The film, which debuted at the Venice Film Festival, is Poland’s official selection for Best International Feature at the upcoming Academy Awards. Buffalo 8 will release the film theatrically in February of 2022.
Based on true events in 1983 Poland, Leave No Traces follows the story of Jurek – a young man who becomes an enemy of the state after he’s the sole witness to the violent murder of a high school student at the hands of militia. The oppressive regime leverages the full weight of its infrastructure to pressure and intimidate Jurek and people close to the case, using the militia, secret service, courts and the media in an attempt to cover up the killing.
“The entire Buffalo 8 team is thrilled to release Poland’s 2022 Academy Award candidate, Leave No Traces domestically,” said Nikki Stier Justice, Buffalo 8’s Head of Distribution. “Director Jan P. Matuszyński is able to balance a rich and haunting narrative alongside powerful and incredibly timely themes.”
Leave No Traces is produced by Aurum Film’s Leszek Bodzak and Aneta Hickinbotham, in co-production with Canal+ Poland, Les Contes Modernes, Arte France Cinéma, Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes-Cinéma, Background Films, Magiclab, Czech Television, Mazovia Institute of Culture and the Mazovia Warsaw Film Commission. A Polish Film Institute co-financed production. The film is also co-financed by Capital city of Warsaw, Mazovia Voivodeship, Région Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur, Région Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes, in partnership with the Centre National du Cinéma et de l’Image Animée and Arte France, Czech Film Fund.
New Europe Film Sales is handling international sales on the film which was written by Kaja Krawczyk-Wnuk and based on the book Żeby nie było śladów by Cezary Łazarewicz.
The deal was negotiated by Buffalo 8’s Nikki Stier Justice with Jan Naszewski of New Europe Film Sales representing the filmmakers
Matuszyński’s previous film The Last Family (2017) scored 11 nominations at the Polish Film Awards.
Poland has a long history with the Academy. In 2020, Corpus Christi was nominated for an Academy Award for Best International film. In 2019, when Pawel Pawlikowski’s Cold War was nominated for three Academy Awards.