HBO Europe and Berlin-based Dreamer Joint Venture Filmproduction have boarded “Trust Me,” Joanna Ratajczak’s probing doc feature on a real life couple’s experimentation with an open relationship.
“Trust Me” will be presented at Locarno’s Match Me networking event by Stanislaw Zaborowski, at Warsaw’s Silver Frame, the project’s lead producer. The HBO Europe co-production was put through by Hanka Kastelicová.
Headed by Oliver Stoltz, Dreamer Joint Venture produced Marc Wiese’s 2020 doc feature “We Hold the Line,” about Filipino dictator Rodrigo Duterte’s persecution of journalists, and Markus Imboden’s “On the Edge,” an Arte France-backed relationship drama.
It turns on Alicja and Sebastian, a couple which seems to have it all – a happy relationship, two wonderful children, money, a large number of friends – until Sebastian proposes that they should open up the relationship to other partners.
Underscoring how difficult it is for people to talk about their own needs, even with their own partners, “Trust Me” starts with Alicja and Sebastian as a couple and then charts the huge challenges of their unconventional relationship and their increasingly lonely battle to make it work.
“‘Trust Me‘ takes a close look at relationships and love today through the experience of one couple. It implicitly reflects on what chances more traditional notions have in today’s fast-paced world of consumption and ever-widening choice,” said Ratajczak. It examines the challenges that a long-term and stable relationship faces, when people also value individualism, and personal development,” she adds.
What’s immediately striking about work-in-progress trailer excerpts from the film is the extraordinarily intimacy of access that Ratajczak achieves with Alicja and Sebastian. “I have known both Alicja and Sebastian for several years and they both know and trust me. This project could not otherwise be filmed,” Ratajczak told Variety.
“As a Polish woman who has lived in Germany for many years, I am also aware of Alicja’s and Sebastian’s own individual, cultural backgrounds. I am very sensitive to their concerns and want to be fair and truthful to both of them,” she added.
Shooting began in 2018. The film is half way through production, Zaborowski said.
A Polish TV film and doc shorts director based in Germany, Ratajczak worked previously in radio, winning two major awards for her work at the New York International Radio Festival.
In September, Silver Frame will premiere its latest film, “Escape to the Silver Globe.” A doc feature, it tries to solve one of the biggest mysteries in Polish film history: The production halt on Poland’s first sci-fi super-production, ”On the Silver Globe”, directed by Andrzej Żuławski.
Silver Frame has a second film-related doc feature in development: “Wajda,” from Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz and Liliana Komorowska, about the Polish master’s international career and artistic influence. The film will draw on Wajda’s personal diary entries, unique archive materials, home videos, and never-seen-before fragments of his films, plus the recollections of his widow, Krystyna Zachwatowicz, said Zaborowski.