Polish film in the International Competition at the Venice Festival
The film by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert „Never gonna snow again” was included in the International Competition of the Venice Film Festival. This year’s edition of the event will feature a record number of productions (9) with the participation of Poles. Most of them were co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.
„Never gonna snow again” is the first Polish film in five years in the Main Competition of the Venice festival. The image by the Szumowska-Englert duo was based on their shared script. The cast includes: Alec Utgoff, Maja Ostaszewska, Agata Kulesza, Weronika Rosati, Katarzyna Figura, Andrzej Chyra, Łukasz Simlat and Krzysztof Czeczot.
One foggy morning in the city appears HE – an attractive man from a true, exotic east. Żenia, because that is his name, has a gift. His hands heal, and his eyes look into the souls of single women. The man works as a masseur in a wealthy estate near the city. Working for people separated by a wall from the „worse” world, he learns about their stories and personal dramas. Soon Zenia’s remarkable abilities will change the lives of each of them.
Michał Englert is responsible for cinematography for the film, for editing: Jarosław Kamiński and Agata Cierniak, for sound: Kacper Habisiak, Marcin Kasiński and Marcin Jachyra. Production was managed by: Dagmara Bagnecka and Stefaan Schieder. The set design was prepared by Jagna Janicka, costumes – Katarzyna Lewińska, make-up – Waldemar Pokromski. The producers are: Agnieszka Wasiak and Mariusz Włodarski from Lava Films, Viola Fügen and Michael Weber from Match Factory Productions, as well as Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert, and the co-producers are: Mazovia and Warsaw Film Fund, Kino Świat, DI-Factory, Bayerischer Rundfunk in cooperation with Arte. The project is co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.
„Quo vadis, Aida?”
The Main Competition also includes the film „Quo vadis, Aida?”, which is a co-production of as many as eight countries: Poland, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Austria, Romania, the Netherlands, Germany, France and Norway. The Polish producer is Ewa Puszczyńska (Extreme Emotions). The director and author of the script is Jasmila Žbanić, whose feature debut – „Grbavica” won the Golden Bear in 2006 at the Berlin Festival, and was also nominated for the European Film Awards in the Best Film and Best Actress category.
Bosnia, July 1995. Aida is a UN translator in the small town of Srebrenica. When the Serbian army takes over the city, her family is among the thousands of citizens seeking refuge in a UN camp. As a person with insight into negotiations, Aida has access to key information that she needs to interpret. What’s on the horizon for her family and people – rescue or death? Which move should she make?
In turn, Polish cinematographer Michał Sobociński is the author of the cinematography for the Indian film „The Disciple” directed by Chaitanya Tamhane, which also compete in the Main Competition. Sharad Nerulkar has devoted himself to becoming an Indian classical vocalist, a lifelong quest in which few succeed. Initiated into this centuries-old tradition by his father, he follows his dream with sincerity and discipline, committing himself entirely to his artistic journey. As he strives to attain the highest level of his craft, Sharad traces his way through the hallowed mysteries and rituals of past musical legends. But as the years pass, Sharad will be forced to negotiate between the complex realities of life in contemporary Mumbai and his chosen path, leading him to find his true voice in music and in life.
The film „Mosquito state” by Filip Jan Rymsza, who together with Mario Zermeno is the author of the script, will also be shown at the Venice festival in the “Out of Competition, Fiction” section. Eric Koretz is responsible for cinematography, for music: Cezary Skubiszewski, set design: Marek Warszewski, make-up: Karolina Kordas and Alina Janerka, costumes: Katarzyna Lewińska, sound: Sebastian Witkowski and Mateusz Adamczyk, and editing: Andrew Hafitz, Bob Murawski and Wojciech Janas. The production manager is Andrzej Besztak, and the film was produced by Włodzimierz Niderhaus (Documentary and Feature Film Studios), and the co-producer was Filip Jan Rymsza (Royal Road Entertainment). The cast includes Beau Knapp, Charlotte Vega, Jack Kesy and Olivier Martinez.
August 2007. Alone in his penthouse overlooking Central Park, obsessive Wall Street data scientist Richard Boca sees an ominous pattern: his computer models behave erratically, as do swarms of mosquitoes breed in his apartment; the scourge that accompanies his nervous breakdown.
