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FESTIVALS Poland

Gdynia becomes the Polish film capital as the 43rd Polish Film Festival kicks off

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- Paweł Pawlikowski’s Cold War and Małgorzata Szumowska’s Mug are among the films competing for the Golden Lions, the gathering’s top prize

Gdynia becomes the Polish film capital as the 43rd Polish Film Festival kicks off
A Hole in the Head by Piotr Subbotko

2018 is a very good year for Polish cinema, and the selection of the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia definitely reflects that. For example, the main competition includes films crowned with the Berlinale’s Silver Bear for Best Director (Małgorzata Szumowska’s Mug [+see also:
film review
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interview: Małgorzata Szumowska
film profile
]
) and Cannes’ Best Director Award (Paweł Pawlikowski’s Cold War [+see also:
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Q&A: Pawel Pawlikowski
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]
). The Polish Film Festival, which officially starts today, 17 September, with a gala screening of the Golden Lions contender The Butler [+see also:
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by Filip Bajon, will also showcase eight premieres in the main competition and will include works by helmers of all generations, ranging from debutants, such as Aleksander Pietrzak, to masters like Krzysztof Zanussi.

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Among the most highly anticipated titles are Clergy [+see also:
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interview: Wojciech Smarzowski
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]
 by Wojciech SmarzowskiPlaying Hard by Kinga DębskaThe Mute by Bartosz Konopka, Ether [+see also:
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by Krzysztof Zanussi, Autsajder by Adam SikoraA Hole in the Head [+see also:
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]
 by Piotr SubbotkoPardon by Jan Jakub Kolski, Werewolf [+see also:
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by Adrian Panek and 7 Emotions [+see also:
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by one of Poland’s most unique artistic voices, Marek Koterski.

Other films vying for the Golden Lions were previously screened in Polish cinemas or at national festivals: Julius [+see also:
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]
by Aleksander Pietrzak, A Cat with a Dog [+see also:
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by Janusz KondratiukOnce Upon a Time in November [+see also:
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interview: Andrzej Jakimowski
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]
by Andrzej JakimowskiAgnieszka Smoczyńska’s Fugue [+see also:
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interview: Agnieszka Smoczyńska
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]
, and the aforementioned Cold War and Mug.

The other competitive section, Vision Apart, established in 2004 to present more experimental works, sees eight contenders vying for the main award, including movies that were previously shown at Cannes (Another Day of Life [+see also:
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interview: Raul de la Fuente
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]
by Damian Nenow and Raúl de la Fuente), Rotterdam (Nina [+see also:
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]
by Olga ChajdasMy Friend the Polish Girl [+see also:
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by Ewa Banaszkiewicz and Mateusz Dymek) and Karlovy Vary (53 Wars [+see also:
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interview: Ewa Bukowska
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]
by Ewa Bukowska). This section is rounded off by Monument [+see also:
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by Jagoda Szelc (whose first film, Tower. A Bright Day [+see also:
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interview: Jagoda Szelc
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]
, was part of the 2018 Berlinale Forum), The Day of Chocolate [+see also:
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]
by Jacek BławutLeave Me Not [+see also:
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 by Grzegorz Lewandowski and Windows, Windows by Wojciech Solarz. Gdynia’s programme also boasts a Polish short-film competition and a handful of sidebars, presenting digitally restored films, minority co-productions with Poland and other titles.

The winners will be announced on 22 September.

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