IRI completes filming a movie for its new case study
See the 'behind the scenes' video about shooting the Bulldogs movie at IRI's youtube channel.
After many weeks of preparation and more than 15 hours of production, IRI completed filming an educational movie that will be a part of its new case study. The case study, titled Bulldogs under the Carpet: The Scandal Surrounding the Polish Broadcasting Act Amendment has been authored by Professor Maciej Kisilowski, IRI’s Co-Director.
The case describes the political struggle between Agora Corporation – the publisher of Poland’s largest daily – and the government headed by leftist Prime Minister Leszek Miller. In 2001, Agora is a fiercely independent and dynamically growing media outlet known for its hard-nosed reporting and criticism of the Miller administration. The next step in Agora’s business strategy is the acquisition of Polsat – one of the two nationwide private TV broadcasters. The Miller administration intends to block the transaction by adding the so-called cross-ownership ban (a quasi-antitrust rule that forbids a publisher of a nationwide daily to own a nationwide TV station) to a broader amendment of the Broadcasting Law. The long-planned amendment is part of an effort to adjust Polish law to the European Union standards (Poland will join the EU three years later in May 2004).
The case chronicles subsequent steps of the process of drafting the Broadcasting Act Amendment that culminated with a massive bribery scandal. Students are presented with a nuanced picture of how economic regulations are designed in emerging/transitional economies: from a discussion of policy proposals in a regulatory body, to consultations within and outside a Cabinet, to deliberations in Parliament. As the process progresses, it becomes increasingly clear that apart from the implementation of the EU standards, the government wants to use the new law to thwart the Agora-Polsat merger. Somewhat belatedly, Agora launches an intensive PR campaign against the Amendment, which succeeds in putting significant international pressure on the Miller administration. The strategy seems effective, as the government offers a compromise. Soon, however, Agora is approached by a member of the local establishment who demands that Agora pays a bribe to Miller’s political party in order to stop the upcoming law and secure government approval of the Polsat acquisition. Agora’s executives decide to secretly record their conversations with the briber and fight the corrupt system head on.
The paper version of the case is currently being prepared for publication by the European Case Clearing House (ECCH). The movie that the IRI is producing will be an optional component available to professors around the world, also through ECCH. It features a professional dramatization of the key events of the case. The movie is directed by Peter Nagy, CEU’s undergraduate student with extensive professional filming experience (click here for Peter's profile at the Internet Movie Database).
"What is amazing about this project is that it shows how unique a community CEU is," points out Codrina Laiu, IRI's research fellow and the movie's executive producer. "Making movies is not an everyday activity of a research center, yet we have been able to find people willing and able to support us in so many ways." A particularly important was such help from Business School's executive MBA Participant, Daniel Kapusy, whose company, DBH Group, generously offered its excellent, modern office space in Budapest as a location of one of the two sets needed for the movie.
The premiere will take place in the Business School building on May 18. You can, however, already watch the ‘behind the scenes’ document about the production at IRI’s youtube channel.
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