Polish cinema at prime time. Jakub Piątek’s debut to be screened at the Sundance Film Festival

3 January 2021

Prime Time, the latest Watchout Studio production starring Bartosz Bielenia and Magdalena Popławska, is to premiere at the most important international festival of independent cinema. The Polish production will compete against nine feature films in the World Cinema Dramatic competition.


Founded by Robert Redford more than forty years ago, the festival that celebrates independent cinema has turned into one of the most important film events worldwide. This is the place where Quentin Tarantino, Steven Soderbergh, Darren Aronofsky, and Jim Jarmusch started their careers, and the films such as Reservoir Dogs, Little Miss Sunshine, and Whiplash attracted attention of a wider audience.

Recently, Sundance has begun to appreciate Polish filmmakers, underlining their importance at the international stage. It was at this festival that Agnieszka Smoczyńska received the Special Jury Award for The Lure four years ago, and in 2019, Krystyna Janda was awarded for her role in Dolce fina giornata (directed by Jacek Borcuch). At the beginning of 2021, the jury will have a chance to assess and (hopefully) appreciate Jakub Piątek’s debut starring Bartosz Bielenia, who plays the leading role in Oscar-nominated Corpus Christi.


Prime Time is a gripping psychological drama, a universal story about an individual oppressed by the system, who decides to shout the timeless “J’accuse” at it. The film takes us back in time to the last day of 1999 to show the generation formed by the experiences of the 1990s. This is a voice from the past, telling us about social inequality and the division into better and worse ones, populism, selfishness, and the lack of hope.

Jakub Piątek:
This film results from our longing for a rebellion, a revolt. Together, we looked for a perfect rebel you’d like to follow. I’m really happy that our protagonist, Sebastian, has been filtered through Bartosz Bielenia’s sensitivity.

Carrying a gun, Sebastian gets into the television studio and demands to go live at prime time. He takes hostages, but wants no ransom. He just wants to say something incredibly important. And to do that, he’s ready to put everything at risk.

Jakub Piątek:
When we started writing the script, no one could imagine the situation in which we’ve ended up in 2020. In Prime Time, you’re locked with the protagonist and his hostages in one room for 90 minutes. You can feel their isolation even more acutely under the current circumstances.


Prime Time is the full-length feature debut of Jakub Piątek, the director of awarded documentaries and short films (Users, One Man Show, Mother) and Jakub Razowski’s debut as a producer. Razowski and Piątek have been collaborating for eight years.

The film has been made by Watchout Studio, a production house that can boast such blockbusters as Gods, The Art of Loving. Story of Michalina Wisłocka and The Coldest Game. The film, co-produced by TVN and the Krakow Festival Office, is distributed by NEXT FILM. It has been co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, the support of which, considering the shoot taking place in an ongoing pandemic, translates into the excellent beginning of the film’s career.

Film Crew:

Directed by: Jakub Piątek

Producer: Jakub Razowski

Executive Producer: Krzysztof Terej

Written by: Jakub Piątek, Łukasz Czapski

Director of Photography: Michał Łuka

Editors: Jarosław Kamiński, Urszula Klimek-Piątek

Set Designer: Katarzyna Jędrzejczyk

Music Composer: Teoniki Rożynek

Sound by: Michał Fojcik, Bartłomiej Bogacki

Costume Designer: Hanka Podraza

Make-up Artist: Janusz Kaleja

Produced by: Watchout Studio

Co-producers: TVN, Krakow Festival Office

Co-financing: Polish Film Institute

Distributor: NEXT FILM

Premiere: Autumn2021

Cast: Bartosz Bielenia, Magdalena Popławska, Andrzej Kłak, Małgorzata Hajewska-Krzysztofik, Dobromir Dymecki, Cezary Kosiński, Monika Frajczyk, Juliusz Chrząstowski