Netflix launches Łódź Film School programme

Netflix_Lodz Film School
US streaming giant Netflix is tapping into the best young movie talent in Poland by partnering with Łódź Film School on a programme aimed at “investing in the future of the Polish film and television industry.”

Netflix partners with the Łódź Film School to support young talent

Netflix has partnered with the Łódź Film School to introduce the “Grow Creative” programme in Poland. Students will take part in a series of workshops prepared by experts from the film industry.

The joint initiative was inaugurated by a two-day workshop, during which film school students gained knowledge about the art of storytelling, the principles of film production, financing and post-production. Experts also talked about the process of acquiring movie and series titles by Netflix.

“This is not a one-off initiative, but the beginning of our long-term investment in relations with the Film School in Łódź and, therefore, in the future of the Polish film and television industry,” said Netflix’s Christopher Mack, director of the programme.

The world-renowned film school, officially called The Leon Schiller National Film School, was founded in March 1948 and alumni include such silver screen luminaries as film directors Roman Polański, Andrzej Wajda and Andrzej Munk as well as BAFTA-winning English director Emily Young and the Swedish-Dutch cinematographer Hoyte van Hoytema.

President approves budget act for 2022

Polish president Andrzej Duda on Tuesday signed the budget act for 2022. The budget revenue was set at PLN 491.9 billion, expenses at PLN 521.8 billion, with the deficit expected to be not more than PLN 29.9 billion. The Ministry of Finance forecasts that Poland’s GDP will increase by 4.6% this year, and the average annual inflation will be at 3.3%. The average monthly gross salary in 2022 is expected to amount PLN 5,922, and private consumption to increase by 9.2%.

PKN Orlen to invest PLN 7.4 bn in hydrogen strategy

Poland’s biggest oil refiner and petrol retailer PKN Orlen plans to launch key investment projects under its hydrogen strategy before 2025, with financing to come from external funds, including EU funds – said Orlen President Daniel Obajtek in a company press release.

“The ORLEN Group Hydrogen Strategy will be implemented in four key areas: mobility, refining and petrochemicals, research and development, and industry and energy,” continued the release. “As a result, ten hydrogen hubs will be developed by the end of the decade, with motorists in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia provided with access to a network of over 100 hydrogen refuelling stations. The projects will support the ORLEN Group’s transformation into a carbon-neutral multi-utility group.”

The Group plans to introduce 540 MW of new low and zero-emission hydrogen capacity, including the use of renewable water electrolysis technology and municipal waste processing. By 2030, it aims to increase the capacity to 1 GW (gigawatt, equivalent to 1 billion watts). The company plans to allocate approximately PLN 7.4 billion to the implementation of the hydrogen strategy by 2030, Obajtek added.

Poland & Czech close to agreement over Turów mine

Negotiators from both countries have reached an agreement over the Turów mine, Polish Press Agency (PAP) reported, citing a source close to the matter. The government spokesperson Piotr Müller, however, said that it is too early to claim agreement yet.

“Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki went to Prague for further talks on the Turów mine. Talks in this regard between the prime ministers of both countries will continue in Prague,” said Müller.

Turów on the border with the Czech Republic is owned by Poland’s largest power company, state-controlled PGE. The European Union’s top court ordered Poland to halt operations at the mine after Prague complained of environmental damage. The Polish government has so far refused to shut down the mine, saying it boosts the economy and helps the country meet its energy needs.

Gas prices to stay high

Gas prices are expected to remain high until the end of March / beginning of April, Polish daily business newspaper Rzeczpospolita said, citing Andrzej Sikora, President of the Institute of Energy Studies. He points out that other energy resources are also expensive, gas stocks are low in Europe, and the weather may get colder. “I do not expect any significant reductions in gas prices until the second half of this year. Whether this will happen depends, in particular, on the level of 2023 stocks and changes in EU policy,” Sikora said.

WSE main market turnover decreases in January

The total value of trading in shares on the main market of the Warsaw Stock Exchange in January amounted to PLN 27.9 billion, showing a 13.6% decline compared to a year ago. The NewConnect market, Warsaw’s alternative stock exchange allowing smaller companies to float shares, saw a decrease in the total value of trading in shares by 65.4% year-on-year to PLN 382.3 million.

Companies, which debuted on the NewConnect market in January, were Road Studio (offer value: PLN 2 million), Eco5tech (offer value: PLN 1.9 million), Hydra Games (offer value: PLN 1.1 million) and One Solution.

Unemployment in Poland second lowest in EU

Seasonally adjusted unemployment rate in Poland came to 2.9% in December against 3.0 % in November, according to Eurostat, falling below 3% for the first time since March 2020. Poland moved up to the second position in the European Union among the countries with the lowest unemployment rate. Only Czech showed a lower unemployment rate of 2.1%.

“After the period of turmoil caused by the coronavirus pandemic and the freezing of the economy, the situation on the labor market has calmed down, which is confirmed by both the Central Statistical Office (GUS) data and the latest Eurostat data,” said Minister for Family, Labour and Social Policy Marlena Maląg. Unemployment is 0.5 percentage points lower than a year ago, she added.

Export growth expected to decline slightly in Q1, remaining high longer term

Businesses expect exports to slightly decrease in the first quarter but to remain at a relatively high level in the longer term, the National Bank of Poland (NBP) said. The percentage of enterprises flagging the exchange rate as a barrier to development increased by 1.8 percentage points q-on-q.

“Demand forecasts in general are better among exporters than enterprises focused solely on domestic sales, so we can expect foreign demand to play a key role in shaping total demand in the near future,” NBP said.

Polish economy grew by 5.7% in 2021 

Poland’s economy grew last year, driven by domestic demand – data from Poland’s central statistical office showed. Statistics Poland (GUS) reported that its initial estimate of Poland’s GDP growth for 2021 was 5.7% compared to a 2.5% decrease in 2020. Poland’s domestic demand increased last year by 8.2% year-on-year, while in 2020 it dropped by 3.4%.

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Written by: Richard Stephens