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07 September 2023
A Polish-Ukrainian documentary in innovative 3D technology entitled MURALS will have its premiere during this year's Marchè du Film - Cannes Next. The documentary experience was supported by the Polish Film Institute as part of the Polish-Ukrainian Film Incentive.
The background of the story of tragic events are scans of murals by the world-renowned artist Banksy, created during Russia's invasion of Ukraine. The project is a non-commercial activity and aims to continue Banksy's thought. The murals are meant to give hope and strength, reminding the people of Ukraine that they are not alone in their struggles.
General Director Radosław Śmigulski of the Polish Film Institute commented on the project:
“The crisis just beyond our eastern border is indescribably tormenting and painful for Ukrainians, but also for all friends who are trying to help them in these difficult times. Huge support is also manifested in the artistic sphere, where the form of conveying important content plays a significant role. The documentary experience MURALS co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, is not only the art of combining the works of a well-known artist - Banksy with an innovative 3D format, but also a real support for Ukraine. I am sure that the work will find a wide reception during this year's edition of CANNES NEXT, thanks to which it will help focus our attention on both the artistic sphere and the social problem of war. Festival viewers are exceptionally sensitive, so I know that gathered at one of the most important film events in the world, we will have the opportunity to think about something deeper and experience important reflections. The program of support for Polish-Ukrainian initiatives by the Polish Film Institute, under which this project was co-financed, aims at such valuable projects and I hope that there will be more and more of them. The time in which we are surrounded by the current events related to the war in Ukraine is also a time to help our neighbours in every sphere of their lives - also cultural, because culture also shapes politics, gives comfort and can change the course of events" - comments Radosław Śmigulski.
MURALS is a joint project of the Polish company ATM Virtual and the Ukrainian company MRIYA PRODUCTION - led by Radosława Bardes, producer and head of ATM Virtual. The documentary is under the patronage of the Ministry of Culture of Ukraine. The project was initiated by Artem Ivanenko - a 3D artist from the town of Irpin. His hometown was one of the first to be hit by a wave of invaders. Despite the fear and danger, Artyom returned to Irpin determined to preserve the memory of the destruction and cruelty through 3D scanning.
The immersive documentary experience made in a highly innovative 3D format which is powered by the Unreal Engine and displayed on large format LED screens will be premiered to the public at this year's Marche du Film Cannes Next. Maciej Żemojcin from Pixel Race, a precursor of the use of virtual production technology in the film industry in Poland, is responsible for the technological side.
Directors – Alex Topaller and Dan Shapiro – winners of the Grammy Award were invited to the MURALS project. With the outbreak of war in Ukraine, they created PAPER PLANES – a project that combines art and illustration, which also gives Ukrainian artists displaced by the war an opportunity to work. As a result, a rare collection was born, reflecting the chronology of the war through art, featuring over 50 artists and 500 unique works. The experimental PAPER PLANES exhibition premiered in Los Angeles in April 2023. The creators also founded UKRAINE.EXPRESS - a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide urgent medical assistance, food, clothing and care on the front line and in areas requiring immediate help. To date, donations have helped over a million dollars. Topaller and Shapiro's experimental and commercial work also includes projects for The Beatles, Alicia Keys, Michael Jackson, Pharrell, Amazon, Google, Boeing, Honda and Intel. Their original solutions were presented at the SXSW fair, Global Expo 2022 in Dubai, Concours d'Elegance in Pebble Beach, at the UN General Assembly 2022 in New York and during the Bloomberg New Economy Forum in Singapore.
Both the visual and sound layer will play a special role in the experience of the MURALS project by the viewers. The sound director is Bartosz Putkiewicz (Bartez), who has the highest distinction in the category of sound post-production - the Golden Reel Award, for creating and recreating the sounds of war from scratch for the documentary "Warsaw Uprising", dir. Jan Komasa. The music for MURALS was written by Igor Gruszyn – a Ukrainian composer and pianist. He creates melodies in the "neo-classic" style. For over 10 years of his work, Gruszyn played over 400 concerts, released five albums, one collection of piano works and one "live" album. His music can be heard in many movies and series. In turn, the producer of the MURALE project - Radosława Bardes - has several international productions to her credit, awarded at class A festivals, e.g. "The Whale Hunter" - dir. Philip Yuriev (Award in Venice for the best debut), "Miracle" - dir. Egle Vertelyte (world premiere in Toronto - TIFF) or "Infnite Storm" by Małgorzata Szumowska, which had its premiere in New York.
ATM Virtual is the first professional virtual production studio dedicated to the production of feature films, documentaries and series in Poland. The company specializes in combining art and innovative technologies.
Cannes Next is scheduled for May 16-26, 2023.
MURALS is planned to premiere on the 18th of May.
/photo: promotional materials, photographer: Bohdan Reva/