According to its organizers, this year's 20th edition of the Warsaw International Film Festival is slated to be a ground breaking one. In addition to screenings of one hundred ten films from thirty-eight countries and visits by over two hundred guests, a vast part of the program will consist of professional events.
According to its organizers, this year's 20th edition of the WARSAW INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL is slated to be a ground breaking one. In addition to screenings of one hundred ten films from thirty-eight countries and visits by over two hundred guests, a vast part of the program will consist of professional events. These will include:
- a meeting of the European Film Academy Board;
- film journalism workshops lead by top professionals in the field, including Derek Malcolm, Klaus Eder of FIPRESCI and representatives of trade publications like "Variety," "Screen International" and "Moving Pictures";
- "SCENE Insiders" - a series of workshops for screenwriters organized jointly by the London-based Script Factory and the Andrzej Wajda School of Film in Warsaw;
- CentEast - a meeting of the Association of Central and Eastern European Film Festivals;
- POKAZY WARSZAWSKIE / WARSAW SCREENINGS (sixth edition), consisting of presentations of new Polish feature films to representatives of international film festivals;
- film editing workshops lead by representatives of the Polish Association of Film and Television Editors; the workshops, lead by outstanding editors Milenia Fiedler and Jaroslaw Barzan, will be devoted in part to a practical demonstration of how a film scene is assembled (Tuesday, October 12).
The totality of activities and events that constitute the FESTIVAL serve a number of aims. Chief among these is the presentation of the season's best art house films to the public and professionals. The event is equally important, however, for the manner in which it supports representatives of the Polish film community in the development of contacts with professionals from abroad and assists Polish filmmakers in their efforts to ascend to the international arena. The FESTIVAL also indubitably promotes Poland and Warsaw among members of the European film community and assists in the development of foreign marketing opportunities for Polish feature films.
This year's FESTIVAL program will include one hundred ten films from thirty-eight countries (ninety-four full-length features, five mid-length films and eleven short films). Excepting a handful of Polish films screened during the FESTIVAL OF POLISH FEATURE FILMS held in September in Gdynia, the films included in the Warsaw event will almost exclusively have their Polish premieres. Given that many of the festival films are not likely to be broadly distributed in Poland, the FESTIVAL will represent Varsovians' sole opportunity to see a majority of the titles in question.
The FESTIVAL will open (October 7, 2004, 11:00 a.m.) with a screening of Czech director Jan Hrebejk's Oscar-nominated feature HOREM PÁDEM / UP AND DOWN. Offering a look at contemporary Prague, the film consists of a series of intertwining stories about the loss and recovery of love, friendship, family, parents and children. UP AND DOWN is a story about self-sacrifice and xenophobia, about our fears of the unknown and our feeling threatened in the face of events that might wake the demons that sleep inside of us. The film explores the contemporary existential moods tat reign in Central Europe, a region that was concealed behind the Iron Curtain for years.
The FESTIVAL will close with the French feature LOOK AT ME / COMME UNE IMAGE. Directed by Agnes Jaoui, the picture received a screenplay award at this year's Cannes International Film Festival. Jaoui is known to members of the Polish public for LE GOUT DES AUTRES / THE TASTE OF OTHERS, which she wrote, directed and appeared in.
The "Nowe Filmy Polskie" / "New Polish Films" series will consist of three feature films: Wojtek Smarzowski's WESELE / THE WEDDING (recipient of six awards during the recent Festival of Polish Feature Films in Gdynia, including a Special Jury Prize), Jan Hryniak's TRZECI / THE THIRD and Jacek Borcuch's TULIPANY / TULIPS (acting award in Gdynia for Malgorzata Braunek).
This edition will be the first during which the organizers will present a series titled "Nowi rezyserzy - Polska 2004"/ "New Directors - Poland 2004," composed of the best films directed by students at Polish film schools. The series will consist of three films by students of the Lodz Film School - Anna Jadowska's KORYTARZ / THE CORRIDOR, Leszek Dawid's MOJE MIEJSCE / MY PLACE and Krzysztof Rzaczynski's SLUB / THE MARRIAGE.
Fourteen films are slated for presentation during the third edition of the "Nowe Filmy, Nowi Rezyserzy" / "New Films, New Directors" Competition (October 10-15). The maker of the winning film will receive the NESCAFÉ GRAND PRIX. This will be the first year during which a best screenplay award will be granted. The latter award is sponsored by HBO.
The competition's international jury will consist strictly of directors: Fridrik Thor Fridriksson of Iceland (chair), Mirjam Kubescha of Germany, Emily Young of Great Britain, Radivoje Andric of Serbia and Lukasz Barczyk of Poland. Three of the jurors - Fridrik, Mirjam and Radivoje - will screen their newest films during the FESTIVAL, outside of the competition. Emily Young's KISS OF LIFE and Lukasz Barczyk's
PRZEMIANY / TRANSFORMATIONS participated in last year's edition of the "New Films, New Directors" Competition.
The program for the 20th WIFF also includes a handful of foreign films that either feature Polish actors or were made by Poles abroad:
- THE STORY OF MARIE AND JULIEN / L'HISTOIRE DE MARIE ET JULIEN (France, 2003) was directed by Jacques Rivette and features Emmanuelle Béart as Marie and Jerzy Radziwilowicz
- WANTED! / NACHBARINNEN (2003), by German director Franziska Meletzky, stars Grazyna Szapolowska in one of the leading roles;
- THE CENTER / DIE MITTE (Germany, 2004), was directed by Stanislaw Mucha. Mucha was born in 1970 in Nowy Targ and studied acting under Jerzy Stuhr at the State Higher School of Theatre in Krakow. He went on to appear in films by Jerzy Skolimowski
and Jerzy Lukaszewicz and later joined the troupe of Krakow's Teatr Stary (Old Theatre). Since 1995 he has been producing short films and documentaries, primarily in Germany. The director gained renown for his feature-length documentary "Absolut Warhola."Warszawska Fundacja Filmowa / The Warsaw Film Foundation
Director: Stefan Laudyn
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tel. (+48 22) 853 36 36
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