Production of intimate scenes on the sets of Polish films.  This is how violence works

  • The study “Realization of Intimate Scenes on Polish Film Sets. Security Situation Report” shows the scale of the problem of abuse that we have heard about recently in the context of theater schools and Girls from Dubai.
  • 318 members of the Polish film industry responded to the survey
  • Most of the people in the group were pressured to undress more than previously agreed. Every ten people have heard a job offer for a sexual relationship
  • Dr. Marek Troszynski, who co-authored the study, talks about violence, which, as evidenced by the responses of female and male respondents, affects certain groups, although they are all witnesses to it.
  • A special alliance of film teams will work to improve working standards
  • You can read more similar stories on Onet’s main website

Intimate scenes are scenes in which the actors simulate sex. It’s never real because we then confuse industries and enter the porn industry. If a producer wants to make a pornographic or inter-genre movie, he has the full right to do so, as long as all working persons are of legal age and have been informed of the nature of the production prior to employment, and sign the relevant documents before entering the set. Transparency in this area is the key to security – Katarzyna Szustow confirmed a few weeks ago in an interview with Amelia Sarnowska* In the context of allegations of harassment against the “Girls from Dubai” group, which was co-produced by Worm.

today, when – Mainly because of theater schools The biggest discussion about violent abuse occurs, and we learn about the results of the study in which Zustow worked with sociologists Maria Theis* and Marek Troszynski*. It turns out that the problem of abuse of power is also part of the daily life of some movie sets.

Photo: press material

“Realization of intimate scenes on Polish film sets. Report on the security situation”: results of the study

The solution plan will be developed by a broad coalition of 11 film organizations: Polish Directors Guild, Polish Syndicate of Screenwriters, Guild of Directors and Directors, Guild of Polish Audiovisual Producers, Guild of Polish Filmmakers, Guild of Polish Filmmakers, Guild of Polish Film Artists, Polish Association of Film Artists Theatre, Union of Audiovisual Authors and Producers, Polish Actors Guild. The group will begin its work by familiarizing yourself with the recommendations and standards for the implementation of intimate scenes available outside Poland.

318 participants, including 98 actors and actresses, responded to the study “Realization of intimate scenes in Polish film sets. Report on the security situation” who completed a questionnaire consisting of 14 questions. It was carried out from September 15 to October 6, 2021. It was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, but received only 20 percent. Required subsidy.

Photo: press material

“Realization of intimate scenes on Polish film sets. Report on the security situation”: results of the study

During the conference dedicated to the results of the report, which was held on Friday, February 25, 2022 AD, Andrzej Wajda, Director of the Polish Film Institute, Radosław Śmigulski spoke:

– I can promise you it will change. For years, nothing was done about it, for years “everything was fine”. I think this is not a problem in recent years, but in many decades. If we want to work with film cultures that are more civilized in terms of production style, we will have to change and adapt to some of the current standards – he commented.

You can read the full report at: We discuss its details with Dr. Marek Trosinski.

David Dudko: I was involved in a study that had never been done in Poland before.

Marek Trosinski: Yes, by working in a team with Maria Thiss and Katarzyna Szustow, we have diagnosed a new area of ​​research. Our goal was to describe how representatives of the film community see their safety in a film set in an intimate scenes production area. A 47-page document titled “The Investigation of Intimate Scenes in Polish Film Sets. Security Report” has been prepared.

Even more surprisingly, the project received only 20 percent. Subsidy required from the Polish Film Institute.

Obviously, it’s about allocating funds to certain research categories, but it really surprised me that the project did not receive the required funding. For this reason, we had to abandon the original scanning scale.

What is what?

The survey was designed to be representative of the entire film industry, and invitations to the survey were to be sent to a large sample of people who were chosen at random. Since we ultimately got much less funding, the study is not randomized. Therefore, it was necessary to persuade as many people as possible to participate in the study. The project was announced at venues such as the Gdynia Film Festival or at various industry meetings. We also used social media. Our survey was completed by 318 respondents representing the major film professions.

Photo: press material

“Realization of intimate scenes on Polish film sets. Report on the security situation”: results of the study

We discover at the beginning of the report the extent of the need for such research. Nearly half of the actors and actresses participating in the study did not set the course for intimate scenes, and more than half of them had never performed adequate intimate settings training or insurance.