„HOPPER / WELLES”
In the non-competition section „Out of Competition, Non Fiction” there is also the image „HOPPER / WELLES”, which is a Polish co-production. It was directed by Orson Welles and produced by Filip Jan Rymsza („Mosquito State”, „The Other Side of the Wind”) and his company Royal Road Entertainment in co-production with FIXAFILM. The material that has never been presented before is a record of an intimate and creative conversation that took place in the early 1970s between two great personalities of the film world. The eternally rebellious Orson Welles interrogates Dennis Hopper from behind the camera, who was then very popular after the success of „Easy Rider”. The original 5-hour footage was cut short thanks to the work of Oscar-winning editor Bob Murawski („The Hurt Locker”, „Spider-Man”).
„Apples” is a Greek-Polish co-production of debut director Christos Nikou, which will be the opening film of the Orizzonti section. The cinematographer is Bartosz Świniarski, and the main role was played by Aris Servetalis. The producers of the film are Iraklis Mavroidis, Angelo Venetis, Aris Dayios, Nikos Smpiliris from the Greek company Boo Productions and Mariusz Włodarski from Lava Films. The Polish co-producer is DI Factory, and the picture was created with the support of the Polish Film Institute.
An unpredictable, spreading pandemic causes people to experience sudden amnesia. A man enters a treatment program to help him build a new life. His therapy is to carry out daily activities prescribed by doctors on a cassette tape and capture these new memories with a Polaroid.
As part of the International Criticism Week (Settimana Internazionale della Critica), we will see the Italian-Polish „Non odiare” („Thou Shalt Not Hate”) by Mauro Mancini, who together with Davide Lisino is also the author of the script. The cast includes: Alessandro Gassmann, Sara Serraiocco, Luka Zunic, Lorenzo Buonora and Lorenzo Acquaviva, Gabriele Sangrigoli, Paolo Giovannucci, Sheel Cosmet and Mauritium Zacchocka.
The picture was produced by Mario Mazzarotto and it is an Italian-Polish co-production: Movimento Film, Aggressive Banda, Rai Cinema, in cooperation with Notorious Pictures, with the support of the Italian Ministry of Cultural Heritage – Directorate General for Cinema, Polish Film Institute and Lazio Region, in cooperation from Friuli-Venezia Giulia Film Commission. Co-production: Alessandro Leone and Emiliano Caradonna, Maciej Stern Sterzyński and Mike Stern Sterzyński (Stern Pictures Associate Producers), Diego Panadisi and Greg Strasz (Associate Producers Why Worry Production) and Guglielmo Marchetti (Associate Producer Notorious Pictures). Mike Stern Sterzyński is responsible for photos, editing: Paola Freddy, music: Pivio & Aldo de Scalzi, costumes – Carlo Aloisio and Catia Dottori, sound – Luca Bertolin and Danilo Romancino.
In a city in the northeast, a Central European non-place, a combination of heterogeneous history, different ethnic groups, and with an old Jewish community lives Simone Segre (Alessandro Gassmann), an established surgeon of Jewish origin: he has a quiet life, he lives in an elegant apartment and he has no ties to the past. One day, Simone rescues a man who has been the victim of a hit-and-run driver. But when he discovers a Nazi tattoo on his chest, he abandons him to his fate. However, Simone feels so guilty for the man’s death to the point of tracking down the neoNazi family, who turns out to be fascinated by neo-Nazism
The program of the Giornate degli Autori / Venice Days section also includes Polish accents. The Polish-Russian-Belgian debut of Filip Jurejew „Kitoboy” takes part in the competition. We will also see a short film by Małgorzata Szumowska entitled „Nightwalk”, which is part of the „Miu Miu Woman’s Tales” project.
The Venice International Film Festival, one of the most prestigious in the world, will be opened by the Italian production of „Lacci” by Daniele Luchetti. The jury of the Main Competition will be chaired by actress Cate Blanchett, joined by: Austrian director Veronika Franz, British director Joanna Hogg, Italian writer and screenwriter Nicola Lagioia, German filmmaker Christian Petzold, Romanian director Cristi Puiu and French actress Ludivine Sagnier.