Memento International and Anonymous Content have boarded “Woman Of,” a bold Venice competition entry written and directed by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert. The film is a pioneering trans drama set in against the landscape of the Polish transformation from communism to capitalism.
“Woman Of” stars Małgorzata Hajewska-Krzysztofik as Aniela Wesoły, who lived more than half of her adult life in a provincial Polish town as a man. “Woman Of…” spans 45 years of the life of Aniela as she aspires to find personal liberty as a trans woman and faces hardships in marriage and parenthood, strained family relations and complicated attitudes in her environment.
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“‘Woman Of’ is the result of many years of work, a film that tells a story of a mature trans woman living in Poland, who does not fit the social norms of a traditional family,” said Szumowska and Englert, who have been working on movies together for over 20 years.
“This is the first Polish film to feature so many trans and non-binary people cast in trans and cis roles alike, we are so grateful for their participation,” the pair continued.
Szumowska and Englert said it was important for them to “give emerging transgender actors and performers space not just to represent themselves but also to develop various characters.”
North American sales will be handled by Anonymous Content and Memento International. The latter will also be handling international rights to the film which marks the fifth collaboration with the filmmakers following “Mug” and “Body,” both of which won best director at the Berlinale, “Elles” which played at Toronto and the Berlinale” and “In the Name Of,” winner of the Teddy Award at the Berlinale.
The movie was produced by Nomad, a collaboration of Madants and Nowhere, and Plio Ltd. It is co-produced by Film i Väst in Sweden and Common Ground Pictures, and co-financed by Polish Film Institute.
Producers are Klaudia Śmieja-Rostworowska, Katarzyna Jordan-Kulczyk, Gregory Jankilevitsch, Bogna Szewczyk- Skupień, Szumowska and Englert.
Szumowska and Englert made their feature debut with “Happy Man” in 2000 and their sophomore outing with “Stranger” which was nominated for the European Discovery award at European Film Awards.
Memento International said “Malgorzata and Michal have been part of the Memento International family for more than 10 years and we’re so happy to reunite with them once again.”
The banner described the film as “a very touching and emotional journey” which captures a “complex topic very delicately” and tells a “love story about identity and family.”
“Woman Of…” joins Memento International’s 2023 lineup which also features Toronto Platform competition entry “Sisterhood” by Nora El Hourch, Sarajevo Competition title “Europa” by Sudabeh Mortezai, Cannes winners “Omen” by Baloji and “Lost Country” by Vladimir Perisic, as well as Cannes crowd-pleaser “Bonnard, Pierre and Marthe” by Martin Provost.
Here’s an exclusive teaser:
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