Up-and-coming filmmakers join top directors to create series of short movies reflecting life under lockdown for HBO

The anthology of 14 short films being produced by HBO Europe explores life under lockdown. HBO Polska

An anthology of 14 short films by Polish authors exploring life under lockdown are being produced by HBO Europe.

Entitled ‘At Home’ the production sees 16 filmmakers, with both acclaimed directors and upcoming talents among them, complete a simple task of making a five to ten minute-long movie about isolation while complying with the pandemic restrictions.

The 14 shorts will be available on HBO GO streaming platform in Europe in a few weeks.HBO Polska

The anthology focuses on the unexpected times of isolation and restrictions. While the 16 artists (two pieces are collaborations) have complete freedom regarding the form, their stories must take places here and now, the filmmakers have to shoot the footage by themselves and have just four weeks to complete their works.

Izabela Łopuch, head of original production at HBO Poland said: “While humanity is under lockdown, art transcends borders and knows no limitations.”Iza Łopuch/Facebook

The anthology promises to be a mix of styles and techniques. Among the chosen filmmakers are veteran directors such as Jerzy Skolimowski (‘Essential Killing’, ‘Four Nights with Anna’), Małgorzata Szumowska (‘Body’), the director of the Polish National Opera Mariusz Treliński, documentalist Paweł Łoziński, as well as rising stars Jacek Borcuch (‘Dolce Fine Giornata’) Anna Zamecka ('Communion’) and animators Tomek Popakul and Renata Gąsiorowska.

Izabela Łopuch, head of original production at HBO Poland said: “While humanity is under lockdown, art transcends borders and knows no limitations. ‘At Home’ is a project created as a product of artistic freedom, a creative chronicle of restricted individual liberties. I hope that it will be a stimulating and moving story about human struggles in a state of transition — the shift from a world which had a structure we were familiar with, to the need to redefine it anew."

The producers underlined the importance of films in connecting people locked in their homes.

The ‘At Home’ series is a project created as a product of artistic freedom, a creative chronicle of restricted individual liberties.HBO Polska

Krzysztof Skonieczny, one of the artists taking part in the project, who also directed eight episodes in another HBO production - the series ‘Blinded by the lights’, said: "The situation we're in at the moment reminds me of being in the desert.

“It's a time for me to spend with myself - filtering my memory, browsing through home video cassettes, recording auto-seismic vibrations, staring at planes, and fortune-telling from condensation streaks.

“It’s a state of suspension in anticipation of desert storm’s cold or warm summer rain. The desert creates mirages and deconstructs illusions. Whenever I travel to its harsh landscapes, it is a transgressive and enriching experience. Today, the desert is pouring into our homes, and reality is getting polydipsia." 

Blinded by the Lights director Krzysztof Skonieczny said: “The situation we're in at the moment reminds me of being in the desert.”Archiwum Leszczyński/PAP

The 14 shorts will be available on HBO GO streaming platform in Europe in a few weeks.

Previously, a similar project titled ‘En Casa’ was done in Spain.

The filmmakers have to shoot the footage by themselves and have just four weeks to complete their works.HBO Polska

The full list of participating filmmakers comprises of: Jacek Borcuch, Andrzej Dragan, Krzysztof Garbaczewski, Renata Gąsiorowska, Magnus Von Horn, Paweł Łoziński, Jan P. Matuszyński, Tomek Popakul, Jerzy Skolimowski, Krzysztof Skonieczny, Małgorzata Szumowska/Michał Englert, Mariusz Treliński, Anna Zamecka/Sung Rae Cho and Xawery Żuławski.