Berlinale. Film from director M. Szumowska in Main Competition

Andrzej Chyra. Photo by Fot. Michał Englert
Andrzej Chyra. Photo by Fot. Michał Englert


W imię… (In the Name of…), the latest film from director Małgorzata Szumowska, will have its world premiere screening in Main Competition at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival. The film was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.

Film Co-Financed by Polish Film Institute Featured in Berlinale Lineup

“I am happy to learn that once again we have a film by a Polish filmmaker screening in main competition at Berlinale. Alongside Cannes and Venice, Berlin is one of the world’s top international film festivals. This will be the third feature by director Małgorzata Szumowska to screen at Berlinale” says General Director of the Polish Film Institute Agnieszka Odorowicz.

The World Premiere of Polish Film


W imię… (In the Name of…) tells the contemporary story of a priest who launches a centre for troubled youth in a small parish. He is a good priest and is well-liked by his congregation, which remains unaware of his complicated past.  “I portray the main character, played by Andrzej Chyra, as a man who is coping with loneliness. My new film will be about faith, doubt, and longing for emotions,” said Małgorzata Szumowska in an interview.


The screenplay was co-written by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert, who also lensed the film. In the Name of… features performances by Andrzej Chyra and Mateusz Kościukiewicz, with supporting roles by Maja Ostaszewska, Łukasz Simlat, Tomasz Schuchardt, Maria Maj, Olgierd Łukaszewicz, as well as non-professional actors. The film was produced by Mental Disorder 4, co-produced by Canal+ and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. World sales are handled by Memento Films, while the Polish distributor is Kino Świat.

Polish Presence in Berlinale’s Main Competition

Szumowka’s feature will screen in Main Competition alongside such films as Paradise: Hope by Ulrich Seidl, Camille Claudel 1915 by Bruno Dumont, and Promised Land by Gus Van Sant.


“It brings me great satisfaction to know that the work of Małgorzata Szumowska has once again been recognized by the Berlin festival team. I hope that W imię… (In the Name of…) is received well by the Jury and by the international audience” – says Agnieszka Odorowicz.


In previous years, the Main Competition at Berlinale featured a number of Polish films, including Tatarak (Sweet Rush) by Andrzej Wajda (winner of the Alfred Bauer Award for opening new perspectives in film art at the 2009 edition of Berlinale), Weiser by Wojciech Marczewski in 2001, as well as the short films Jam Session by Izabela Plucińska in 2005 and Rendez-Vous by Marcin Janos Krawczyk in 2007. Since 2008, short films are screened in the Berlinale Shorts competition, which has also featured several Polish films to date, including Kizi Mizi by Mariusz Wilczyński in 2008 and Świteź (The Lost Town of Świteź) by Kamil Polak in 2011.

Awards for Wojciech Staroń and Roman Polański

In 2011, the Silver Bear award for artistic accomplishment was presented at the closing gala of the 61st Berlin International Film Festival to Polish cinematographer Wojciech Staroń, responsible for the visual side of El Premio (The Prize) by Paula Markovich, which screened in Main Competition and had also been co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. In 2010, Roman Polański received the Silver Bear award as the director of The Ghost Writer.

New Polish Films at Berlinale

The selection of Polish films that screened at the Berlin International Film Festival in recent years includes the following titles: Dług (The Debt) by Krzysztof Krauze (2000; Panorama section, which also featured The Third Miracle by Agnieszka Holland); Wojaczek by Lech Majewski (2000; Forum section); Pamiętam (I Remember) by Marfel Łoziński (2002; Forum); List by Denijal Hasanovic (2002; Kinderfilmfest); Dzień Świra (Day of the Wacko) by Marek Koterski and Edi (Eddie) by Piotr Trzaskalski (both in the Forum section in 2003); the short feature Kocham cię (I Love You) by Paweł Borowski (2004; Panorama); Nienasycenie (Insatiability) by Wiktor Grodecki (2004; Panorama); Dotknij mnie (Touch Me) by Anna Jadowska and Ewa Stankiewicz (2004; Forum); Ballada o kozie (Goat Walker) by Bartek Konopka (presented at the 2004 Berlinale Talent Campus); Ono (Stranger) by Małgorzata Szumowska (2005; Panorama); Komornik (The Collector) by Feliks Falk (2006; Panorama); Doskonałe popołudnie (A Perfect Afternoon) by Przemysław Wojcieszek (2006; Forum); Jestem (I Am) by Dorota Kędzierzawska (2006; Kinderfilmfest); Sala samobójców (Suicide Room) by Jan Komasa (2011; Panorama); Made in Poland by Przemysław Wojcieszek (2011; Forum); Jutro będzie lepiej (Tomorrow Will Be Better) by Dorota Kędzierzawska (2011; Generation); Sponsoring (Elles) by Małgorzata Szumowska (2012; Panorama), and Sekret (The Secret) by Przemysław Wojcieszek (2012; Forum).

Special Screenings: Andrzej Wajda and Classics of Polish Cinema

In 2002, a special retrospective at Berlinale featured such Polish films as Nóż w wodzie (Knife in the Water) by Roman Polański, Rysopis (Identification Marks: None) by Jerzy Skolimowski, Struktura kryształu (The Structure of Crystal) by Krzysztof Zanussi, and Zaduszki (All Soul’s Day) by Tadeusz Konwicki. The competition section has also featured special screenings of Pilatus und Andere (Pilate and Others) and Pan Tadeusz (Pan Tadeusz – The Last Foray in Lithuania) by Andrzej Wajda (2006 and 2000 respectively), while in 2008 the Berlin International Film Festival marked the world premiere of Katyń (Katyn). Furthermore, in 2006 Andrzej Wajda received the Golden Bear for Lifetime Achievement. In 2009, the After the Winter Comes Spring programme also featured several Polish films, including Tango by Zbigniew Rybczyński, Tańczący jastrząb (The Dancing Hawk) by Grzegorz Królikiewicz, Mein Fenster (My Window) by Józef Robakowski, Krótki film o zabijaniu (A Short Film About Killing) by Krzysztof Kieślowski, and Wojna światów – następne stulecie (The War of the Worlds: Next Century) by Piotr Szulkin.

Berlin International Film Festival

The Berlin International Film Festival has been organized annually since 1951 and remains one of the most important and prestigious film festivals in the world. The 63rd edition of Berlinale will run from February 7 through February 17, 2013. In addition to Małgorzata Szumowska’s In the Name of…, the lineup of this year’s festival features Bejbi Blues (Baby Blues) by Katarzyna Rosłaniec, also co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. This film will screen both in the Generation 14plus competition section and in the Panorama.


“I am also glad to know that at this year’s Berlin film festival Polish cinema will be represented by the works of two female directors. Both films were produced by Agnieszka Kurzydło. This is a major accomplishment that deserves recognition” says General Director of the Polish Film Institute Agnieszka Odorowicz.


The Forum section of Berlinale will also feature Sieniawka, a Polish-German co-production directed by Marcin Malaszczak and supported by the Polish Film Institute.


Marta Sikorska


Translated by Karolina Kołtun