On Dec. 1, 2020, during a special edition of the Location Managers Guild International virtual chat series “Coffee Tuesdays”, LMGI members enjoyed a Virtual Familiarization Tour (FamTour) of Poland with the aid of host, FilmWarsaw, the Warsaw Film Commission, the Polish Producers Alliance (KIPA), and Postnovation post-production. Moderated by Jennifer “JJ” Levine/LMGI, Dodd Vickers/LMGI and Dana Pohl/Head of Projects at Polish Producers Alliance, we “Fell In Love with Warsaw” and explored a few regions represented by their seven film commissions.
LMGI members virtually trekked through Lomé: the City of Thousand Contrasts and Poland’s Łódź Region, a popular region for filmmaking. Poland’s vast locations range from historic castles, palaces, industrial factories, sacred spaces, modern contemporary buildings, greenland and unique alternative spaces. Whether it is their mountains, two-thousand lakes, their salt mines, landmarks like Białowieża, Europe’s Oldest Primeval Forest, the Palace of Culture and Science, or Riese’s seven underground structures located in the Owl Mountains and Książ Castle in Lower Silesia, LMGI member Todd Christensen can testify, “The assortment and variety of locations are extraordinary!”
Pohl educated to us that Poland, a country flanked by Germany, Berlin, Slovakia, Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, The United Kingdom, Czech Republic, France, Italy and Spain, belongs to NATO. It enjoys an alliance with the European Union providing the freedom of movement that allows a seamless filmmaking process. A-list accommodations with diverse cuisine, fifteen five-star hotels, and a plethora of resources that accommodate film production professionals also make filming in Poland desirable.
Alicja Grawon – Jaksik/President of the Board, Polish Producers Alliance (KIPA) walked us through their 30% cash rebate film incentive program’s guidelines and requirements, Polish Film Institute grants and production financing.
Mateusz Kozak/ Post Novation explained that there are no technological boundaries limiting Poland’s capabilities. Poland has world renowned pre-Production, production and post-production offerings such as gaming, digital restorations, virtual production, animation, mastering, facility sound stage rentals in addition to experienced film crews onsite.
Additional thanks go to:
Mike Fantasia /LMGI President
Markus Bensch /LMGI
Dow Griffith /LMGI
Christian McWilliams /LMGI
Todd Christensen /LMGI
Marie Cantin, UPM / Producer / Educator
Michal Sliwkiewicz /LMGI
Aldona Machnowska-GoraVice President of City of Warsaw
Anna Spisz, Head of Mazovia Warsaw Film Commission
Ewa Puszczyńska Producer, Oscar winner for “Ida”
A robust Q&A session followed the presentations.
FamTours have been one of the benefits of membership, and although COVID-19 has made it difficult to travel, film commissions have become creative in ways to present their locations.