The table was filled with movie hits from the video store, fairy tales of the youngest of them, and even … German erotica and prophecies of the clairvoyant Benita. Online advertising for computer stores, car dealers and furniture centers. The entertainment life of Tri-City, a son’s wedding was reported here Why Walęsa Or the beginnings of the Great Christmas Charity Orchestra. Founded in the early 1990s, Sky Orunia was a television phenomenon and Poland’s first private station. This unusual story is what Elżbieta Benkowska of Gdańsk refers to in her first full appearance. “Orunia 4ever”, of course in Orunia, will begin filming next year.
Cinematic repertoire in Tri-City
Two young and poor boys dream of fame, big money and a beautiful woman. In the dissolution of communist Poland, they set up pirate television. The illegal business turns out to be a huge success, but at the same time it puts the friendship of Seb and Pogo to a difficult test. Both have to answer the question of whether fulfilling career aspirations and the pursuit of profit are synonymous with happiness. This screenwriter, from Gdansk, will also be looking for answers, standing behind the camera Elżbieta Benkowska. In her first full directorial appearance, a resident of Uronia will point out the history of the creation of a television station, which – at the time – was not just a local sensation.
“Pirate of Orunia” begins broadcasting
At the end of 1992, Telewizja Polsat broke the duopoly of public radio and became the first nationwide private channel. After five years in the market Makes his debut TVN. The emergence of new players means a completely different dimension of home entertainment for millions of viewers across Poland. But not for the residents of Oronia, parts of Śródmieście and Pruszcz Gdański, who already learned about the charm and possibilities of commercial television a few years ago. Pirate Sky Orunia was somewhat ahead of its time, and the story of this strange TV creature was born completely by chance.
It’s 1989. Zbigniew Klewiado, owner of a TV repair shop in Oronia, Gdansk, one of the first companies in the region to install a satellite dish. In those days, it was a real window into the world, allowing the recipient to access channels and content that only viewers of two public stations could dream of. The owner of a completely new “panel”, using his profession, decides to slightly adjust the satellite signal. Soon this begins to reach the other inhabitants of Oronia.
– Desiring to make my job easier, and not connecting with cables, I made myself such a transmission. I put a screw in the antenna, the picture was really nice. My friend, his neighbor two houses away, came to see me once. We keep talking and he says, “You know what, I have a show, some music, sports.” Oh, I was thinking to myself, come see. Look, there’s a channel coming from me. Then I ask him: “Well, what is letting you go now?” – Klewiado recalled himself in 2012 on the pages of mojeorunia.pl.
More neighbors begin to report “Pirat z Orunia”, as he was later called TVP in his material. They also want to watch “some music and sports” in their receiver. Not many months pass when a late-night blue glow illuminates nearly all of Oronia. Meanwhile, it’s getting dark in other areas of Gdansk, because public stations have long since finished broadcasting. Under these strange and extraordinary circumstances, Sky Orunia was born – a new dimension of television entertainment only for the select residents of Tri-City.
Joinery and divination and the chief “on the phone”
In 1990, a pirate station signal reached the residents of Oronia, as well as parts of Śródmieście and Pruszcz Gdański. The absence of any copyright regulations leads to a gradual expansion of the contractual schedule. It’s not just the broadcasts from satellite and German erotica that reigns at night on Sky Orunia. There are more and more movies copied from VHS tapes. Zbigniew Klewiado workshop at ul. news The residents themselves come too – they want to advertise their business, welcome their family on the air, or just watch “TV” from the kitchen.
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It works both ways, because TV also goes out to the Oriones. Klewiado and his friends begin recording street polls, reports on the Communion or the end of the school year, and there are broadcasts of local festivals, events, sporting events, and even weddings (the party of one of Lech Wałęsa’s sons was filmed). There is a corner of fortune-telling in the mysterious Pineta, and the mayor of Gdask, Francesc Jamrow, answers residents’ questions by phone. Top advertisers appear alongside journalists, presenters and operators. Practically – everyone who has any experience with the camera and enthusiasm for work. Social, because there is no profit from work.
