Poland has given the green light to resume film and TV production with safety measures, according to communications from the Polish Film Institute, making it the latest European country to attempt a return to normalcy during the COVID-19 crisis.

As part of its most recent phase of easing, it will reopen restaurants and hairdressers as of 18th May. Deadline reports that on the same day, Poland will also allow film and TV sets, outdoor cinemas, and drive-in cinemas to open their premises once more, after a lengthy lockdown.

Productions that have been in a hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic include ‘The Thaw’, HBO Europe’s crime-drama series directed by Xawery Żuławski; ‘Other People’, a Warner Bros. Poland/Madants feature length film directed by Aleksandra Terpińska; ‘Leave No Traces’, a movie from director Jan P. Matuszyński and producer Aurum Film (the latter better known for ‘Corpus Cristi’); and ‘Sexify’, a previously unannounced Netflix original series directed by Piotr Domalewski and Kalina Alabrudzińska.


A total of 182 productions were interrupted by the virus—of these, 69 are feature films, 51 are TV and streaming series, 34 are commercials, 22 are documentaries, along with six additional projects.

International air travel into Poland is still restricted, which will pose an issue for international productions, though most local shoots are Polish-language and likely to cause few logistical problems. Insurance, like with most other industries in these difficult times, will be quite the challenge.

With regards to film sets, the Polish Film Institute stated that it will be ‘recommended that all team members work in masks, as long as this does not prevent them from effectively performing their tasks and duties. Exceptions include actors and hairstylists — in this case, it is recommended that they maintain distance from other members of the film crew.’

‘It is also recommended to limit the number of people on set depending on the nature of the shooting day and to arrange the crew in such a way as not to create larger clusters, for example by separating zones where one can move around’, the organization added. The Polish government is currently in the process of finalizing production safety guidelines.

In the meantime, drive-in and outdoor cinemas will be allowed to operate with social distancing measures in place. The institute mentioned that further guidelines will be published online. There is no date set yet for the reopening of cinemas otherwise. New Horizons and Krakow Film Festivals are but two of the festivals who have had to cancel their physical editions. Poland has earned four foreign-language Academy Award nominations over the past ten years for ‘In Darkness’ (2011), ‘Ida’ (2013), ‘Cold War’ (2018), and ‘Corpus Christi’ (2019).