Belfer

Directed by Łukasz Palkowski

Paweł Zawadzki, a Polish-language teacher, arrives in Dobrowice,
and carries out his own investigation into the death of a pupil from the local secondary school.

Dobrowice is a portrait of many little towns scattered all around Poland.
The town is governed by a local system of power.  A powerful businessman bosses the whole town around, because money is power. The Police, mayor, local officials – all of them depend on one another.  Nobody wants to change it, for fear of being pushed onto the margin of society. The best strategy is to adopt and keep a low profile.

Now, in this perfectly arranged world, where everybody knows their place, the pupils of the secondary school in Dobrowice find the corpse of classmate Asia Walewska (Katarzyna Sawczuk). As a result, the construct of “our peaceful Dobrowice” starts to crumble.

Jakub Żulczyk and Monika Powalisz, the scriptwriters, managed to create a world full of not-so-obvious and complex characters.  There are no irreproachable characters in this town. Everybody has something to hide, and we will often get the impression that some of the criminals are, in fact, more honest that the so-called respected citizens. The film is dominated by two leading characters, who create the main axis of the plot, and both of them also demonstrate two completely different approaches to acting.  Maciej Stuhr, in Belfer (Teacher) fascinates with his minimalistic yet expressive acting, while Grzegorz Damięcki portrays Grzegorz Molenda, the businessman involved in shady business and with the whole town in his grip.

This TV series features performances by top-quality Polish actors, for example Andrzej Pieczyński, Magdalena Cielecka, Łukasz Simlat, Paweł Królikowski, Sebastian Fabijański, and Radosław Bluszcz, to name but a few. The group of already recognisable actors is accompanied by a collection of young actors: Aleksandra Grabowska, Mateusz Więcławek, Paulina Szostak, Malwina Buss, Patryk Pniewski, and Józef Pawłowski.

Chełmża becomes Dobrowice in the series

In the first season of the series, Chełmża was chosen to play the town of Dobrowice, where the plot of Belfer takes place.

  • For shoots in outdoor locations, various places along the beach by the Chełmża Lake were chosen.
  • Some of the scenes in the film were shot on the streets of the Old Town in Chełmża leading to the beach, for example on ul. Wodna.
  • The camera often shows a diner named Kozaczek, situated by the beach, which is in fact the Mistral restaurant located on ul. Łazienna.

Trivia

  • The finale of the first season was kept in secret and even the cast had no clue about it. The film director only shared selected fragments of the script with the actors.
  • One of the actors playing in the series was Piotr Głowacki (Bogowie/Gods and 80 milionów/80 Million), who comes from Toruń – in the series, he plays a police officer.  Season two features another actor from Toruń, Krystian Pesta, who plays an agent of CBŚ (The Central Bureau of Investigation).
  • Shooting for season 01 took almost 100 days and involved the work of two film crews, which operated simultaneously in Chełmno, Chełmża, Kwidzyń, and Warsaw, among others. While in Chełmno, the film crew used the cemetery on ul.  Toruńska.
  • As many as 170 leading, supporting, and episodic characters are featured in the series.
  • In season one, there were over 1,200 extras, and the film crew would sometimes have up to 130 people, depending on the particular day of shooting.
  • Befler was a success, in terms of the number of viewers – episode one was watched by over 330,000 viewers, and episode two attracted over 370,000 viewers.

Information on the film

Belfer / Teacher

Poland 2016-2017, season 1, TV crime series

Directed by: Łukasz Palkowski, Krzysztof Łukaszewicz, Maciej Bochniak

Screenplay: Jakub Żulczyk, Monika Powalisz, Bartosz Ignaciuk, Wojciech Bockenheim

Cinematography: Marian Prokop

Music: Atanas Valkov

Executive producer: TVN

Produced by: ITI Neovision

Cast: Maciej Stuhr, Paweł Królikowski, Piotr Głowacki, Aleksandra Popławska, Robert Gonera, Józef Pawłowski, Magdalena Cielecka, Grzegorz Damięcki, and others.

Selected Awards

The Polish Film Awards: Eagles for the best film series; Telekamera Awards – Special Prize, the title of EMPIK Bestseller.

Important people

Piotr Głowacki

bio

Chełmno

full article

Chełmża

full article