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KRAKOW 2019

The 59th Krakow Film Festival kicks off

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- The oldest film festival in Poland started on Sunday, boasting almost 250 titles in its programme and with Finland as the country in focus

The 59th Krakow Film Festival kicks off
The Wind. A Documentary Thriller by Michał Bielawski

Every year, shortly after the Cannes Film Festival rolls up its red carpet on the Croisette, the documentary festivities get under way in the Polish city of Krakow with the Krakow Film Festival. The International Documentary Competition features 16 titles, including 12 European films or co-productions, among which there are three international premieres and one world premiere. 

Krakow’s other competitive sections are the National Competition, DocFilmMusic Competition and Short Film Competition. Each of these has a separate jury, and Jacek Petrycki, Marta Prus (whose last film, Over the Limit [+see also:
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, won a raft of awards last year), Xawery ŻuławskiTalal Derki and Brett Morgen are among the jury members. The winners will be announced on Saturday 1 June, except for the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award, the Dragon of Dragons, which has this year already been presented to American animator Caroline Leaf. Previous laureates of this prize include Allan King, Albert Maysles, Werner Herzog and Kazmierz Karabasz.

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All in all, the festival will show almost 250 films across four competitive and 11 non-competitive sections. “Many of the titles being presented in the International Documentary Competition will challenge the way the audience sees the world. The subjects tackled by these films include the walls that we construct in our minds, the shadows of recently ended wars or resurrected ghosts from the past, which are sometimes scary and sometimes grotesquely funny,” explains Anita Piotrowska, one of the festival’s programmers, in a press release.

The Krakow Film Festival also has a very strong industry section, aptly dubbed KFF Industry. The main events in this section are a production case study on the aforementioned Over the Limit, a master class with Caroline Leaf, the KFF Industry Meetings, a Conference Focus on Finland, and Animated in Poland. For the fifth time, Doc Lab Poland will host a series of workshops and consultations that will conclude with two pitching sessions: Docs to Start (for projects that are at the development stage) and Docs to Go! (for films that are either being edited or are in post-production). The special-guest country will be Finland. 

“It is yet another Baltic country, after Sweden, Estonia and Lithuania, whose cinema we want to present to the audience of the Krakow Film Festival,” said Barbara Orlicz-Szczypuła, head of the programme department at the KFF, in a statement. “Finnish cinema is not known well enough in Poland, especially documentary and short films.” The Focus on Finland started on 28 May and will present six feature-length docs (including the acclaimed The Magic Life of V [+see also:
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by Tonislav Hristov) and a clutch of short films. 

The KFF opened on Sunday with a screening of the Polish movie The Wind. A Documentary Thriller [+see also:
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interview: Michał Bielawski
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 by Michał Bielawski, produced by Telemark and HBO Central Europe, which had its world premiere at Visions du Réel in Nyon.

The full International Documentary Competition line-up is as follows: Advocate [+see also:
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interview: Rachel Leah Jones, Lea Tsemel
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]
 by Rachel Leah Jones and Philippe Bellaiche (Israel/Canada/Switzerland), Heat Singers by Nadia Parfan (Ukraine), The Fourth Kingdom by Àlex Lora Cercós and Adan Aliaga (Spain/USA/Mexico), A House for You by Mahdi Bakhshi Moqadam (Iran), The Border Fence [+see also:
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by Nikolaus Geyrhalter (Austria), Kabul, City in the Wind [+see also:
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by Aboozar Amini (Netherlands/Afghanistan/Germany/Japan), Pariah Dog by Jesse Alk (USA), Memory Is Our Homeland by Jonathan Kolodziej Durand (Canada), Of Animals and Men by Łukasz Czajka (Poland), Around the Bed of a Dying Collaborator by David Ofek and Tal Michael (Israel), Mussolini’s Sister [+see also:
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by Juna Sulieman (Israel), Cerro Quemado by Juan Pablo Ruiz (Argentina), Stress [+see also:
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 by Florian Baron (Germany/USA), But Now Is Perfect [+see also:
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by Carin Goeijers (Netherlands), The Wind. A Documentary Thriller by Michał Bielawski (Poland/Slovakia), and Wongar by Andrijana Stojković (Serbia).

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