Family Portrait

After reaching 18th birthday, Sandra, who lives in an orphanage, is forced to pay for a room. Wanting to continue to have a roof over her head, she unwittingly decides to work as a cleaner. When she arrives at the cleaning site, it turns out that she will be cleaning the house of the dead people. She is more interested in the story of the house and the owner than in the actual cleaning - when people claiming to be family come to the house, she helps them. After a while, it turns out that the couple came for only one thing, a painting that Sandra found in a hidden room, the woman describes it as a miniature of a Jewish woman. Sandra realizes that they are scammers, she informs Kuba, who turns the people out of the house. After work, he drives her to orphanage and agrees to let the girl stay permanently in the business.

  • Dominik Chaciński
  • Project Title (Original Language):
    Portret rodzinny
  • Project Type:
    Short, Student
  • Runtime:
    19 minutes 52 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    March 5, 2023
  • Country of Origin:
  • Country of Filming:
  • Shooting Format:
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
    Yes - Warsaw Film School
Director Biography - Dominik Chaciński

Dominik Chaciński, a Polish director and screenwriter born in 2001 in Siedlce, currently a third-year student of film directing at the Warsaw Film School.

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Director Statement

I decided to write as well as direct this film because a year ago I encountered a thought in my head that was "do family ties exist?" I love my family, but I noticed that after I left for college I found family in my friends. In the film "Family Portrait " I tried to convey the main idea for those who struggle with loneliness - "family can be called anyone you feel comfortable with." I would like the viewer, after watching this film, to feel a kind of hope and come out of the screening with the thought that even when he or she is going through the worst period of his or her life and is faced with difficult choices, there can still be hope, a small ray of hope that we would never expect. I spent a very long time looking for how to make the film so that it would not be a heavy drama but a light story, sometimes funny with a serious approach to the subject. Together with artistic supervisor Filip Hillesland we managed to work out the story of Sandra, played by Adrianna Malecka. We knew from the very beginning that we wanted to create a world from scratch, and the cinematographer Nikodem Wisnicki's concept helped with this, as he created the film's atmosphere with light and a common choice of lenses. After more than a hundred hours spent on editing and more than four months of sound pre-production, for which Dawid Wysokinski is responsible as sound director. I think we managed to create a coherent world, where the viewer, after watching such a short form, will think and care about the further life of the protagonist. In my opinion, the film has the function of finding small themes or thoughts and developing them with in-depth re-searches to help people identify with their problems and helps solving them. We had the opportunity to work with a great, close-knit and conceptually knowledgeable crew and outstanding actors who, with their sensitivity and dedication, rendered what any director would want to get, which is the truth. The experience of working on this film will certainly help me, as well as all the filmmakers in the future, because on the set we managed to create a small family with a great atmosphere, which for me is the most important thing. I would like this to translate into the reception of the film as well, and I myself certainly learned from my mistakes and found a part of myself, which only confirmed that I want to do this for the rest of my life – i.e. movies.