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PRODUCTION / FUNDING Poland / Germany

Principal photography has begun on Malgorzata Szumowska’s Wonder Zenia

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- The film is shooting in and around Warsaw and stars Stranger Things’ Alec Utgoff

Principal photography has begun on Malgorzata Szumowska’s Wonder Zenia
Director Malgorzata Szumowska (© Jacek Poremba) and actor Alec Utgoff (© JB Delamere)

Principal photography has commenced on Malgorzata Szumowska’s Wonder Zenia on location in and around Warsaw. The film stars Alec Utgoff (Stranger Things, Jack Ryan: Shadow Recruit) in the title role, alongside Agata Kulesza (Cold War [+see also:
film review
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Q&A: Pawel Pawlikowski
film profile
]
, Ida [+see also:
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trailer
interview: Pawel Pawlikowski
interview: Pawel Pawlikowski
film profile
]
), Maja Ostaszewska (Body [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Malgorzata Szumowska
interview: Malgorzata Szumowska
film profile
]
), Weronika Rosati and Katarzyna Figura.

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"I’m really excited to work on this project with Malgo,” said Alec Utgoff. “Her passion and persistence are what attracted me most. I saw her most recent film — The Other Lamb [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Malgorzata Szumowska
film profile
]
— so beautifully shot and directed. I think this film is going to be striking and original, a real eye opener for audiences.”

The screenplay is by Szumowska and her regular writing collaborator (and cinematographer) Michal Englert. The film tells the story of Zenia, an industrious Ukrainian migrant worker in Poland. Zenia works as a masseur who makes house calls to the needy and aspirational residents of a middle-class gated community near Warsaw. He is privy to all of their problems, anxieties and secrets — and something of an unwitting guru figure. Zenia’s grounded spirituality, apparent healing powers and broad shoulders make him an object of lust for many of the lost souls in the community.

Production design is by Jagna Janicka, casting by Magdalena Szwarcbart, sound by Marcin Jachyra, costume design by Katarzyna Lewińska and make-up by Waldemar Pokromski. The producers are Agnieszka Wasiak and Mariusz Włodarski for Lava Films, and Viola Fügen and Michael Weber for Match Factory ProductionsWonder Zenia will be sold internationally by The Match FactoryKino Świat will release the film in Poland.

Malgorzata Szumowska’s impressive and varied directorial credits include Elles [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Malgorzata Sumowska
film profile
]
, In the Name of [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Malgorzata Szumowska
interview: Mateusz Kosciukiewicz
film profile
]
, Body [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Malgorzata Szumowska
interview: Malgorzata Szumowska
film profile
]
(for which she won the Best Director award at the Berlinale), Mug [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Małgorzata Szumowska
film profile
]
(which received the Berlinale’s Grand Jury Prize) and The Other Lamb, which debuted at the Toronto International Film Festival.

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