The producers of The Silent Twins, a Cannes Un Certain Regard film, were on hand this weekend at the festival to discuss the advantages of shooting the film in Poland. Producers Klaudia Smieja-Rostworowskaw, Ewa Puszczynska, and Anita Gou discussed the country’s accomplished below-the-line sector and diverse settings at a panel presented by the Polish Film Institute and Deadline at the American Pavillion at Cannes.
The film is a Polish-UK-US co-production and marks L.A.-based Gou’s first trip to Poland. It is Agnieszka Smoczynska’s English-language debut and stars Letitia Wright.
“It was so anchored in Agnieszka having such a wonderful crew basis,” Gou explained. “We tried creating the picture through the studio structure at first, but they weren’t giving us what we wanted or what we thought would be enough backing to make it the way we wanted.” Poland soon emerged as the best option because, first, it doubled as a great location for Wales at the time, and second, the government incentives were going to get us a long way.”
Although the film is set in the United Kingdom and is based on the true story of identical twins June and Jennifer Gibbons who refused to interact with anybody but one another, Gou believes that if they had shot entirely in the UK, they would have faced financial constraints.
“The country’s domestic sector is so strong,” Gou said, adding that “there’s enough volume to support a large labor base and fantastic facilities…
It provided what we needed at a fraction of the cost.”
“In Poland, we have fantastic sites,” Puszczynska stated. “We have amazing site scouts and location managers that are extremely dedicated to their jobs and ensure that we can acquire exactly what we want at reasonable pricing.”
The producer went on to say that productions can use skilled Polish workers not only in Poland but also in other nations. “Our production designers, costume designers, makeup artists, and department heads are all outstanding.” Because everyone speaks English, you may use and transport them wherever you need to shoot your movie. Even Polish films require shooting outside on occasion, and we wish to send our staff there.”
Producers interested in entering the Polish market should prepare ahead by up to six months and understand their project’s financial structure, according to Smieja-Rostworowskaw.
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“You have to know your financial structure and why you want to shoot in Poland,” she explains. “After that, you go to the [Polish Film] Institute and wait for the findings.”
She went on to say that it’s a “permitting procedure,” and that waiting for clearance can be difficult for American films.
“We are getting more and more financial assistance in this country, and it is real support,” she says. “Once you make the decision, this money will flow to your project.” “All you have to do now is wait.”