Michał Kucharczyk: My first question will be the general one. Please, tell me something about your work at Doc Lab Poland.

Irena Taskovsky: I run company called Taskovski Film which is based in London and Berlin. Organizers of Krakow Film Festival invited me to work together with Paul Pauwels from EDN [European Documentary Network] for one day with twelve project. All of them have been presented today in raw cut stage, which means almost finished films. Our job was to see visual materials, hear authors’ presentation and then feedback on what works and what doesn’t work in these presentation. So we were helping them to make their presentation as clear as possible in order to get some interest from festivals, sales agents or television stations.

It brings me to my second question: what should filmmakers take into consideration while pitching their projects?

Well I guess we cannot be so general, because it always depends from film to film and on which stage of film process we will pitch, so for example what we saw today was presentation of raw cuts. It is always easier, because authors have some visual materials, which they can use, instead of showing materials in the written form. However the time for those presentation is always limited which makes it very stressful and not every filmmaker likes to do it or some of them are better in it than others. For example while pitching it is essential to be very clear what is your film about, also to place it: when for instance your film is taking place in Poland it is important to make it clear. If your subject is local it is good to emphasize the universal aspect of the story, even if it is the Polish one, then how it could attract international audience.

Which of today’s project caught your attention the most?

I would say that all selection was very good, there were twelve projects and now it comes to professional and personal taste. I really like film “21x New York” it’s going to be very beautiful cinematic essay, because it is beautifully shot and its atmosphere is impressive. I think this film will do very well at festivals, however it may be difficult in case of TV channels, because they like more classical documentary style. I also like “The Hypnotist” with specially gifted man as a main character. He can hypnotize people, but there is also a kind of a contradiction in himself. He likes to hypnotize and he helps people by doing it, although he is also very religious and this is the conflict: what he practices is not allowed by church. This gives richness to the film, which can be entertaining and still very deep and engaging.

I have to admit that my company, Taskovski Films, has existed for eleven years and we have represented some of the best documentary filmmakers from around the world, but somehow we still didn’t have until today any Polish film. Either because we pick small amount of films and of course we are looking for the best of the best or we didn’t find something suitable for our catalogue. But here everything changes now because we just signed the contract with first ever Polish director, Konrad Szołajski, with his film “The Battle with Satan”. Konrad is already a quite established Polish film director and his film is produced by HBO. So “The Battle with Satan” is about to be finished and our job is to make it sure that it would be qualified to the most important film festivals and to sell it to different TV stations from around the world.

Thank you for our conversation.

phot. Tomasz Korczyński