EXCLUSIVE: Poland is the latest European country to give the green light for film and TV production to resume with safety precautions, according to the Polish Film Institute.
Poland announced today that, as part of its latest phase of easing, it will reopen restaurants and hairdressers starting May 18. We can reveal that the country on the same day also will allow film and TV sets, outdoor cinemas and cinema drive-ins to open after their pandemic-enforced closures.
Productions on hiatus in the country include HBO Europe crime-drama series The Thaw, which is being directed by Xawery Żuławski; Warner Bros Poland/Madants movie Other People, directed by Aleksandra Terpińska; feature Leave No Traces, from director Jan P. Matuszyński and Corpus Christi producer Aurum Film; and previously unannounced Netflix original series Sexify, directed by Piotr Domalewski and Kalina Alabrudzińska and produced by Akson Studio.
All together 182 productions were interrupted: 69 features, 51 series, 34 commercials, 22 documentaries and six additional projects.
International air travel into Poland remains restricted, which poses an ongoing problem for international productions. However, most shoots in the country are local-language. As in most markets, insurance will become a bigger challenge.
Regarding film sets, the Polish Film Institute said that going forward it will be “recommended that all team members work in masks, as long as this does not prevent them from effectively performing their tasks and duties. Exceptions include actors and hairstylists — in this case, it is recommended that they maintain distance from other members of the film crew.”
The organization continues, “It is also recommended to limit the number of people on set depending on the nature of the shooting day and to arrange the crew in such a way as not to create larger clusters, for example by separating zones where one can move around.”
The government is finalizing production safety guidelines.
Meanwhile, drive-in and outdoor cinemas will be able to operate with social distancing. The institute said that further guidelines will be published at kultura.gov.pl.
The country has yet to set a date for the reopening of cinemas. Festivals to cancel their physical editions include New Horizons and Krakow Film Festivals. The country has scored four foreign-language Oscar nominations in the last decade: In Darkness, Ida, Cold War and Corpus Christi.
Poland has recorded 861 deaths from COVID-19 and more than 17,200 cases.