Polish Director Jan Komasa Gives Sneak Peek of WWII Film 'Warsaw 44'

Jan Komasa P

The filmmaker's Akson Studio-produced project will focus on the bravery of young Poles who fought Nazi occupation in 1944.

WROCLAW, Poland -- Award-winning Polish director Jan Komasa is prepping an $8 million film about the bravery and sacrifice of those who fought the Nazis during the Warsaw uprising of 1944.

Komasa, whose debut feature two years ago, Suicide Room, won a raft of international awards, says his film will reflect modern issues and concerns, concentrating on the relationships between the mostly young men and women involved in the 63-day uprising.

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A story of tragedy and heroism, sacrifice and terror, the film’s first trailer -- shown to an industry audience Thursday at a pitching session of Polish films at Wroclaw’s T-Mobile New Horizons Film Festival -- reflects the human side of a battle that led to the total destruction of Warsaw.

Expecting help to arrive from the Red Army that had reached the eastern outskirts of Warsaw, insurgents fought a doomed battle against German forces as Stalin’s forces failed to move forward.

After the uprising was crushed, Hitler ordered the total destruction of Warsaw by specialist demolition squads.

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The film -- due to premiere in front of 15,000 people at Warsaw’s national stadium in August next year on the 70th anniversary of the uprising’s outbreak -- is produced by Akson Studio, which said Thursday that it was looking to close the last $1.5 million of financing for the film.

The project was pitched the same day that it was announced that veteran Polish director Andrzej Wajda’s long-awaited biopic of famous anti-Communist solidarity movement leader Lech Walesa will get its world premiere at the Venice Film Festival.

Walesa also is produced by Akson Studio.

Wajda, 87, began his long career with films set during the war; his 1957 film Kanal is about the uprising and won a special jury prize in Cannes that year.