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The Peasants is Poland's entry into the Oscar race

Poland has selected to submit animated feature drama The Peasants for Best International Feature Film at the 96th Academy Awards. 

Poland's Oscar entry choice was made this Monday by a selection committee overseen by the Polish Film Institute. 

The Peasants is the latest work from the creative duo DK Welchman (previously known as Dorota Kobiela) and Hugh Welchman, who also stand behind the hand-painted, groundbreaking biopic Loving Vincent, which was nominated for an Oscar in 2018

The selection committee consisted of: 

Ewa Puszczyńska – Head of Committee – Polish producer, whose accomplishments include: Ida (Oscar winner), Cold War (three time Oscar nominee), Quo vadis, Aida? (Oscar nominated) and The Zone of Interest, which is a UK entry into this year’s Oscar race

Radosław Śmigulski – Director of Polish Film Institute

Aneta Hickinbotham – Polish producer whose accomplishments include: Corpus Christi (Oscar Nominated film)

Ewa Piaskowska ­­– screenwriter and producer whose accomplishments include Oscar nominated EO

Allan Starski  – set designer, member of Polish Film Academy, European Film Academy (EFA) and the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS). Oscar winned for Schindler’s List by Steven Spielberg.

Maciej Ślesicki – director and screenwriter, co-founder and university lectuter at Warsaw Film School. Ślesicki was nominated twice for the Academy Award – for Our Curse and The Dress.

Ewa Puszczyńska, the Head of Committee has said that the deliberations were tough and heated and the decision was made on the basis of four votes in favour and two against. In her explications, she said that the authors of The Peasants have presented another stellar impressive animated feature, that not only continues the Loving Vincent success, but actually goes further. In the committee’s opinion The Peasants shows the new dynamic in the world of animation, where the camera is not only an observer, but an active participant.

“The film deals with important and contemporary subjects that are important socially: oppression against women, their dependence or even “belonging” to men, sexual violence and mobbing. It’s a story that will be understood around the world, across borders and political divide”.

The Peasants is co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. It had its world premiere earlier this month during the Special Presentation section at Toronto International Film Festival, where it gained a lot of positive media attention. Since then it has played at the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia, where it was awarded Special Jury Prize and Audience Award. It is headed to the London Film Festival, where its sessions occuring on October 11th and 12th have already sold out. The Peasants will also play at Hamptons and Busan International Film Festival. 

The Peasants is a captivating adaptation of the Nobel winning book by Władysław Reymont. The story centers around forbidden love, passion and everyday struggles of titular peasants at a late 19th century Polish village.

Directors DK Welchman (née Dorota Kobiela) and Hugh Welchman – the creators of Oscar-nominated Loving Vincent once again used a team of international animators and painters, who worked by hand to paint over film frames and animate the story in a new and innovative way. The movie was first filmed as a live-action feature-length film with actual actors, including: Mirosław Baka, Ewa Kasprzyk, Sonia Bohosiewicz, Małgorzata Kożuchowska, Dorota Stalińska, Andrzej Konopka, Maciej Musiał and Julia Wieniawa. In the main role of Jagna we’ll see Kamila Urzędowska.

After the initial photography, a group of 100 painters begun working on every frame of the movie. This process lasted for about two years. The script came from the hands of the two directors: DK Welcham and Hugh Welchman. Radosław Ładczuk, Kamil Polak and Szymon Kuriata share the duties of directors of photography.

Sean Bobbitt and Hugh Welchman of BreakThru Films serve as producers for the film. Next Film is the Polish distributor of the film.  Wide Polish premiere is set for the 13th of October. New Europe Film Sales serve as the sales agent for the film and have already sold the rights to over 50 countries.