Italian screen icon to appear in new Polish film

Legendary Italian actress Sophia Loren will return to the silver screen in a new film directed by Jerzy Skolimowski, the Warmia and Mazury Film Fund (WMFF) has announced.

Oscar-winner Loren, whose career dates back to the 1950s, is set to appear in “Baltazar” by Jerzy Skolimowski, a contemporary interpretation of the 1966 cult film 'Au Hasard, Balthazar' directed by Robert Bresson.

Bresson's film is considered one of the masterpieces of French cinematography. Set in the French countryside it tells the story of a stray donkey that ends up in the hands of successive owners, including a soulless baker and circus performers.

Skolimowski's film will also focus on a donkey. It, however, will begin in a Polish circus and end in an Italian slaughterhouse. Being passed from owner to owner, the animal will come across both good and bad people. “It is a bitter story, but one which provides a moral code to live by”, noted the WMFF.

Although it is not yet clear what role Loren will have, her presence on screen will assure the production significant publicity. The Italian actress is regarded as a cinema icon, and one of the greatest female film stars of all time.

The premiere of the Polish-Italian co-production, co-financed by the Polish Film Institute and the WMFF, is scheduled for November 2021. It will cost close to PLN 10.5 million (EUR 2.4 million), and 48 shooting days have been planned, 10 of which will be in Warmia and Mazury province, in northeastern Poland.