"80 Million" Premieres in Moscow
The creators of 80 milionów (80 Million) at the Moscow International Film Festival
June 24 marked the international premiere of 80 milionów (80 Million) by Waldemar Krzystek, which took place at the “Oktyabr” Festival Centre of the 34th Moscow International Film Festival. The film was shown in Main Competition of the Moscow International Film Festival.
Polish Film in Main Competition
“I am very glad that 80 Million will be shown in Moscow, because the history of the transition in Poland, the 1980s, and ‘Solidarity’ is still often seen in Russia from a false perspective,” said Waldemar Krzystek upon learning that his latest film will screen in main competition of the Moscow event. “It is important to us that Russians see something more in 80 Million than the subject matter alone; that they recognize a very well made film,” said producer Marcin Kurek before the Moscow screenings.
80 milionów (80 Million) is the second film by Waldemar Krzystek to screen in Main Competition at the Moscow Film Festival. In 2009, his previous picture Mała Moskwa (Little Moscow) was featured in the festival’s Main Competition lineup, winning the Audience Award.
80 Million and the Wrocław Leg of ‘Solidarity’
80 milionów (80 Million), co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, focuses on real events that took place ten days before martial law was introduced in Poland. Led by the head of the Wrocław-region leg of ‘Solidarity’ Władysław Frasyniuk, three activists went to a bank and withdrew 80 million from ‘Solidarity’ accounts. The authorities saw this as a ‘bank holdup’ and began frantic efforts to retrieve the funds. The money was miraculously spared, and after the introduction of martial law in Poland served to build the underground movement in Wrocław.
The film was produced by Media Brigade, co-written by Waldemar Krzystek and Krzysztof Kopka, and lensed by Piotr Śliskowski.
Warm Welcome in Moscow for Polish Filmmakers
The recent screenings of 80 Million at the Moscow Film Festival have been very popular with Russian press and with festival audiences. After the film screenings, many audience members congratulated the filmmakers, asking detailed questions about history, and about the making of the film. The film crew was represented in Moscow by director Waldemar Krzystek, producers Marcin Kurek and Sylwester Banaszkiewicz, and actors Piotr Głowacki, Krzysztof Czeczot, and Wojciech Solarz.
Meeting of Polish Filmmakers with Russia’s Film Experts
The premiere screening of 80 Million in Moscow was followed by a meeting with the filmmakers, attended also by Wojciech Zajączkowski, the Ambassador of Poland in Moscow. Other Polish participants in this meeting included the director of the Polish Institute in Moscow Marek Radziwon, the Polish Institute’s expert on cinema Denis Viren, and Maria Łętowska of the Polish Film Institute. International guests included Kirill Razlagov, film critic and programming director of the festival, and Naylya Golman, the festival’s programmer responsible for Eastern Europe.
Moscow International Film Festival
The Moscow International Film Festival is considered to be one of the top film events in the world. Since its 2011 edition, the festival is run by Russian actor and director Nikita Mikhalkov. This year’s members of the international jury selected to judge the films screening in Main Competition are: Hector Babenco, Siergiej Loban, Jean-Marc Barr, Adriana Chiesa di Palma, and Javor Gardev.
Further details about the Moscow International Film Festival available at: www.moscowfilmfestival.ru.
Maria Łętowska, Moscow
Translated by Karolina Kołtun