10 years of ŁFC
Łódź Film Commission (ŁFC) is the oldest film commission in Poland. This year marks ten years of its existence. Created based on the experiences of the Texas Film Commission and Barcelona - Catalunya Film Commission, since the beginning of its existence it has formed a part of the AFCI – Association of Film Commissioners International and provided services according to its standards.
Currently a part of the structures of the institution EC1 Łódź – City of Culture, Łódź Film Commission used to belong to the Department of Culture of the City Hall of Łódź and its creation was the result of the initiatives of the representatives of Łódź Film School and the local film industry. Taking into account the post-war film traditions of Cinematic Łódź, there was no better place to establish first such institution in Poland than the capital of our national cinematography. Its foundation opened a new chapter in the cinematic history of the city and contributed to the support of its economic development through encouraging film industry players to set more productions in Łódź.
Afterimage, dir. Andrzej Wajda, photo Anna Włoch
The beginnings were modest. In the first year of its activities, ŁFC rendered its services in 3 productions, including student etudes. To compare, currently this number represents at least a dozen projects a year. Already in the second year of the ŁFC’s existence we faced a serious challenge while collaborating with the international crew of Agnieszka Holland’s film In Darkness – our first co-production with the participation of foreign partners, which would later become the Polish contestant in the race to the Oscars. The experience we gained then paid off when working on subsequent productions, and the film itself became the promotional video of the city. In the following years, we were involved in equally spectacular projects, just to mention Roberta Grossman’s Who Will Write Our History, Paweł Pawlikowski’s Cold War, or Andrzej Wajda’s Afterimage. We must emphasize though that each production carried out in Łódź, no matter how small, is an invaluable source of practical knowledge and an opportunity for further self-improvement for us.
Cold War, dir. Paweł Pawlikowski, photo Łukasz Bąk
From the very beginning of our existence we have strongly believed in strong relations with producers and film commissions from all over the world. Mutual exchange of experiences during the most important international industry events allows us to react to the current needs of the environment. We regularly participate in film festivals in Berlin, Cannes, Annecy, New Horizons in Wrocław or Polish Film Festival in Gdynia, where we intensively promote the film offer of Łódź and its region. Our ambition is for the cinematic Łódź brand to be visible on the filmmaking map of Poland and Europe. Hence our intensive efforts in Polish and international film industry organizations. Apart from the above-mentioned AFCI, we are also a member of Cine-Regio, Polish Animation Producers Association and the section of the Regional Film Funds at the Polish Producers Alliance.
One of our main objectives is the development of the local film industry, which is the reason for the Łódź Film Fund’s existence. We’ve been involved in its operations since the beginning of our activities. More information about it can be found here. This is also the reason why we would like for our support for the representatives of cinematography to be multifaceted. Due to this, over the years we have been involved in the organization of various workshops for the professionals operating on our market (e.g. Maia Workshops, EAVE Producers Workshop or Art of Making a Puppet workshop devoted to the creators of animation puppets for stop motion productions). Our plans also include promotional activities for the concept of green filming, i.e. using environmentally-friendly solutions on set as well as further development of the potential of Łódź in the area of stop motion.
EAVE Producers Workshop at EC1 Łódź, photo Agata Melnyk
To make sure the activities of the Łódź Film Commission best fulfil the challenges and needs of the film industry, we organize regular meetings during which we talk with producers about, among others, how to streamline production organization and shooting in the city. Not only do we grant interested parties access to our database of shooting locations and specialists, help in the selection of locations or assist in obtaining permits for shooting and crew formation, but also strive to shape the city policy regarding film shooting by initiating innovative solutions in this area. Our actions have resulted in the implementation of financial facilities, such as lower rates for the use of urban roads, land, and real estate properties for the purposes of production. So far no other Polish city or region has implemented such support packages. We have repeatedly proved our effectiveness and professionalism, thanks to which we enjoy the trust of the producers, and their regular returns to Łódź and using ŁFC’s services in their productions are the best evidence of that.
The Flying Machine, dir. Martin Clapp, Dorota Kobiela, Geoff Lindsey, photo Łódź Film Commission
In the last decade Łódź Film Commission has participated in such projects as: Paweł Pawlikowski’s Ida, Martha Coolidge’s I’ll Find You, Jan Komasa’s Warsaw 44, The Flying Machine – an international stop motion co-production, TV series Inspector Alex, Ultraviolet, Kruk, and the first Polish Netflix production – 1983. Altogether since 2009 we have participated in the production of over 140 audiovisual projects of all kinds (films, commercials, video clips, promotional spots, and TV shows), which translates into over 1800 days of shooting on location in Łódź.
On the occasion of our anniversary, we would like to express our gratitude for these 10 years of collaboration, hundreds of days of shooting, and trust and support of the producers, production managers and location managers. We also wish to thank all the entities and people who contributed to the creation and operation of the Łódź Film Commission. We hope to have many decades of fruitful collaboration ahead of us.
Łódź Film Commission team with the Oscar statuette for Ida at the #IdaTheFilm exhibition at Film Museum in Łódź, photo Marzena Bomanowska