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WARSAW 2020

The Warsaw Film Festival celebrates interesting debuts and remarkable returns

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- Ready to unspool its 36th edition, the Polish festival is set to open with a screening of Carlo S Hintermann's The Book of Vision

The Warsaw Film Festival celebrates interesting debuts and remarkable returns
The Book of Vision by Carlo S Hintermann

Opening with Carlo S Hintermann’s The Book of Vision [+see also:
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interview: Carlo S Hintermann
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]
, fresh off its Venice debut, the Warsaw Film Festival has opted for a physical edition, now set to run from 9-18 October.

“Opening the Warsaw Film Festival is a huge honour for me,” the director told Cineuropa via email. “I am absolutely in love with Polish cinema: I grew up with the movies of Skolimowski, Żuławski, Wajda, Kieślowskiand Polański, and with cult actors such as Bogusław Linda, Jerzy Stuhr and Jerzy Radziwiłowicz," he added, recounting his first experience on a professional set with Krzysztof Zanussi, who allowed him to take part in the shooting of the TV series Weekend Stories. "It’s a kind of circle: starting off as a student on a set in Warsaw and now screening a movie at a wonderful festival in a city that means a lot to me.”

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“Initially, our biggest fear was that there would be no films to screen. They weren’t shot during the lockdown, but surprisingly, we received almost 3,000 submissions from 96 countries,” mentioned festival director Stefan Laudyn when talking about the programme, which includes 105 features and 68 shorts from 56 countries. “I am particularly happy with its geographical and cultural diversity,” he said. “We have a strong programme from Eastern Europe, Asia and Latin America, and there are a number of interesting debuts, but also some remarkable returns: new films by Alexei Uchitel, Martin Šulík, Petr Zelenka, Adilkhan Yerzhanov, Bogdan George Apetri and Uberto Pasolini. Most of them we expect to come to Warsaw in person.”

Among its world premieres are Steve Crowhurst’s Big Boys Don’t Cry, which is bound to garner considerable attention, Péter Bergendy’s Post Mortem and Maciej Bochniak’s Magnesium, already described as “an auteur version of the ‘Eastern’”. Joining them in the International Competition, Farkhat Sharipov’s 18 Kilohertz will be shown, too, as well as Ryota Nakano’s The Asadas, Audrey Estrougo’s By Your Side, Petr Zelenka’s Droneman [+see also:
trailer
interview: Petr Zelenka
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]
Fox in a Hole by Arman T RiahiHot Soup by Ming Zhang and The Man with Hare Ears [+see also:
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by Martin Šulík. My Blood & Bones in a Flowing Galaxy, directed by Sabu, and Alexei Uchitel’s already controversial Tsoi, about the star recently commemorated in Kirill Serebrennikov’s Leto (The Summer) [+see also:
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interview: Ilya Stewart
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]
, will also be battling it out for the jurors’ favour, together with Unidentified by Bogdan George Apetri, We Are Here. We Are Close by Roman Balayan and The Year of Fury by Rafa Russo.

The 1-2 Competition, celebrating first and second features, will include Ane Is Missing [+see also:
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interview: David Pérez Sañudo
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]
by David Pérez SañudoJing Wang’s The Best Is Yet To Come and Asia [+see also:
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by Ruthy Pribar. In The Black Cat, Karim Mohammad-Amini will show Iran’s new generation, while in the already acclaimed My Favorite War [+see also:
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interview: Ilze Burkovska Jacobsen
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, Ilze Burkovska-Jacobsen opens up about her family. Blindfold by Taras DronGo Back by Eun-Young Seo, and Lovecut [+see also:
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 by Iliana Estañol and Johanna Lietha will round off the competition, alongside Mia Misses Her Revenge [+see also:
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 by Bogdan Theodor OlteanuNeedle Park Baby [+see also:
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 by Pierre MonnardScumbag [+see also:
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by Rudolf Biermann and Mariana Čengel Solčanská, Cecília Felméri’s Spiral and, finally, Under the Concrete [+see also:
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by Roy Arida, Ian Watson’s Unsound and Valentina, directed by Cássio Pereira dos Santos.

While the screenings are set to take place intheatres, the festival’s industry sidebar, CentEast, will move partly online for its 16th edition, happening from 15-18 October. “The aim of the event is to promote Eastern European cinema on the international market and to connect film professionals from all over the world,” explained the coordinator of the event, Alexandra Senn. “This year's edition will be unique: due to COVID-19, it will be held in a hybrid form. Against all odds, we have managed to keep some of our signature events intact.”

These will include the Works-in-Progress selection of 12 projects from Eastern Europe, including “really strong titles from Poland”, as pointed out by Senn, presentations from the Wajda School, and workshops organised by DocLab Poland, the FIPRESCI Warsaw Critics Project and the Warsaw Next workshop for young filmmakers, this year focusing on screenwriting and film development. The festival will close with a screening of Andrei Konchalovsky’s Dear Comrades! [+see also:
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.

The Warsaw International Film Festival, organised by the Warsaw Film Foundation, is supported by the Capital City of Warsaw, the Polish Film Institute, the country’s Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, and the Marshal's Office of the Mazowieckie Voivodeship.

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