It is important how we read the results of this study. This is the first test to try to diagnose this area, so we don’t have a criterion. This is research related to violence and a sense of safety, and at the same time to work, a situation that most of us associate with certain rules. We focused mainly on one of the areas of film production – the execution of intimate scenes, because this area is one of the most hidden or stable. 93 percent of respondents, the realization of intimate scenes is annoying. Only seven percent. Respondents replied that they do not treat such scenes as a challenge.

Does the examination reveal one of the most common problems working on imaging kits?

In the study, we tried to show as many problem areas as possible, and we wanted to diagnose the condition. From a social perspective, the main issues are insecurity, violence and harassment. Two thirds of the respondents were subjected to violence or attack on a filming site. Of course, these are respondents’ statements, but this is the essence of opinion research. If a large part of the people in the environment express similar sounds, then we can try to name the reality of this occupational group. The vast majority of people indicated that they did not feel safe while performing intimate scenes. This fact is not surprising, since more than half of the respondents (58%) did not rehearse before or rarely did an intimate scene.

It is important to recognize the differences between men’s and women’s responses. For example, a large number of men have experienced verbal harassment on a filming site, but when we ask if the respondent is in person, it is often women who answer yes. This shows how violence works: we can all see it, but it only affects certain groups.

What is the biggest challenge in conducting such a study?

No doubt it is about gaining people’s trust from the film community, so that they not only fill out the survey questionnaire, but also share their experiences. Respondents themselves pointed out problems and issues that need to be regulated. Thanks to this, we were able to discuss in the report also a look inside the world of the film – in the second part, Dr. Maria Theiss does a qualitative analysis.

How do we explain the responses of people opposed to the development of anti-abuse standards?

Only one percent. of respondents oppose the establishment of standards for the production of intimate scenes for Polish film. 74 percent of all survey respondents believe that establishing rules of thumb for a safe plan to carry out these scenes is essential. Interestingly, that is up to 68 percent. Directors and directors are of the same opinion. But 24 per cent. He has no opinion. This may mean that they are satisfied that the current system is satisfactory. However, we can see that most of them are calling for change.

Is it possible to distinguish the gender division here?

No, in this case the women responded as the men did.

The study highlights the role of the education system.

We are witnessing a kind of generational revolution, and a major change in art schools. Of course, this is part of a broader social process – an increased sensitivity to violence. In the case of schools, one must be particularly sensitive, because we are not dealing with an equal relationship between employer and employee, hierarchical relations prevail here from the very beginning, and this is what the educational process is based on. Moreover, the rules of cooperation should be clearly defined. This change is happening. Young people demand a different way to build relationships, based on trust and mutual respect.

Photo: press material

“Realization of intimate scenes on Polish film sets. Report on the security situation”: results of the study

Does the research prove that the job of intimate scene coordinator/coordinator should be the norm in theater schools and theaters?

2/3 of the respondents believe that the presence of an intimate scene coordinator at rehearsals and at the place of filming is beneficial, and they believe that the presence of coordinators is one of the means of preventing violence. There are talks about optional workshops for students in art schools. Not everyone has to play intimate scenes.

What else should be done?

a lot. We have behind us a foundational study that has some flaws, but it is a diagnosis of the current situation. It is important to be able to iterate research, point out trends, and check how opinions and practices have changed in the film community.


* Katarzina Zusto – Intimate Scenes Coordinator, Member of the European Intimate Practitioners Guild, Crisis Situations Coach, Facilitator of Safe Creative Processes. As a coordinator of intimate scenes, she has worked on the following productions: Rojst’97 (dir. Jan Holoubek, Netflix), Filip (dir. Michał Kwieciński, premiere: 2022), Elephant (dir. Kamil Krawczycki, premiere: 2022), as well as shows In Schauspielhaus Zürich: Kurze Interviews mit fiesen Männern – 22 Arten der Einsamkeit based on David F. Wallace (directed by Jana Ross), Wilhelm Tell directed by Milo Rau (premiere: 04/23/2022).

* Maria Theis – A political scientist working at the Faculty of Political Science and International Studies at the University of Warsaw. Social policy researcher. Director of international research projects relating to, among others, political trust, social solidarity and informal aspects of social policy. Editor-in-chief of the Journal of Social Policy Problems. Social policy issues.

* Marek Trosinski – Sociologist, Head of the Digital Civilization Observatory at Collegium Civitas, President of the Foundation for Local Knowledge. He has conducted social research for 15 years, specializing in media content analysis. Author of research on cultural institutions at the request of the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage. Researcher in hate speech against minorities, former member of the Shura Council of the Council for Combating Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and Intolerance.

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