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WARSAW 2023

The 39th Warsaw Film Festival is in full swing

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- The annual film event runs between 6 and 15 October, showcasing new and old talents to Varsovian and international audiences

The 39th Warsaw Film Festival is in full swing
Song of Goats by Andrzej Jakimowski

The Warsaw Film Festival is celebrating its 39th edition in the shadow of significant political developments. The festival, which runs from the second Friday in October, will end on the day of Poland’s upcoming elections (15 October): a fact which director Stefan Laudyn mentioned in his written address on the programme brochure’s first page. In his opening speech at the Kino Atlantic (the city’s longest continuously running cinema), he presented a stance of solidarity with Ukraine and the Antalya Film Festival, which was recently affected by political pressures and censorship (see the news). Mike Downey, chair of the European Film Academy board, spoke out in support of cinema, calling it a “space for the free exchange of ideas in the democratic world” and railing against discrimination. Mentioning the name of Agnieszka Holland, among others, the speeches brought attention to migrant struggles, and called for empathy and support.

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madrid film office feb 2024 elena central

This year’s festival includes 77 feature-length and 61 short films, selected from among the 4,800 submissions from 111 countries. Competing for the main award of 100,000 PLN (around €21,000), funded by the Mayor of Warsaw, are 15 titles in the International Competition. Seven of them are world premieres, starting with the opening movie, Andrzej Jakimowski’s Song of Goats (Poland/Greece/Ireland), as well as I Don’t Love You Anymore [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
by Zdeněk Jiráský (Czech Republic/Romania/Slovakia), Taras Dron’s The Glass House (Ukraine/Cyprus/Romania/Germany), Reha Erdem’s Neandria (Turkey), Take My Breath by Nada Mezni Hafeidh (Tunisia), Jorge Hernandez Aldana’s The Shadow of Catire (Venezuela/Mexico) and the Spanish film Werewolf [+see also:
film review
interview: Pau Calpe Rufat
film profile
]
by Pau Calpe Rufat.

Fresh from their participation in Toronto, Snow Leopard by Pema Tseden (China) and Not a Word [+see also:
film review
trailer
interview: Hanna Slak
film profile
]
by Hanna Slak (Germany/France/Slovenia) join the line-up for their regional premieres. The rest of the films competing for the Warsaw Grand Prix are as follows: Asli Özge’s Black Box [+see also:
film review
trailer
film profile
]
(Germany/Belgium), Anna Fahr’s Valley of Exile (Canada/Lebanon), A Room of His Own by Matan Yair (Israel/Italy), David Oelhoffen’s The Last Men (France), Anxiety by Sławomir Fabicki (Poland/Switzerland/Germany) and Jacqueline van Vugt’s Crossing [+see also:
film review
film profile
]
(Netherlands/Belgium/Croatia).

Along with the International Competition, a total of five other sections will be judged by their respective juries: Competition 1-2, the Crème de la Crème Competition, the Free Spirit Competition, the Documentary Films Competition and the Short Film Competition. This year’s Classics From Poland section pays tribute to Jerzy Skolimowski with four digital restorations of his early films: Identification Marks: None (1965), Walkover (also 1965), Barrier (1966) and Hands Up (1981).

As usual, Warsaw is also hosting the CentEast Market, this year for the 18th time. The event serves as a meeting point for professionals interested in Polish films. Among other features, it includes the Warsaw Screenings, Warsaw Next, the FIPRESCI Warsaw Critics Project and an Art of Editing Workshop.

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