Filmmakers and guests of the US in Progress 2019 (Photo © Kaja Marchewka)
American filmmakers have until September 7 to submit their work in progress to one of Europe's leading programs in support of new American filmmakers, US in Progress. US in Progress celebrated its tenth anniversary and always took place as part of the American Film Festival in Poland. It consisted of events and a live pitching forum. For this edition – from November 11th to 13th, when international travel, especially from the USA, is uncertain due to the coronavirus pandemic – US in Progress will take place virtually while a personal American film festival is taking place alongside the New Horizons Film Festival in Wroclaw dissolves.
"It's the same structure as before," says Ula Sniegowska, Artistic Director of the American Film Festival, "except we do it online. The producers have the opportunity to present their projects via Zoom and meet the buyers in one-on-one meetings planned by the organizer and share their links privately. "
There are no fees and selected manufacturers can expect to present their projects to both European sales representatives and Polish post-production companies. Three Polish post houses – two pictures, one sound and music – will be providing benefits in kind of US $ 10,000. The Polish Film Institute also grants a grant of US $ 5,000 for a film to be spent in Poland.
"We want Polish industry to be presented to American producers, and we want to promote tax and production incentives here," says Sniegowska of the festival's matchmaking between American independents and Polish industry. "Twenty percent of the expenses for Poland can be reimbursed, but you have to have a co-producer in Poland," she says.
The cooperation between the US and Poland goes in both directions, says Sniegowska, who describes the event as a burgeoning "exchange forum" between the two groups of filmmakers. The Polish producers show the Americans their projects and there can be cooperation. One such Polish project was filmed in Texas last year with US participation.
Industry events for US in Progress attendees include panels on Polish co-production and another one led by Ida producer Ewa Puszczyńska on Polish incentives for film production.
Post-production funding aside, a selection from US in Progress is a quality curatorial brand that marks a film when it finishes the post and enters the festival landscape. US in Progress alumni include Jennifer Reeder's IFC publication Knives and Skin; Sundance Selection and Monument Release Pahokee, directed by Ivete Lucas and Patrick Bresnan; Isabel Sandoval's Bingville winner Lingua Franca, who is coming from ARRAY in the US; and Alexandre Rockwell's Berlin premiere Sweet Thing.
"I think US in Progress is perfect for new filmmakers who are open to exploring the audience and partners in Europe," says Sniegowska. “From an artistic point of view, we prefer projects that showcase unique voices and new trends in filmmaking. We just enjoy working with beginners, but we have also established talent in an independent world, like Jennifer Reeder. But we prefer and want to select producers and filmmakers who will hopefully be successful at festivals, find greater funding and spread their wings in the future. We also hope that if you know Poland and our potential, you will consider coproducing or filming in Poland for your next projects. "
For more information or to submit a film (submission is free), visit the US in Progress page at the American Film Festival.
Photo: 2019 US in Progress excursion in Wroclaw. The group consists of festival guests and USinP guests in front of Hala Stulecia, project promoters and industry players: Michael Beach Nichols, Madeleine Molyneaux, Sam Jones, Stephanie Wilcox, Riley Stearns, Natalia Stysło, Carlos Riviera, Mateusz Kornacki (the leader), Sven von Raden, Isabel Sandoval, Liane Cunje, Andrew Hevia, Nicholas Tuttle, Collin Levin, Jonathan Cuartas, Rodrigo Cuartas, Kenny Riches.