An award-winning director known for his particular style of 'fictionalised documentary'. As a screenwriter, photographer and cinematographer, he got his background in the trade at the prestigious Łódź Film School. Born on the 8th of August 1971 in Bydgoszcz.
An award-winning director known for his particular style of 'fictionalised documentary'. A screenwriter, photographer and cinematographer.
Filmmaker Marcin Sauter started off as a photographer, studying photography at the Polish National Film, Television and Theatre School in Łódź. Later he attended the documentary film course at the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing, completing the course in 2005, but keeping ties with the school, which led to his involvement in the Paladino Film Production Team, an artistic group founded by Sauter's friend from the documentary course, Thierry Paladino, a French Italian. The award for cinematography for the film Behind the Fence (Za płotem, 2005) at the Kraków Film Festival in 2005 marked Sauter's grand entry into the circle of professional documentary filmmakers. A year later he received the Kraków Silver Hobby-Horse for the film The Travelling Cinema (Kino objazdowe, 2005). In addition, together with Paladino Film Production Team, Sauter produced Andrzej Wajda: Let's Shoot! (Andrzej Wajda: Róbmy zdjęcie!, 2008) which was awarded the First Prize at the Arts & Film Festival in Prague.
2009's North from Calabria was the newest venture from Sauter and his friends from the Paladino Team. The film has started up a debate on whether the director's interference in the subject matter keeps it from attaining the status of a "pure" documentary. On the other hand, it communicates certain truth about the place, a town, and about its residents, while attempting to formulate a universal message.
Sauter calls the film a "fairy-tale documentary". The film suggests you are dealing with a fictionalised documentary, or perhaps even with a feature film. There are, after all, a number of professional actors in the filmmakers' team, including Hanna Kochańska and Marcin Janos Krawczyk, the latter plays the curate on a popular television show. In Sauter's film he also plays a priest, albeit an unconventional one. In many respects North from Calabria is much in the vein of fellow director Marcel Łoziński's Recipe for Life (Jak żyć?) and even cinema legend Krzysztof Kieślowski's Night Porter's Point of View, joining the tradition of the Cinema of Moral Anxiety honed by Polish filmmakers, taking a subversive view on political and social power plays.
The filmmakers show the life of Chełmsk Śląski, located close to the Czech border and 40 kilometres away from Wałbrzych. Today it is a small village, but in the past it was a bustling town with an 800-year history - the film urges for the place and its inhabitants not to be stigmatised, but to be praised. For one month Chełmsk Śląski became a location set and, together with the village mayor, the filmmakers motivated the residents to prepare grand summer festivities. The filmmakers engage in conversations with the locals and learn their customs. They are surprised by the warmth of their reception. Indeed, they judge the people they come across but they are judged, too. In many respects the locals are equal to the rich and famous, and Chełmsk itself, a shabby relic of a bygone era at first glance, turns out to be a cheerful, warm place with unique charm, where living is more joyous than one might have expected. While the festivities fall through because of a rainstorm, Paladino is still moved by the experience, calling his father in Calabria to speak of the deeply human link between people across cultures.
Rev. Andrzej Luter writes in the Kino monthly in November 2010:
Sauter's film, is an attempt to show an ideal town, where tolerance, respect, the spirit of community and the responsibility for the life of other people, including the neighbour you have until now ignored, prevail. Thanks to Radosław Ładczuk's and Łukasz Gutt's cinematography the film also manages to capture something elusive and true which begins to take place between the locals and the film crew.
North from Calabria received the FIPRESCI honourable mention in Perm, Russia and two awards, given by the Trade Union ver.di and the Ecumenical Jury, at the prestigious DOK Festival in Leipzig in 2010.
Editor: Agnieszka Le Nart, based on an original text by Kondrad J. Zarębski, November 2010