“The Plague”, a film essay by Monika Kotecka, the Swiss-Polish co-production “Brotherhood” by Hanka Maciąg, and the Polish-Hungarian project “Swarm” by Ula Sowa were all invited to the MeetMarket industry forum during the 28th edition of Sheffield DocFest.

Monika Kotecka's feature-length documentary – “The Plague” – has qualified for the prestigious MeetMarket co-production forum, which will be held as part of the upcoming 28th edition of Sheffield DocFest, an international documentary film festival. A total of 55 projects from around the world, incl. Poland, the Czech Republic, Denmark, Switzerland, Spain, Japan, Mexico, Kenia, Lebanon, and Martinique, were selected for presentation before prominent representatives of the film industry.

“The Plague” is a documentary essay about fear – an emotion that arises when a virus infects thoughts, distorts, the perception of reality, and disrupts the daily life of everyone it touches. The film is the directorial debut of Monika Kotecka (“Volte”), who has been working on “The Plague” for almost two years, collecting numerous archival materials and witness accounts – the starting point of the film's narrative is the 1963 smallpox epidemic in Wrocław. Beata Bartecka is the film's co-screenwriter while Marta Szymanowska is responsible for production on behalf of Centrala FILM.

So far, the project has received grants in the form of a scriptwriting scholarship from the Polish Film Institute and a scholarship from the Mayor of Wroclaw for people involved in artistic creation and promotion of culture given to Monika Kotecka, and then a grant from the Polish Film Institute under the Film Production Operational Program, Priority: Project Development. In 2020, it was featured in the prestigious IDFAcademy program as part of the International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam and participated in the Central European Documentary Market during the 60th Krakow Film Festival.

The second film invited to the Meet Market is the Swiss-Polish co-production “Brotherhood” directed by Hanka Maciąg. On Poland's part, it is produced by Maria Wachowiak and Anna Waligórska from No Prob Production House. The project was awarded at Dok Lab Poland during the 59th Krakow Film Festival. It also received an honourable mention at DOK Leipzig and took part in the FIPADOC industry event.

The film's description reads: torn between the realms of hatred and love, young traditionalist Antek tries to live in harmony with his ideals. Although he gives everything he has to the eponymous “Brotherhood”, life confronts his views.

Among the 22 selected teams of creators who are going to present their projects to representatives of the film industry as part of the Arts Talent Market is the Polish-Hungarian “Swarm” directed by Ula Sowa and produced by Viktoria Szabo.

It's an animated VR journey through a city swarmed by a group of protesting women together with a colony of bees.

This year's Sheffield DocFest will be held in a hybrid form on 4-13 June.

You can read more about the event itself here.