It could easily have been just a talk about cities, one in a series of discussions, if it weren’t for two enthusiastic producers, Urszula Sobczak and Wojtek Augustyniak, who decided to create a film project from it and inspire action.
The trigger was a personal experience. Urszula was living at the time when the first discussions started in a small town in the south of Germany. She was living there for almost 2 years and was missing the city a lot. „I didn’t have any clue why. What was I missing about the city? Soon I realized it was the feeling of the city,“ says Urszula. So she shared this idea with the current co-producer of the project Wojtek Augustyniak, who has a great experience as video clip producer. The first step towards the Tender Metropolis was made.
Talks continued. The main topic was the citizens’ experience. „This was IT. How to catch the imagination, memory or even physical sensation, when you walk down the street of the city? A short film seemed as an excellent form for such idea. It gives you a lot of opportunities to discover diverse city’s conventions. By choosing this form we somehow mixed our love for the city and the love of video clips,“ explains Urszula. Tender Metropolis is a film project, inspired by Shakespearean motives, about two capital cities: Berlin and Warsaw. Warsaw and Berlin are capital cities in the heart of Europe, with a memory of political transformation and the World War II. Today, they are both modern metropolises.
Shakespeare lived in a capital. As an actor, director, theater shareholder, playwright as well as a resident of London, he created a world of people, places, and plots that are often a theatrical projection of his personal world of people, places and, perhaps, plots. It is also significant that Shakespeare, a poet of a city, used one of the principal forms of mass media of the late 16th century – live drama, which was addressed to the inhabitants of London. Tender Metropolis is a film journey through the experiences and actions of residents of the city, in which Shakespearean motives are used as mirrors, reflecting tension, rhythm or poetic elements into a film about modern Warsaw and Berlin.
The official closing of “Tender Metropolis Warsaw-Berlin” project is happening today with the premiere screening of two short films, “The Stone Soup” and “October” (A.K.A. “The Odyssey”) in Warsaw. The films were shot by 20 Polish and German upcoming filmmakers based on the screenplays selected in a competition: “Stone Soup” written by Martin Olveros Heinze and “The Odyssey” by Mike Yousaf. During the project, the participants were working on the scripts, transforming them in accordance with their visions and ideas, and taking into account the feasibility of production. “The Stone Soup” was shot and supervised by Agnieszka Gomułka in Warsaw, while shooting of “October” took place in Ernst Thälmann park in Berlin under the direction of Roman Przylipiak.
When asked what would be her strongest impressions from the project so far, Urszula replies: We have developed this project during our discussions and meetings with filmmakers and artists. We were always looking for new connections and were open to sharing our idea. Yes, “sharing” is the key word that describes this project because one part of the Tender Metropolis comes from the German author Rolf Kemnitzer and his organization Interkulturelles Theaterzentrum Berlin e.V., another part from the filmmakers and project mentors Roman Przypilak and Agnieszka Gomułka, and the next part belongs to Boris Laaser, Sylvia Schwarz, Konrad Aksinowicz etc. Other partners include British Council, Służewski Dom Kultury, High Resolution Equipment, Kinoteka, Storylab Pro. There are so many great people who introduced their ideas into the Tender Metropolis and this is what keeps the project alive.”
The project was carried out with the support of Warsaw authorities, as a part of the “25th anniversary of Warsaw and Berlin partnership” program. Next year the Tender Metropolis project will be focused on Budapest.
Tender Metropolis Warsaw – Berlin Official Premiere
When: December 17, 19:45
Where: Kinoteka, hall #2, Pałac Kultury i Nauki, Warsaw
© photo credit Tender Metropolis