„Alzur’s Legacy” is a medium-length fan-film (about 55 min.) directed by Jakub Nurzyński, inspired by Andrzej Sapkowski’s „the Witcher” books saga, made by an independent group of artists composed of people who are professionally involved in film, television, theatre and other types of media.
For ten years now, largely thanks to „The Witcher” video games series (CD Projekt RED), the world of The Witcher has been gaining popularity all over the world – fans create fanfiction, cosplays, graphics, LARPs and founding witcher schools, and dozens of amateur films inspired by games and books appear on the web. Recently Netflix announced that together with the Polish studio Platige Image, it will produce an international series set in this universe.
It is not about money, fame or publicity – it is a matter of honour. After the wonderful time spent with the short stories, novels, games and comics, we felt obliged to show our gratitude to the works and its first creator, Andrzej Sapkowski. We decided that in such a popular and widely discussed universe there is clearly the need for a true, solid fan-film missing. This is how the idea of making „Alzur’s Legacy” was born.
A Witcher is a genetically modified warrior, trained to kill monsters since his early childhood. The training comprises several murderous mutations (the so-called Trials and Changes), among which the best known is the Trial of the Grasses (most of the trainees never survive it). Witchers are monster slayers for hire, but, contrary to other sellswords, they possess superhuman strength and agility, extraordinary swordsmanship skills (they carry two swords: one made of steel, the other – of silver), extremely acute senses, as well as the ability to cast spells in the form of Signs. Witchers wear medallions, symbols of their profession. Each Witcher school has its own medallion motif: a wolf, a cat and a griffin (plus additional three appearing in the games: a viper, a bear and a manticore).
The events from both the books and games take place in a quasi-medieval fantasy world, inhabited by humans and other non-human races, such as dwarves, elves and halflings. Long time ago, due to the so-called Conjunction of the Spheres, magic and monsters appeared on earth. In order to protect themselves, humans set up schools for Witchers, bound to defend humans against the menace. Towards the end of the saga (and the games), only a few monster slayers are left. Their legendary creators, Alzur of Maribor and Cosimo Malaspina, took the secrets of the Witcher mutations to their graves.
Most of the events from the saga and games take place in the Northern Kingdoms, which are being constantly devastated by civil wars and the conflict with the Nilfgaardian Empire. The saga’s and games’ protagonist is Geralt of Rivia, the most famous monster slayer. Despite of his aversion to politics, he shows a remarkable talent for getting involved in it. His companions are, among others, Dandelion (a bard and a ladies’ man), Yennefer of Vengerberg and Triss Merigold (sorceresses) and Geralt’s adopted daughter, Ciri, carrier of the Elder Blood and the rightful heiress to the Nilfgaardian throne.
Quarter the century after the Rivian Pogrom (the very last events from the Witcher Saga) Kaer Morhen, an old keep of the witchers from the school of the Wolf, is being attacked. Leader of the assault is a mighty warrior – Agaius. A few years later, Ornella, who has been suspected of finding the legendary Alzur’s Almanac, escapes from Aretuza, newly rebuilt school of the sorceress. In pursuit of the renegade goes Triss Merigold, with the help of an old bard, Dandelion, his bastard son Julian and Lambert, the last monster slayer, seeking for revenge.
Jakub Nurzyński (Screenwriter/Director) – student of directing at the Warsaw Film School, previously studied film studies at the Jagiellonian University. Four-time participant in the 48 Hours Film Project contest. A great fan of fantasy literature. He has directed many amateur theatre plays. As an assistant, he worked i.e. with such directors as Krzysztof Lang or Maciej Stuhr. He likes to experiment with film genres, such as western, sci-fi, comedy and drama.
Jan Kawecki (Executive Producer/Production Manager) – graduated from the Academy of Film and Television in Warsaw with specialisations in directing, film and television production. During six years of his work in the film industry he has conducted a lot of advertising campaigns and produced many spots, music videos and short films such as: „Hungry horse, sick dog, beaten child” (2015), post-apocalyptic „Ebonite’s black route” (2017).
Michał Wiśniowski (DOP) – graduate of the Film School in Łódź at the Cinematography Department. He has been working in the media for almost ten years as a cinematographer and cameraman of many feature and documentary films. He’s been working in many productions including such films as: short sci-fi „Odium” (2012),”Prime Meridian” (2013), and British „The Great Escape” (2017), documentary „Solidarity by Women” (2014) and international feature debut – Canadian „The Wasting” (2017).
Brunon Hawryluk (Screenwriter/II Production Manager) – He studied directing at the Multi Art Academy in Krakow and film studies at the Warsaw Film School. He graduated from various screenwriting workshops. Director and producer of music videos, screenwriter and head-author of TV shows (including doc-crime „Cops” on Polsat, 2016-). Director of short films, such as: sci-fi „Copy” (2017) and fantasy horror film „The Suffering of Count Morten” (2018).
Katarzyna Sałdak (Costume Designer) – She worked with many Warsaw theatres, creating costumes for performances. She has created costumes for many short films, such as: ‚Exhale’ (2014),’ Nightingale’ (2015),’ Compartment’ (2016) and also to the fictionalised documentary film entitled ‚Living on the Edge’ and the award-winning feature-length ‚Diversion End'(2017).
