Ten days of films at Wroclaw
by Dorota Hartwich
- 393 films from more than 50 countries, including 94 features having their Polish premiere, will be on show at the 16th New Horizons International Film Festival, which runs from 21-31 July
Known for an editorial approach based on what artistic director Joanna Lapinska has referred to as an ambitious and surprising type of cinema that brings new forms of non-conventional expression to the table and offers an audacious perspective on the world, the New Horizons International Film Festival opened yesterday in Wroclaw for its 16th edition, which will run until 31 July.
The festival’s official competition reflects this spirit. Among the titles duking it out is the Polish-British co-production All These Sleepless Nights [+see also:
film profile] by Michal Marczak, a portrait of two youths on the verge of adulthood whom the director followed over the course of two years in their quest for a taste of Warsaw’s nightlife in its streets, bars and flats. The second Polish title in competition is Piotr Dumala’s Ederly [+see also:
film profile], a vision (shot in black and white by Adama Sikora) of life in a small village following the arrival of a sculpture restorer, an enigmatic character whose identity remains a mystery. Also of note is Polish filmmaker Aleksandra Niemczyk’s directorial debut, Baba Vanga (shot in Sarajevo, under the patronage of Béla Tarr’s school, which is credited as co-producer), which tells the dark and troubling story of a clairvoyant and mystical Bulgarian woman, trapped within her house’s four walls.
The competition line-up also includes German director Philip Scheffner’s Havarie [+see also:
film profile] (which looks at the migration crisis in Europe), N-Capace [+see also:
film profile] by Italy’s Eleonora Danco (a sort of chronicle about her hometown, composed of statements from inhabitants whom the director questioned without warning), and the psychedelic found-footage film A Crackup at the Race Riots by Belgian trio Leo Gabin (Lieven Deconinck, Gaëtan Begerem and Robin De Vooght), which, through its collage of YouTube videos, offers a kind of cyber-panorama of the fading “American Dream”, loosely based on Harmony Korine’s novel of the same name.
One of the most original sections of the New Horizons Festival is its films on art competition. This year’s line-up features titles such as Mr Gaga [+see also:
film profile] by Tomer Heymann (an innovative portrait of Israeli choreographer Ohad Naharin), British production The Sky Trembles and the Earth Is Afraid and the Two Eyes Are Not Brothers [+see also:
film profile] by Ben Rivers (a film bordering on the nightmarish about the Moroccan film shoot of Mimosas [+see also:
interview: Oliver Laxe
film profile] by Spain’s Oliver Laxe) as well as Belle de nuit Grisélidis Real, Self Portraits by Belgian filmmaker Marie-Ève de Grave (centred around a forgotten Swiss writer, painter and prostitute).
Working in cooperation with the organisers of Wroclaw European Capital of Culture 2016, the festival has invited a number of great directors for the Masters of European Cinema section. Of those invited, two will present extensive retrospectives: Italy’s Nanni Moretti and Basque filmmaker Víctor Erice. Among the other special guests, New Horizons audiences will also be able to meet big names such as Agnieszka Holland, Jessica Hausner, Claire Denis, Carlos Saura, Petr Helenka, Ulrike Ettinger, Andrei Konchalovsky and Cristian Mungiu.
(Translated from French)