and actresses. Emma Stone made the most mistakes. Zach Galifianakis made the fewest. He actually did mess up a few lines during the filming, but played his mistakes off well enough, that the shots were included in the film.
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.
The Bridge Explosion in The Good, The Bad and The Ugly Had to Be Shot Twice. The big scene in this Spaghetti Western classic—when Blondie and Tuco blow up the bridge leading to the cemetery where the gold is believed to be buried—had to be shot twice. A misunderstanding led to the dynamite around the bridge being detonated before cameras were ready to catch it, requiring the bridge to be rebuilt and the whole thing to be shot again.