Hanway Films will represent worldwide sales at next month’s EFM on Winter Of The Crow, a Cold War thriller starring Oscar-nominated actress Lesley Manville. The film is currently shooting in Warsaw.
Based on a short story by Nobel Prize and International Booker-winning Polish author Olga Tokarczuk, the feature is set in what is described as “the surreal and cinematic world of 1981 Warsaw.” The full synopsis reads: Warsaw, Poland – December 13th, 1981 – martial law is imposed and overnight shuts down the country just as British psychiatry professor Dr. Joan Andrews (Manville) arrives in Warsaw as a guest lecturer at the University. Taxis have been replaced by tanks; citizens are treated like criminals. But as chaos engulfs the city, armed with her camera she witnesses a brutal murder by the secret police.
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In mortal danger and trapped as Poland is closed down, Joan becomes a hunted fugitive running for her life. Using her intellect and newly formed connection with a young student, Joan navigates the labyrinthine streets of Warsaw desperately battling against the clock to make the last plane out. British Ambassador (Burke) could be her ally, but can he trust those who are working with him? Compelled by a conscience she did not know she had, Joan finds the courage and determination to try and outsmart a totalitarian regime and pursue a path to justice for her new Polish friends. But in the face of such oppression, will she make the last flight home and manage to get her incriminating photos out into the world?
The pic is directed by Kasia Adamik, winner of the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival in 2017 for Spoor. Adamik’s other key credits include Bark! (2002). Manville stars in the feature alongside Tom Burke (True Things), Zofia Wichłacz, and Andrzej Konopka (The Lure). The film is produced by Olga Chajdas, Stanislaw Dziedzic, Katarzyna Ozga, Nicolas Steil, and Sam Taylor for Wild Mouse Production, Film Produkcja, Iris Productions, and Film and Music Entertainment. Cummins is a co-producer. Agnieszka Holland will come on board as Executive Producer alongside R. Paul Miller, James DeMasi, Jonny Boston, Archil Gelovani (UK), and Ursula Romero Gerberding for ISB. Tomasz Naumiuk (Green Border) is on board as Director of Photography.
“I vividly remember my first encounter with the celebrated short novel Professor Andrews goes to Warsaw. This story felt intensely personal,” Adamik said.
“As a child, I lived in a satellite city of Warsaw. After emigrating to the West, I would dream of the concrete labyrinth of grey high rises, a weird no man’s land of never-ending, muddy construction sites, reminiscent of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil. Now Professor Andrews has found herself in my labyrinth, a dreamlike universe where rules are unknown and absurdity reigns, on the border of the real and phantasmagorical world.”
Gabrielle Stewart, CEO of HanWay added: “As a Cold War spy thriller, Winter of the Crow feels truly original in that the lead protagonist is an everyday woman who is challenged to step up and make a difference in a unique situation. Lesley Manville will be simply brilliant and we can’t wait to reveal footage of this incredible film.”
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