Stanisław Mąderek (VFX supervisor) – Film producer, director, screenwriter, cameraman, VFX supervisor, graduate of the Film School in Łódź. He is passionate about composing film music and acting. He is a director of feature films, TV shows, commercials and music videos and independent short comedies, such as „Stars in Black” – an online hit of the year 2000. Director of cut-scenes and recordings of motion-capture sessions and co-creator of gameplay in numerous computer games. He successfully experiments in new fields of creating special effects: photogrammetry and 360/180 movies for the needs of virtual reality. For many years he has been running popular film workshops and professional training courses in the field of public appearances. He is currently working on his feature film „Stars in Black – the movie”, a sensational sci-fi comedy full of eroticism and special effects.
Katarzyna Bonikowska (Music Composer) – LIZ KATRIN MUSIC – creates and performs illustrative music, mainly for games and films in the fantasy, Slavic and sci-fi climates, based primarily on her vocals of many colours (from shamanic, very low alto, to delicate, girls’ soprano and classical voice). She sings in conventional languages such as Polish, English, Japanese, Spanish, Russian and fantasy languages as Dunmer language or Sindarin. She cooperated with, among others, Adam Skorupa and Krzysztof Wierzynkiewicz. She is also a great fan of The Witcher. We strongly encourage you to visit her SoundCloud channel.
Our fanpage on Facebook has more than 14,000 likes and fans watching from all over the world (with an average coverage of about 89,000 and 52,500 fans’ activities), our project has been written about many times in the mainstream and niche media in Poland (such as Gazeta.pl, Gazeta Wyborcza, Antyradio, Eska.pl, Onet.pl, Telemagazyn, Wprost, Na Temat, Noizz, Spider’s Web as well as Eurogamer.pl, Gry-online.pl, NaEkranie and Kawerna) and abroad (Pcgamer.com, Rolling Stone, Ferra.ru, Gamevicio.com, Press-start.com.au, Gamestar.de, Theenterprisedaily.com), which allowed us to gather a huge group of recipients around us.
Our YouTube channel has over 700.000 views and over 5.000 subscribers.
In recent months, we have been working intensively on expanding the followers’ group, among others, by using paid ads on Facebook, meeting with fans at conventions and festivals (such as Pyrkon, Warsaw Comic Con), appearing on the radio, television and streaming channels. (including Radio Kampus, Polish Radio, TVP Kultura, JaRock.pl), as well as advertising with gaming YouTubers (e.g. xLetalis, LastKnownMeal, Epic Music World, ProperBird).
In addition, in the near future we are planning to release a few new movie trailers and multiply the promotion through an intensive campaign on Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat, contact with popular YouTubers and bloggers, as well as advertising in Polish and international media. Thanks to this, we predict that our completed film will be made available to a multi-million audience worldwide (we have drawn translators of English, French, German, Spanish, Russian and Dutch into the project, and this is only the beginning)
What have we done so far
Our project has been underway since 2015, with almost three years of fundraising and „AL” production it underwent an amazing transformation.
What did we already accomplish?
- We have gathered a professional team consisting of experienced filmmakers working in the art industry on a daily basis. In total, more than 150 members of the team took part in this project.
- We have casted the actors (almost 100 people, including extras) which includes such stars of the silver screen as Zbigniew Zamachowski („With Fire and Sword”, „The Pianist”), Mariusz Drężek („Flying skyscrapers”), Magdalena Różańska („The Girl from the Closet”), Andrzej Strzelecki („Clan”, „In Desert and Wilderness”) and talented young actors: Marcin Bubółka („Silence of Polish Lambs”), Kamila Kamińska („Best”), Maria Sobocińska („Wołyń”) and Bartosz Wesołowski („Belfer”).
- We are supported by the Polish Knight’s Team and a team of professional stuntmen who are preparing our actors for the fighting scenes.
- We have purchased, produced and/or borrowed most of the necessary staging materials: props, elements of set design, costumes, armour, film and lighting equipment.
- We have completed 16 days of film shooting in such locations as the Jomsborg Vikings Hird in Warsaw, the Open-air Museum in Kuligów or the ruins of the Łubieńskis’ Palace in Okuniewo.
We are currently preparing for the final round of shooting, which will take place in the Modlin Fortress cellars. The premiere of the „Alzur’s Legacy” will take place on June 21, 2018. The film will be available to watch completely free of charge on our YouTube channel.
“By fans, for fans” has been our credo and motto from the very beginning. And in case of our film, it has definitely turned out to be true – we wouldn’t have entered the film set, if it hadn’t been for the help of our Donors.
On the crowdfunding website, Polak Potrafi, (with the help of as many as 561 fans) we’ve raised PLN 48.365 (special thanks to Katarzyna Bonikowska, Magdalena Deryng, Artur Paprocki, Krzysztof Teper and Błażej Wolańczyk).
On the crowdfunding website, Indiegogo, we’ve managed to raise USD 8.370 from 236 Backers from all over the world (many thanks to Nathan Albury, Grzegorz Bonikowski, Jim Gladstone, Piotr Kociubiński and ProperBird).
Why Support Us?
Our entire crew comes from Poland, the country in which the Witcher was created.
In our film, we would like to do justice to the Slavic spirit of the Witcher universe with the help of music, dialogues (Polish dubbing with subtitles in multiple languages), genuine medieval scenery, hand sewn costumes, armours and weapons made by craftsmen from historical reenactment groups.
Although the story is the cornerstone of every film, we also aim for realism and the best of film art – we use professional film and lighting equipment, practical special effects, and when we deal with the witcher Signs or magic, we use CGI.
If you are interested in cooperation / patronage / supporting us in the filmmaking process of “Alzur’s Legacy”, please contact us through our contact form. All help is welcome and any additional payments will help us to expand this project and perhaps projects to come…