Izabela Kiszka’s boutique gross sales company IKH Pictures Promotion has boarded hostage thriller “Prime Time,” which may have its world premiere in Sundance Film Festival’s World Cinema Dramatic Competitors part. The Polish movie stars Bartosz Bielenia, who broke by means of in Oscar nominated “Corpus Christi.” Selection spoke to director Jakub Piątek about his debut characteristic.
“Prime Time,” cowritten by Piątek and Łukasz Czapski, takes place on the ultimate day of 1999. Twenty-year-old Sebastian locks himself in a TV studio in Poland, and takes two individuals – a star presenter, performed by Magdalena Popławska, and a safety guard, performed by Andrzej Kłak – hostage at gunpoint. The younger man calls for to be allowed to broadcast an announcement to the nation, however has to barter with the police and the broadcaster.
Kiszka, who based IKH Photos Promotion in 2018 to assist rising younger expertise, described the movie as “highly effective and well timed.” She stated: “The pandemic and world lockdowns have left us all craving character-driven tales we will establish with and ‘Prime Time’ does that and extra. It completely captures our zeitgeist.”
Sebastian is “pushed” by the necessity to seem on stay tv and discuss to the world, and wishes the viewers to “full himself,” Piątek instructed Selection. He’s a “thriller,” he stated, with snippets of details about the hostage-taker revealed because the police wrestle to get inside his thoughts, and defuse the scenario, leaving the movie’s viewers to come back to their very own conclusions. “Our ambition is that, after watching the movie, these interpretations of our hero could be as completely different because the viewers themselves,” Piątek stated.
Talking in regards to the casting course of, he stated: “Whereas casting actors and actresses I await the ‘click on’ – it may be a small gesture, or only a phrase – one thing that takes a personality out of the script and makes it credible; the character all of a sudden exists.”
That is what occurred through the casting of Bielenia, Piątek stated. “Bartosz took me throughout these first hours to areas that I didn’t know but. He has filtered what he has learn and heard by means of himself, and a brand new high quality appeared. I might all the time wish to work with actors this manner – deal with them as companions and co-creators, not performers.”
The movie’s genesis got here out of his discussions with Czapski across the topic of rebel, which Piątek noticed as missing “each round us and in ourselves.” Whereas “fantasizing” about rebel, they got here throughout a narrative about an assault on a tv channel within the U.S., then discovered related instances in a number of different nations, together with Poland. “It was younger males who most frequently carried out the assaults. The Polish try and get on the air had the thriller of what the man needed to say,” he stated. This triggered a curiosity in them and “a seek for which means” that Piątek needed to incorporate within the script “because it triggered [this response in us], we believed that it might additionally act as a dramatic story engine from the viewer’s perspective.”
Throughout the movie, we see the hostages and Sebastian develop a bond, much like Stockholm Syndrome, however there’s one thing extra nuanced to it than that. “Throughout the work on the script after which through the rehearsals […] it was fascinating to look at the connection between them. These individuals would [usually] by no means meet, they’re from completely different worlds, and all of a sudden they find yourself collectively, locked up, at gunpoint. Excessive conditions intensify the expertise and relationships,” Piątek stated.
The motion takes place in a time earlier than social media when tv had big energy and fascination for individuals. “We set the movie 20 years in the past as a result of then tv was the primary medium,” Piątek stated. “It was extraordinarily unique and troublesome to get into. Even the workers who didn’t seem in entrance of the cameras have been beneficiaries of a greater world. At the moment, Poles watched TV a mean of 4 hours a day; it was tv that formed us as a society. What may very well be a greater place to say one thing essential to the world? In fact, now all this has weakened, it’s not that necessary anymore – to some extent it has grow to be democratized, but by some means, I look with nostalgia in that course. On the identical time, tv nonetheless has energy, particularly when managed by politicians.”
That is significantly pertinent in Poland, the place the coalition authorities, led by the extremely conservative Legislation and Justice Celebration, has a agency grip on the general public broadcaster, TVP, making it a mouthpiece for his or her views.
The eve of the brand new millennium is seen by the director as a “breakthrough second.” “One felt that the world may change,” he stated. “The artificially inflated specter of the Millennium Bug hung over mankind. After midnight, computer systems have been to go loopy, ATMs would spew out cash, energy crops would cease working, planes would go down and the inventory market and credit score data could be worn out. On prime of that, the largest celebrations, getting into the New Yr with a bang, fireworks, worldwide stars on stage and TV, and many alcohol. It gave the impression to be the right backdrop for our little drama.”
The movie was produced by Jakub Razowski at Watchout Studio, the producer of Polish box-office hit “The Artwork of Love,” and was supported by the Polish Movie Institute, non-public broadcaster TVN and Krakow Pageant Workplace. Will probably be launched in Poland this yr by Subsequent Movie.
Piątek, a Lodz Movie Faculty graduate, had an early success in 2009 with quick documentary “Mom,” which screened at greater than 50 worldwide movie festivals. His mid-length documentary “One Man Present” premiered at DOK Leipzig Movie Pageant in 2014, and his quick movie “Customers” performed at Slamdance Movie Pageant in 2019.
IKH Photos Promotion’s acquisitions embrace “Love Tasting” by Dawid Nickel, which received greatest movie within the Microbudget Movie Competitors at Gdynia Movie Pageant; “Erotica 2022” by Anna Jadowska, Anna Kazejak, Olga Chajdas, Kasia Adamik and Jagoda Szelc; and Sylwester Jakimow’s first characteristic “We Will All Be Nice.”