Wrocław: a film capital for 11 days
by Dorota Hartwich
19/07/2012 - Poland’s most important international event, the T-Mobile New Horizons Film Festival kicks off today in Wrocław with a greatly varied programme of 469 titles, including 226 feature films and 160 films not yet screened in Poland.
The opening day’s programme includes three special screenings: this year’s Palme d’Or winner Love [trailer, film focus] (photo) by Michael Haneke, Beasts of the Southern Wild by American filmmaker Benh Zeitlin (Grand Prix at Sundance and Caméra d’Or in Cannes), and The Year of the Tiger by Chilean director Sebastián Lelio.
Contenders in the official competition, which adheres to a very strict editorial line (auteur films, difficult films that spark controversy or are experimental and that have not yet been screened in Poland…), will be judged by a jury of five filmmakers: Naomi Kawase, Urszula Antoniak, Amat Escalante, Lav Diaz, and Przemysław Wojcieszek. Among the films to compete, there are two French films (Frédéric Videau’s Coming Home [trailer] that competed in Berlin earlier this year, and Djinn Carrénard’s phenomenal Donoma [trailer]), as well as The Double Steps [trailer] by Spanish filmmaker Isaki Lacuesta (a Swiss co-production that was awarded in San Sebastian), Thursday Till Sunday by Dominga Sotomayor Castillo (co-produced by Chile and the Netherlands), and Mondomanila by Khavn De La Cruz (co-financed by the Philippines and Germany). The winning film will receive an award that comes with €20,000 and a guarantee for its distribution in Poland.
The festival’s Panorama section, to screen a selection of today’s best auteur films, will notably feature Cristian Mungiu, Bohdan Sláma, Xavier Dolan, Abbas Kiarostami, John Shank, Ursula Meier, Yorgos Lanthimos, and Chantal Akerman’s latest films.
Polish cinema will provide films in two sections: "Gdynia à Wrocław" (the best films from the Gdynia Film Festival including some by Przemysław Wojcieszek, Tomasz Wasilewski, Leszek Dawid, and Piotr Trzaskalski) and "Karol Irzykowski Studio Films" (39 titles, notably by Mariusz Treliński, Marek Koterski, Jan Jakub Kolski, Leszek Wosiewicz, and Wiesław Saniewski).
There will be two short film competitions -- one for Polish films (69 titles), the other for productions from the rest of Europe (39 titles) -- and five retrospectives of films by Ulrich Seidl, Carlos Reygadas, Dušan Makavejev, Peter Tscherkassky, and Polish master animator Witold Giersz.
The film festival, known for celebrating contemporary art and music, is also to feature Matthew Akers and Jeff Dupre’s documentary Marina Abramović: The Artist Is Present. The competition for films about art will notably feature British title Shut Up And Play The Hits by Will Lovelace and Dylan Southern (about the last days of music band LCD Soundsystem) and Il se peut que la beauté ait renforcé notre résolution – Masao Adachi by French filmmaker Philippe Grandrieux.
(Translated from French)