Drama - Development 2012

Kilimanjaro is a story about courage, friendship, strength, about getting your sense of self-worth back and breaking down clichés. The is the story of women who, despite adversity, take off to the other side of the world to experience the journey of their lives.

    • Year of production
    • 2012
    • Genres
    • Drama
    • Countries
    • POLAND
    • Languages
    • Budget
    • 3 - 5 M$
    • Duration
    • 95 mn
    • Director(s)
    • Kinga LEWIŃSKA
    • Writer(s)
    • Jarosław SOKÓŁ
    • Producer(s)
    • Synopsis
    • The main characters in Kilimanjaro all meet at a course for unemployed women. While the course teaches them effectively to look for work, it moreover helps them to start believing in themselves. It also marks the beginning of their friendship. The meetings provide them with a chance to share stories about their successes and their failures. They confide their dreams to each other.
      One of the women dreams of ascending Kilimanjaro. Her dream sparks the other women’s imaginations. It quickly becomes their mutual goal. By going up Kilimanjaro they mean to prove to themselves and others that there’s nothing they can’t do. So they set up a society. They begin organising an expedition. They put the skills they learned on the course to good use in creating a promotional campaign. The press and magazine world get hold of the story. One TV channel even wants to cover the expedition live. The media buzz helps the women to find serious sponsorship. They can hardly believe their own luck when a world-famous mountaineer gets in touch. Moved by their story and their determination, the mountaineer takes it upon himself to lead them all up to the summit. As he himself declares, he’s doing it for the idea. All they need to do is cover the organisational costs. Things are shaping up to be a real life fairy-tale. Except the women get no support on the home front. Unlike the reactions of other people, their families and loved-ones are intent on ridiculing their plans.
      A month and a half before the expedition, the mountaineer asks them for the first payment. Having arrived at the bank, which is also their main sponsor, and thinking they just need to sign their agreements they end up being subjected to a long lecture concerning the global economic crisis. The end result is that their main sponsor now pulls out. TV also has to make cutbacks. The women’s families stand triumphant. They look to their Guru, the mountaineer, for support. He’s brutal in telling them that since he already has an investment in the expedition he has no intention of losing out.
      The women are in despair, but they take drastic action to save the expedition. They sell what they have and draw upon the years of what accumulated savings they managed to keep secret from their families. Unhappily, it’s still not enough. But in the last moment they manage to find the money.
      They set off for Africa. At the airport photojournalists see them off. None of the women’s families are there for the send-off.
      On landing, the women are euphoric. They did it! They’re in Africa! Unfortunately, from the first day on they have to cope with some difficulties – because of the misunderstanding between the woman responsible for the expedition on the Polish side and the agency from Africa – it is possible that the expedition won’t take place at all. In the last moment it turns out that the group can join the expedition organized especially for the internationally famous film star.
      It quickly turns out that what they’d thought of as a tourist trip will in fact be a hard-won experience. The mountaineer apparently lends his support only to the actress. The women just hear that they’re either too fat or just plain lazy. They get more help from the young and handsome African men who serve as their guides. It’s they who teach the women how to ascend and spur them on to fight. The women too remain determined. Each of them has their own appointed goal. If they make it to the summit then they’ll make it happen. One of them wants to get well again, another wants to find love. All they have to do is make it to the top of Kilimanjaro. And so they arrive at subsequent mountain bases. They begin to show signs of fatigue and altitude sickness. Some can’t take it. And instead of motivating them, the mountaineer makes fun of them. His attitude only changes just as they’re about to reach the summit. For the first time on the expedition he behaves as the guide he set out to be. Each of the women, accompanied by the guide, walks off into the night to conquer Kilimanjaro. Though not all. Those who are exhausted and unwell stay behind at the base.
      That night seems eternal. Five steps, and a breather. Five more steps, another breather. Some find help in prayer, others by looking at photos of their children. Having taken some snaps as keepsakes they descend. They no longer feel quite so euphoric. They’re dirty and tired. The mountaineer impatiently hurries them along. Is that it then? They feel disappointed. But when, at the foot of Kilimanjaro, the African guides dance and sing a specially rehearsed rendition of “Kilimanjaro”, something inside them gives way. Paying no attention to the mountaineer’s pompous outrage, they climb up a splayed acacia tree as if they were little children. Even the film star joins in.
      For all of them, this is a singularly magic moment of fulfillment.
    • Partners & financing
    • PRASA&FILM is looking for a co-production partner.
    • Beginning of shooting
    • Aug 01, 2012