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09.10.2023

’The Peasants’ selected as Poland's entry for the 96th Academy Awards

’The Peasants’ selected as Poland's entry for the 96th Academy Awards

The latest movie from DK Welchman and Hugh Welchman, which world-premiered in the Special Presentations section of Toronto IFF will also compete in the Best Animation category.

The film was a smash hit among the press at TIFF. Screen Daily called it a “truly impressive animated work”, The Daily Beast called it “a triumph” and “The Animated Film You’re Going to Need to See This Year” while The Playlist said it’s “visually stunning” and “an unprecedented feature film”. The film was on Indiewire’s “16 Best Films from Venice, TIFF, and Telluride” list. It played to full houses in Toronto. The film is also set to play at the BFI London FF, Hamptons and Busan. 

DK Welchman and Hugh Welchman were Oscar nominated in 2018 in the Best Animated Feature category for LOVING VINCENT. Hugh Welchman won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film in 2008.

New Europe Film Sales has sold “The Peasants” to over 50 countries, including German-speaking Europe (Plaion), France (The Jokers), Benelux (Paradiso), South Korea (First Run), China (JL Film), Scandinavia (Another World Entertainment) and Spain (Karma). 

The company is in negotiations with buyers in the U.K. and North America, Australia and Japan, where rights remain open. The film's distributor in Poland is Next Film. North American rights are co-repped by Nick Shumaker and Beatriz Martins at Anonymous Content.

‘The Peasants’ is based on a Nobel prize-winning novel by Wladyslaw Reymont and is produced in the painting animation technique known from ‘Loving Vincent’, which was seen in cinemas by 6 million people around the world and grossed more than $42 million at the global box office. 

‘The Peasants’ tells the story of Jagna, a young woman determined to forge her own path within the confines of a late 19th century Polish village - a hotbed of gossip and on-going feuds, held together, rich and poor, by pride in their land, adherence to colourful traditions and a deep-rooted patriarchy. When Jagna finds herself caught between the conflicting desires of the village’s richest farmer, his eldest son and other leading men of the community, her resistance puts her on a tragic collision course with the community around her.

‘The Peasants’ animation is an essence of half a century of European painting from the turn of the XIX and XX centuries, with an emphasis on the Young Poland Movement. At first the movie was shot as a feature film, then a group of over 100 painters started the painting animation, which took over 2 years. The artists were painting the key frames using Cobra oil-paints (Royal Talens) on canvas and the group of animators were creating frames in-between to smooth up the transition from one frame to the other. 

‘The Peasants’ was produced by Breakthru Films and co-produced by Digitalkraft d o.o., Art. Shot vsį, Breakthru Productions Sp. z o.o., Canal + Polska S.A., Narodowe Centrum Kultury, Mazowiecki Instytut Kultury, SKP Ślusarek Kubiak Pieczyk Sp. k., in association with New Europe Film Sales and Carte Blanche. With the support of Polish Film Institute, Film Center Serbia, Lithuanian Film Center. It was co-financed by The Polish National Foundation and financed by funds from the Minister of Culture and National Heritage.

The teaser is available HERE.

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