The film tells the story of the most successful squadron of the Battle of Britain - the Polish 303 Kosciuszko Squadron - through the eyes of two veteran pilots of the Squadron: Franciszek Kornicki and Stanislaw Socha, as well as through the children of three spectacular aces of 303 Squadron:
- John Kent, the Canadian Flight commander
- Witold Urbanowicz, the legendary Polish commander of 303
- Miroslaw Feric, also a chronicler of the squadron.
It is a story of personal courage against great odds when the fate of WW2 was at stake.
It shows heroic men and their perseverance in living up to the Kosciuszko motto of fighting "for our freedom and yours". I believe that this story of men of the greatest generation conveys a universal message which viewers can identify with.
The film also explores an American connection, as the Kosciuszko Squadron was established in 1919 in Poland by American volunteer pilots, including Merian Cooper, and it's insignia was designed by another American pilot, Elliott Chess.
I was always fascinated by the struggle of Polish pilots in the Battle of Britain in 1940, first in Communist Poland, as it was a taboo subject, and later in the US, where it is a completely unknown story. For many years, I wondered how to make a film about No. 303 Squadron.
I wanted it to be a universal film aimed above all at English-speaking viewers, made in such a way as to share the glorious story of Polish aviation with them. At the same time, it was important to me that the film would be about authentic people, full of emotion; moving and visually attractive, without propaganda, hagiography or tedious lecturing.
But only about two years ago did circumstances conspire to convince me that the time had come to make this film. I found out then, that plans were afoot at the 23rd Air Base in Mińsk Mazowiecki to paint portraits of selected No. 303 Squadron pilots on the tailfins of their operating MiG 29s. These included portraits of two of my main characters: Witold Urbanowicz and Mirosław Ferić. At the same time, owing to participation in the anniversary celebrations at RAF Northolt, the sons of those two pilots and the daughter of the Canadian Flight Commander of the squadron, John Kent (know as Kentowski), met and became friends.
I am convinced I found the way to tell the story through these three children whose fathers were among some of the major characters of 303 Squadron and through the eyes of veterans who knew them. I have gained exclusive access to their diaries and correspondences, which I use in my film. I began to work on the film by filming comprehensive interviews with the two veterans (both in their nineties) with the aim to finish the film this year, for the 75th anniversary of the Battle of Britain.
Upon completing the film this fall, we're aiming for an educational distribution and to screen the film on PBS, as well as to enter the film festival circuit to bring the story to as wide an audience as possible.
I've been working on this project for the last two years and now it is in the post-production phase. It's an important story with universal appeal, and I would love you to be a part of bringing this story to life by donating to the project.
In order to tell this story up to the standard it deserves, I'm looking for $30,000 to:
- License the rare archive footage and photographs
- complete the music score
- finish the animation of the artwork specifically created for the film
- design the sound effects for the fight scenes and the rest of the film
- do the sound mixing
- do the color correction
- Master the Blu-Ray disc
- Marketing and PR
Thank you very much for your time.
Philip Feric, one of the characters of my film, just achieved a lifelong dream of flying a Spitfire.
Tomasz Magierski (Director) has directed a number of documentary films, most recently "Blinky & Me", an award-winning documentary about Australian animator Yoram Gross. In 2014, it was selected by the United Nations to be screened at the United Nations Headquarters, as well as 31 other countries during Holocaust Remembrance Week. It was also shown on WTTW/PBS. His other films include "Pianists: Defining Chopin," a film following four American pianists through each stage of the grueling thirty- day-long International Chopin Piano Competition, "My Father The Luo," about a young woman who, longing to find out more about her "African side" travels to her late father's homeland and discovers parallels between her own life and that of President Barack Obama's, and "The Magic Brothers," a film on life under Communism, seen through the eyes of four brothers born in Poland in 1954.
Tomasz Magierski was educated at the Film Academy of Lodz, Poland, majoring in cinematography. You can see more of his work at tomaszmagierski.com
Guy Gross (Composer) is one of Australia's leading film and television composers and recipient of the APRA/AGSC International Achievement Award. From his British Academy Award (BAFTA) nominated score to the international hit "The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert" to the US SCI-FI series "Farscape", his film scores cover a huge variety of styles. Testament to this diversity, Guy has received numerous peer awards including Best Music for a Documentary, Children's Series, Short film, Animation, Promotional Video, Advertisement, TV Theme and twice for Best Music for a TV Series. He also composed music for the award-winning documentary "Blinky & Me". Check out his website for more.
Dariusz Rygiel (Illustrator) is an illustrator and painter. He created the artwork for sequences to be animated in the film. He consulted with historians and paid close attention to historical details, such as markings on the planes, to portray the fights as accurately as possible. He has a masters degree in painting from the Institute of Fine Arts at the University of Rzeszów. He worked on the comic book for Eric Chahi’s video game "Another World". In 2014, his comic book "28:1 - Luftwaffe kontra Januszewicz na niebie Zielonki” was published. He collaborates with the American publisher Affinity Press, for whom he made the drawings for “The 5”. You can see more of his work here.
Here are some of the rewards you get when you help fund the film. Look on the right for the full list.
One of the Thank You postcards
A T-Shirt of your size with the films logo
CD with 30 original pieces of music from the film. Composed by Guy Gross
Black and white illustration from the film signed by the illustrator, Dariusz Rygiel
Color illustrations from the film signed by the illustrator, Dariusz Rygiel
Thank you for your help.
Risks and challenges
Our project is in post-production, so there are limited and smaller risks and challenges that we could face. As with every film, a challenge will be to find a distributor or TV station to air the film. We don't have any deals in place yet, but based on our track record, we believe we have the experience and skills to overcome this, as well as any other challenges that may arise.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (30 days)