U.S. in Progress Event Pairs American, Polish Partners



Not long ago, an award-winning Polish composer who’d scored dozens of films approached Ula Śniegowska about U.S. in Progress, an industry event conceived as a bridge between the Polish and American markets that runs parallel to the American Film Festival in Wrocław, Poland.

“He approached me saying, ‘I’ve done enough in the Polish market. I need an introduction to the international market. Can you, as U.S. in Progress, help me?’” Śniegowska recalls. “It seems we are a perfect matchmaker for those types of companies to have their work exposed in the U.S.”

Celebrating its 13th edition, U.S. in Progress was launched as a showcase for emerging independent American filmmakers. Each year, the event presents a curated selection of American indie titles in the final stages of production to European sales agents, distributors and festival programmers. This year’s edition takes place Nov. 8 – 10.

Since its inception, however, the event has grown into a bustling industry confab that also brings together Polish and American producers looking to boost ties between the two countries — a particularly attractive prospect for trans-Atlantic partners looking to make the most of Poland’s competitive 30% cash rebate. “It’s definitely a clear segue to international collaborations,” says Śniegowska.

That’s due in no small part to the in-kind awards and cash prizes that U.S. in Progress hands out to American indie titles in the final stages of production that participate in the event. This year seven leading Polish post-production companies — Black Photon, EarWorks & SoundTravel, Fixafilm, Orka Studio, Platige Image, Soundflower Studio and XANF — are each offering a $10,000 in-kind award in post-production services. The Polish Film Institute, meanwhile, will be giving out a $50,000 cash award to be spent by the winning filmmaker on post-production, image, sound and/or VFX in Poland.

Also, the Lower Silesian Film Center — an event partner — is introducing an award that will go toward location scouting for a future project interested in shooting in the region, another example of how U.S. in Progress is building bridges between Poland and the American industry.

The event, says Śniegowska, has clearly been growing in stature. This year the organizers selected eight films in the final stages of editing — the most ever chosen for U.S. in Progress — from more than 60 submissions. Śniegowska also sees a “step up” in terms of the scale of many of the titles submitted. One of this year’s participants was shot for more than a million dollars — no small thing in the world of bootstrap indie filmmaking — while others feature star turns from established actors like Michael Cera and Francesca Scorsese.

The track record of U.S. in Progress, says Śniegowska, speaks for itself. Among last year’s participants, two went on to premiere at the Tribeca Film Festival — Shane Atkinson’s comedy-thriller “LaRoy” and Monica Sorelle’s family drama “Mountains,” which scooped a Special Jury Mention — while two more screened this year at Locarno: Lucy Kerr’s “Family Portrait,” a debut feature, and Gabriel Bienczycki and Richard Karpala’s thriller “Falling Stars,” which premiered at the Swiss fest’s Piazza Grande. Meanwhile, director Pete Ohs’ genre bender “Jethica,” which took part in U.S. in Progress in 2021 and premiered at SXSW, was picked up for U.S. theatrical release last year.

“The program has definitely gained prestige over the years,” says Śniegowska.

Here are the projects selected for this year’s event:

Christmas Eve in Miller’s Point
Director: Tyler Taormina
Producers: Krista Minto, Rob Rice, Eric Berger, Kimberly Dai, Kevin Anton, Calogero Carucci, Jeremy Gardner, Tyler Taormina and Michael Cera

Cold Wallet 
Director: Cutter Hodierne
Producer: Vanishing Angle

Familiar Touch 
Director: Sarah Friedland
Producers: Matthew Thurm and Alexandra Byer 

Good One 
Director: India Donaldson
Producers: Graham Mason, Diana Irvine, Wilson Cameron and Sarah Winshall  

Know Me 
Director: Edson Jean
Producer: Ronald Baez 

Director: Albert Birney
Producers: Pete Ohs and Emma Hannaway

The Water is Always Warm 
Director: Morgan Krantz
Producers: Adam Kersh and Greg Stewart 

We Strangers 
Director: Anu Valia
Producers: Miranda Kahn, Olivia Wingate, Alex Bach, Zach Spicer and Joy Jorgensen


Source link

Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.