Film from 20-year-old producer going for gold in prestigious Hollywood festival

Wróbel inspects a camera. The young film-maker produced and directed the movie himself. Mikołaj Wróbel/ Facebook

A short film by an up-and-coming young film maker has been shortlisted for Hollywood’s 48 International Short Film Festival awards.

Made by 20 year-old Mikołaj Wróbel, the Polish language and English subtitled film entitled ‘Credo’ was picked from entrees from 130 countries and cities to be screened at the 48 International Short Film Festival, which will be held at the Directors Guild of America in Los Angeles. 

Wróbel, who produced and directed the film, said: “At first, I did not believe it, so I waited for the information directly from the organisers. And on January 4, I got official information! 

“I cannot enjoy such big things,” added the film-maker who comes from the southern town of Stąporków. “For me, this is a new reason to act more and more.”

Entirely independent, the filmmaker, who has also produced music videos and commercials in the past, financed the 22-minute movie with his own budget and resources. 

 Shooting commences. Wróbel had to use his own money to produce the film.Mikołaj Wróbel/ Facebook

Though the young director concedes that it makes life easier when there is a production budget to play with, he argues money doesn’t have to be a key indicator to the success of a production.  “When we do not find anyone who would like to support us - we have to act alone,” he explained. “Money is not the most important thing. 

“You just have to want to tell a story in a movie; a limited budget can stimulate creativity even more.”

Though in the early years of his career, Wróbel (who is now taking a gap year) pulled together a professional cast and crew to produce ‘Credo’. 

Using actors from the Stefan Żeromski Theatre and the skills of experienced cinematographer and executive producer, Mateusz Śliwa, the talented youngster took nearly a year to produce the short film, releasing it for pre-screening in September 2018. 

Cinematographer and executive producer, Mateusz Śliwa (right) brought some experience to the production. Mikołaj Wróbel/ Facebook

“Credo is a film that cannot be assigned to one genre,” said Wróbel. It combines elements of drama, grotesque comedy, and a bit of thriller. Each viewer should find something in it for himself.” 

Set in Poland, the short film tells the story of a taxi driver who lives an alternate life to his average-man public image as he explores his dark, perverse passion. The film received great recognition at its screening in Kielce last year. 

While ‘Credo’ could be Wróbel's biggest success to date, it won’t be his first. During high school he produced two other short films that both picked up awards. 

 'You just have to want to tell a story in a movie; a limited budget can stimulate creativity even more,' says Wróbel.Mikołaj Wróbel/ Facebook

His ‘With the spirit of the time’, (a story about cursed soldiers and the memory of them among young people) achieving the Grand Prix at the Moja przestrzeń Festival in Olsztynek, Poland in 2015. His second film, ‘Domina Effect won the award for the best film in the 16-21 category at the British International Amateur Film Festival.

Now, Wróbel and his executive producer, Śliwa will attend the International Short Film Award ceremony at the Directors Guild in Hollywood on February 14 to discover if ‘Credo’ has won an award.  

A festival producer said in an interview that the event “gives you the chance to screen your short, not in a local little theatre in some city of the world, but at the house of the greatest directors of our time.”  

According to Wróbel, he plans to enter ‘Credo’ into many other festivals this year. Most likely, this won’t be the last we hear of it.