Polish Daniel Stopa conducts a very personal investigation into the business of love and matrimony in his latest documentary project, currently in post-production and produced by Staroń Film.
Two weddings feature in Daniel Stopa’s new documentary project, that of his brother, which will be lavish and expensive, and that of his parents, smaller, considerably less grandiose and captured on camera over three decades before. (The project won the ColorOffOn Award, which offers post-production services worth of 25,000 PLN, approx €5.6k)
In his pitch to Krakow Industry, Stopa explained the origins of his story. “One year ago my dad gave me a reel of 8mm footage and asked me, ‘Daniel you studied something related to film, can you make something with this?”
So Stopa borrowed a projector and presented what turned out to be a world premier screening (albeit to a small audience of him, his mother and father) of his parents’ wedding.
“We watched this material for the first time in life, but from totally different points of view. My parents only look at the people and decide who is who in the family. But for me, personally I saw my parents in a way I have never seen them in my life, young, in love, [they] don’t care about the future, [they] think only of this magical moment.”
Around this time, the director’s parents were preparing for his brother’s wedding, and Stopa experienced a light bulb moment. Two weddings. Two different worlds. Two different times, past and night now. So he started shooting.
“I discovered fantastic characters in my parents,” he says of the subsequent footage he shot. “I saw humour, conflict and strong motivations from my parents’ heart. Of course the dramatic line in my film will be the preparation time for the wedding [of his brother], but for me this ceremony was only an excuse to look deeper. To look at the life of Polish Catholic families, to [talk] about the role of women and the role of men in marriage, and the role of religion and tradition in Polish homes, to talk about emptiness because after the wedding [of my brother] my parents were alone without children.”
The final cut of the 80-minute project is expected this autumn and the production team, headed up by Małgorzata Staroń, are awaiting the results of funding applications to the Polish Film Institute, the Silesian Film Fund and the Krakow Film Fund. At Krakow Film Festival Docs to Go! she was looking to drive sales, broadcaster and festival interest. Of director Stopa, the producer says, “I always try to collaborate with talented and sensitive directors, and I am convinced that Daniel is such a director.”
Stopa concludes of his project: “The process of making this film and time with my parents gave me a new understanding about love… Love is a lifetime of living together, working and staying together. Love s not only red roses. Love has many colours.”