Bogna Kowalczyk’s Boylesque tells of 80-year old drag queen Lula who, after the suicide of his best friend, picks himself up, dusts himself down and goes in search of new love.
The suicide of his best friend Maciek has left Lula in an acute state of mourning. But the octogenarian is both a fighter and a realist, and knows that remaining active and vital are the only ways to save him from growing bitter and stagnant. He is a man whose youthful spirit contrasts with his old body. He is also determined to get to know himself again and to find his place in the world, but in so doing must face the way he is perceived both by himself and by others. And as Lula slowly reveals different aspects of himself, he embarks on a journey that brings the sweet sorrow of romance and well as unbridled joy. He also discovers that being a dreamer is both a blessing and a curse.
“What I and main producer Tomasz Morawski like about this film is that it shows a person, not just an old person, not just an LBTGQ person, but a person who is facing many obstacles, but always gets back on his feet again,” comments executive producer Katarzyna Kuczyńska, of Haka Films.
“What I love is that he makes me feel calm and peaceful when I watch him because he is surrounded by death – the death of a friend and the vision of his own upcoming probable death,” she continues. “But at the same time he is saying ‘ok, so today I’m going dancing because life goes on and I have decided to live’. And he decides to find love again. This is what the documentary is, the story of a guy who wants to live so badly that he gets up every time that life kicks him – and fights back.”
Kuczyńska is an avowed fan of director Bogna Kowalczyk. “We absolutely trust her as an auteur, as an artist, because she has an unbelievable imagination. Nothing she does is typical and boring. She has a head full of ideas and they are always unusual.”
She adds: “This is the first time I am working with a director who I understand so well, who trusts me. At the same time I am never frustrated by her, because everything she asks for is reasonable, and she is right when she is asking for it, and she is not at all egoistic.”
Even though the production team are still awaiting core finance from the Polish Film Institute, they have a minority co-producer on board in the shape of Czech outfit Bionaut who, Kuczyńska reports, stands a “good chance of success” in securing minority funding within the Czech Republic. Haka Films is also in the process of signing a co-production contract for development with HBO Europe, she adds.
Despite ongoing financial negotiations, principal photography on Boylesque is complete, and the company is looking to deliver the film before the end of 2020. “We are in this very weird moment where finance-wise we are in development with the film but we will have a rough cut ready by the end of the month, so we are hanging between development, production and editing, and really hope to get it all finished by the end of the year,” Kuczyńska concludes.