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Berlinale movie Spoor filmed as Polish co-prod

Spoor in the snowAgnieszka Holland and Kasia Adamik’s feature film Spoor (or Pokot) shot on location largely in the mountainous Klodzko Valley region of south-west Poland.

The movie is screening in competition at this year’s Berlinale as a co-production with multiple European countries.

Spoor (which means ‘animal scent’ in Polish) follows Duszejko, an ageing animal lover living alone in a small community in the remote valley, whose life changes when several local men are found dead, their corpses surrounded by animal tracks.

The story takes place across a year in the valley, including a harsh Polish winter that was one of the biggest challenges.

“The action of the film includes all the seasons of the year,” said producer Janusz Wachala. “We had to divide the shooting period into three parts: spring/summer, autumn and winter. 

“The shooting schedule included 45 shooting days of the first unit and over 30 of the second unit, most of them in the Klodzko Valley. Shooting in the tiny towns and villages, in the forests, in the meadows, sometimes at night, especially in the severe winter weather, was really challenging for the actors and crew members.”

Spoor was in fact funded as a Polish-Czech-German-Swedish-Slovak co-production and so work on different elements of the project was completed in separate European countries. 

Visual effects work was done in the Czech Republic, and both Czech and Slovak specialists took care of the film’s animal handling as the movie’s themes include forest hunting and animal cruelty. Animals like deer, boars, foxes and badgers all appear in the movie.

The film’s soundtrack was recorded in Slovak capital Bratislava and was mixed in Berlin, while Chimney in Sweden took charge of general post-production.

Poland is looking to boost its appeal to international producers by launching its first formal filming incentive sometime this year. 

Images: Robert Paêka