"Ki" in Venice
Paweł Ferdek and Leszek Dawid. Photo courtesy of www.venice-days.com
September 9th brought a gala screening of Ki (My Name Is Ki), the feature debut from Leszek Dawid, at the 68th Venice International Film Festival. My Name Is Ki was one of twenty films screening in the eighth edition of Venice Days.
My Name Is Ki, described by the organizers of Venice Days as “a unique portrait of a woman”, was a strong point in this year’s edition of the programme. The film was praised both by audiences and industry representatives.
Director Leszek Dawid said: “Sometimes after a screening people would approach me and express their positive feelings about the film. I am especially glad that audiences appreciated My Name Is Ki for many different reasons; they were able to notice very different aspects of the story I had told. Many said that our film stood out against the other titles screening at Venice Days. As opposed to the majority of depressing dramas, they saw My Name Is Ki as something lighter, although the story told in this film is far from a happy one.”
The film’s Venice screening was preceded by a mini press conference. The director and his co-writer Paweł Ferdek answered questions from journalists and audiences. The moderator was mostly interested in the making of the film and the reasons behind casting Roma Gąsiorowska in the title role. Another important point in the discussion was the authenticity of the film, and its unique form that seemed to fit ideally with the personality of the film’s main character.
Audiences also had pleasant words to say about My Name Is Ki: “At first I was sure that I was watching a film made by a woman. It’s incredible that the director, screenwriter, and director of photography – all men – were able to portray our way of thinking with such empathy. They made a really believable film,” said Catherine Nilsson from Sweden. Antonio Mazzini from Italy added: “I have seen many films about young women trying to find their place in life. This film really stands out against them thanks to its highly original style. I have a special appreciation for the work of the cinematographer, who made the on-screen world very intense.”
Director Leszek Dawid emphasized the importance of the universality of the story, which enables it to reach audiences from around the world. Dawid said: “I have a strong feeling that we made a movie that meets European standards. We managed to combine the efficiency of story-ttelling with a special attention to form. If there are any differences in the perception of My Name Is Ki by audiences from Poland and from abroad, they lie mostly in their attitudes towards the on-screen atmosphere. I can’t help the feeling that in Poland our film is seen as a much more serious picture.”
As Leszek Dawid stated, Venice marks only the starting point in the journey of My Name Is Ki across international film festivals. The film has an international sales agent. Leszek Dawid’s feature debut has so far been invited to screen in Cottbus, Paris and Saint Petersburg.
Further details about the eighth edition of Venice Days available at www.venice-days.com.
Piotr Czerkawski, Venice
Translated by Karolina Kołtun