Despite the yeast-free and corrupt nature of the broadcast, the station is also engaged in more serious undertakings. It is one of the first performances to show the beginnings of Jorek Usyak’s Great Christmas Charity Orchestra. Sky Orunia journalists also appear at the site of the Wrzeszcz skyscraper explosion or during the tragic Golden Life concert at the Gdańsk Shipyard. One of the station operators died in the flames, and returned to collect the remaining equipment in the hall.
In 1994, Sky Orunia received a license from the National Broadcasting Council. This is, paradoxically, the beginning of the end of Uranian television. All formalities require significant financial outlays. In addition to the existence of personal differences between the owners of the stations. Two years later, in December 1996, Sky Orunia suspended its operations. As it turns out, permanently. Cleuido, who died in 2017 after a long illness, lamented years later that he had not sold the station in time. Even investors from Italy came to Gdansk. However, Sky Orunia retained its local character to the end.
Sky Orunia is the inspiration for the movie
Years later, an Oronian native, Elżbieta Benkowska, became interested in the pirate station phenomenon. The director, in its full infancy, is loosely inspired by the story of Sky Orunia, and the idea for the script has been in constant development for over six years. Almost everything is over on paper, and the production of “Orunia 4ever” is scheduled to be officially launched in the second half of the year. Benkowska has already undergone a rehearsal stage and sheds light on the main characters behind it. The director does not wish to reveal any specific names yet, but it is known that the roles of Seb and Pogo will be performed by very talented and famous actors. In the group – with the whole team – they will appear next year.
Filming is due to start in late spring or early summer and I can’t imagine Uronia not appearing in the movie. It makes sense to show it to the world. The assumption is that all external photos should be taken in Orunia or in other parts of Gdańsk. However, the interiors, due to costs, will instead be filmed in Warsaw. How much will Oroni be in the movie? So much, because my little patriot is the quiet hero of this production. It’s not just about architecture, it’s about the courage and challenge that Uronia gave me. The main characters in my text are the men who represent the philosophy that characterizes this place “No one will tell me what to do” – he admits Elżbieta Benkowska.
The director of the film, loosely inspired by the story of Sky Orunia, is Orunian Elżbieta Benkowska.
Private archives of Elżbieta Benkowska
In addition to the professional cast, there will be plenty of room for extras on the set. Because it is the people, their desires, their dreams and their problems – as Benkowska emphasizes – that should be the focus of the film project called “Orunia 4ever”.
My dream is to organize a casting for extras at the Oroni Cultural Center. After all, no one will play the role of residents better than themselves. This does not mean, of course, that representatives of other regions of Gdansk or Tri-City will not be able to participate in the photos. On the contrary, the manager continues.
Hollywood in Oronia, or Frustrated Evil Magic
With her film, Benkowska wants to erase the bad ideas about Orunia, because despite the passing of the years and the progressive. activation From the area, this part of Gdansk still doesn’t have a very good view, also outside of Tri-City. At the beginning of the year, the TVP Opole report was high. Orunia was shown on the radio “Dark Provinces”, which tells about places with bad fame. Meanwhile, as the “Orunia 4ever” director says, it was where she came from that shaped her as a human being and an artist. And these are not hollow words, because an Oronian citizen of nine years with his short film “Olena” (Made in Gdynia Film SchoolSalons arrived – Cannes.
Actually, I’m talking about myself in this movie. About the fact that if you’re from Oruni and someone your whole life tells you how awful this place is, Hollywood or Cannes is not for you. And it turns out that thanks to the fact that you are from Orunia, you can fulfill your dreams of making films that people will watch all over the world, or make Hollywood on Orunia – confirms Elżbieta Benkowska.
The premiere of “Orunia 4ever” was initially scheduled for 2024.
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