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FESTIVALS Poland

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Six days of Polish film in Gdynia

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- The 41st edition of the Gdynia Film Festival in Poland unspools from 19-24 September, and 16 films are in the running for the Golden Lions

Six days of Polish film in Gdynia
United States of Love by Tomasz Wasilewski

The Golden Lions is the name of the trophy that will be handed to the director-producer duo behind the best feature at the 41st edition of the Gdynia Film Festival (19-24 September 2016). Sixteen titles adorn the line-up of this year’s official competition, most of which have been made by young directors – and some are even feature debuts. But these fresh-faced filmmakers who were born in the 1980s (Tomasz Wasilewski, Jakub Czekaj and Michal Marczak) are no longer unknowns – quite the opposite, in fact. Tomasz Wasilewski is heading to Gdynia with United States of Love [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Tomasz Wasilewski
film profile
]
, which pocketed a Silver Bear at Berlin. After he turned heads at Venice with Baby Bump [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Kuba Czekaj
film profile
]
, Jakub Czekaj will be in Gdynia to unveil his new film, The Erlprince. And as for Michal Marczak, who made his breakthrough with the acclaimed Fuck for Forest [+see also:
film review
trailer
festival scope
film profile
]
(Best Documentary at the 2012 Warsaw Film Festival), he will be turning up with All These Sleepless Nights [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
(Best Director Award at Sundance in January, in the World Cinema – Documentary section). 

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Michal Oleszczyk, the director of the Gdynia Film Festival, stresses another distinctive feature of this competition: “What I particularly like is the fact that this competition clearly goes to show the directors’ interest in matters of Polish history and identity. When you study the list of films in competition, you see that you could create a sort of chronological outline of 20th-century Polish history.”

And in fact, the new films by two renowned directors (Hatred [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
 by Wojciech Smarzowski and The Happiness of the World by Michal Rosa) show life in 1939, in two very different regions: Volhynia (in modern-day Ukraine, but in East Poland at the time) and Silesia. In Blindness, Ryszard Bugajski, a filmmaker who is best known for shining a spotlight on the mechanisms of communist oppression (Interrogation, 1982), takes a look back at the times of Stalin. And the 1970s and 1980s serve as the backdrop for the stories depicted in I'm a Killer by Maciej Pieprzyca and The Last Family [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
by Jan P Matuszynski (which earned Andrzej Seweryn the Best Actor Award at Locarno). Lastly, Wasilewski’s United States of Love paints a portrait of women at a time of transformation, during the transition from communism to democracy.

Also of note among the most hotly anticipated titles are works by young directors, such as Kamper [+see also:
trailer
film profile
]
by Lukasz Grzegorzek, Playground [+see also:
film review
trailer
film focus
interview: Bartosz M. Kowalski
film profile
]
by Bartosz M Kowalski and Waves [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Grzegorz Zariczny
film profile
]
by Grzegorz Zariczny.

(Translated from French)

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