Polish Cinema at the 70th Cannes IFF

17 May saw the start of the 70th International Film Festival in Cannes. The programme features events related to Polish cinema and films co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. 

“Man of Iron” in the Cannes Classics Section

Man of Iron screening at 70. Cannes IFF

Krystyna Janda, Magdalena Sroka, Thierry Frémaux. Photo by Agata Dąbrowska/bindupphoto.pl

The digitally remastered Man of Iron by Andrzej Wajda (1981) was presented in the prestigious Cannes Classics section. The screening was held in the evening of Sunday, 21 May, at the Festival Palace. It was attended, among others, by Krzysztof Zanussi, Roman Polański, Jerzy Skolimowski, Ryszard Bugajski, Jacek Bromski, Agnieszka Holland, Małgorzata Szumowska, and close associates of Andrzej Wajda who worked with him on the Man of Iron – Krystyna Janda and Allan Starski.

Man of Iron won the 1981 Golden Palm at the Cannes Film Festival, and was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film.

The festival director, Frédéric Frémaux, invited Lech Wałęsa, former president of Poland and the historical leader of the trade union movement Solidarity, to participate at the event. The partner of the show is Kulczyk Investments S.A.

Additional information about the screening:

Katarzyna Mazurkiewicz, plenipotentiary of the General Director of the Polish Film Institute, head of the International Relations Department katarzyna.mazurkiewicz@pisf.pl tel.+48 661 221 867

Anna Sierakowska, Polish Film Promotion asierakowska@polishfilmpromotion.com tel. +48 693 221 677
More about the film: en.pisf.pl/news//man-of-iron-in-prestigious-cannes-classics.

Time to Go in the Short Film Competition

Time to Go. Photo by Maciej Miller

Time to Go, directed by Grzegorz Mołda, is among nine films from around the world that fighting for the Golden Palm in the Short Film Competition. Time to Go was created as a diploma film in the Gdynia Film School and has been co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. The films in this competition will be judged by a jury chaired by Romanian director Cristian Mungiu, including Clotilde Hesme, Barry Jenkins, Eric Khoo and Athina Rachel Tsangari.

Dates and screening times:

  • 27.05, 11.00 Salle Debussy
  • 27.05, 16.00 Salle Buñuel

More information about the film: en.pisf.pl/news/time-to-go-in-cannes

Contact during the 70th Cannes International Film Festival: Marta Drankiewicz, Gdyńska Szkoła Filmowa info@gsf.pl tel. +48 663 710 410

The Best Fireworks Ever at the Semaine de la Critique

The Best Fireworks Ever. Photo by the Munk Studio

The film Najpiękniejsze fajerwerki ever (The Best Fireworks Ever) qualified for the short film competition Semaine de la Ciritique. On May 24, the film’s world premiere had place.

Aleksandra Terpińska receives  Rail d'Or

Aleksandra Terpińska receives Rail d’Or award at 70. Cannes IFF. Photo by PISF

On May 25, Aleksandra Terpińska received two awards in Cannes – Canal+ Award and Rail d’Or. The films in this section was judged by a jury comprising Diana Bustamante Escobar, Eric Kohn, Hania Mroué and Niels Schneider and headed by Brazilian director Kleber Mendonça Filho.

“Aleksandra Terpińska’s The Best Fireworks Ever was a soul-crushingly beautiful take on the apocalyptically neigh suicidally colliding forces of Poland’s imaginary political streetscape. There’s more heart and pain and beauty and conviction in her 30 minutes than all the features I’ve seen here” – writes Sam Kuhn in the review at filmmakermagazine.com.

The film is produced by the Munk Studio, working under the Polish Filmmakers Association.

Dates and screening times:

  • 24.05, 14.30 Miramar (filmmakers attending)
  • 24.05, 20.00 Miramar (filmmakers attending)
  • 26.05, 18.30 Alexandre III

More information about the film: en.pisf.pl/news/the-best-fireworks-ever-at-70th-cannes-film-festival.

Contact during the 70th Cannes International Film Festival: Anna Kot, the Munk Studioa – the Polish Filmmakers Association a.kot@sfp.org.pl tel. +48 721 622 755

It is worth mentioning that in this section, German cinema will be represented by the film Ela – Sketches On A Departure, made in Filmuniversität Babelsberg Konrad Wolf by the German-born director of Polish origin Oliver Adam Kusio. Karolina Romuk-Wodoracka, Bartosz Sak, Karolina Porcari and Mikołaj Trzybiński performed in this Polish language picture.

Roman Polański’s New Film in Cannes

Roman Polański and Eva Green on the set of Based On A True Story. Photo by Monolith Films

Outside of the competition, the Main Section of the 70th Cannes Film Festival will feature Roman Polański’s latest film, Based on A True Story starring Eva Green and Emmanuelle Seigner. Paweł Edelman is the director of photography for the film. This is the third project by Roman Polański supported by the Polish Film Institute, and the second one in which the Polish co-producer is Monolith Films. The latest film by the Polish director is an adaptation of the French- language novel D’après une histoire vraie, published in France in 2015 by Delphine De Vigan.

Dates and screening times:

  • 27.05, 08:30, 14:30, 19:00 Grand Theatre Lumière

More information about the film: en.pisf.pl/news/roman-polanski-s-film-supported-by-pisf-at-the-70th-cannes-film-festival.

It is worth adding that, also entered in the Main Competition, is a new film by Sergei Loznitsa entitled A Gentle Creature – the main costume designer for this picture was Dorota Roqueplo, who has won many awards, including the Polish Film Award and other awards at the Polish Feature Film Festival. She has also created costumes for films such as My Nikifor, The Mill and the Cross and Warsaw ’44. The costumes for Sergei Loznitsa’s movie were created in cooperation with Beata Święcicka and Marzena Wojciechowska.

Frost in the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs

Team of Frost at 70th Cannes IFF. Photo by Agata Dąbrowska/bindupphoto.pl

The Quinzaine des Réalisateurs section features the French-Lithuanian-Ukrainian-Polish co-production co-financed by the PFI, entitled Frost and directed by Šarūnas Bartas. Among other things, the film features performances by Vanessa Paradis and Andrzej Chyra.

The first reviews of Frost have been published in the French press. Luc Chessel of Liberation writes: “Sharunas Bartas’ film, featuring a young Lithuanian couple travelling with a humanitarian convoy to Donbass, has a magnificent finale.” “Like in all of Bartas’ films, it’s the faces that strike us the most at first. The faces of Mantas Jancauskas (who plays Rokas) and Lyja Maknaviciute (who plays Inga). They are enigmatic, because what we read in them is entirely different from what is happening on screen; they are not illegible, but distinct in their own way […]. It is tempting to reveal the film’s ending. Anyone will tell you that the last twenty minutes of the film are magnificent […].

Frost is in a sense a northern and postmodern version of Rosselini’s Journey to Italy; a young couple gets lost in the night, in the snowy steppes, before facing real danger — war […]. The proximity of death makes love and life all the more valuable. This long journey also features magnificent moments. The surrealism of the luxurious hotel where the humanitarian organisation delegation is based […], the experience of infidelity, with Vanessa Paradis giving a spectacular performance as a woman who, under cover of night, confides in young Rokas. The film’s snowy and desolate plains reveal the ultimate and atrocious truth of war, which comes down to killing or being killed,” writes Jacques Mandelbaum for Le Monde.

Dates and screening times:

  • 23.05, 08:45 Theatre Croisette I JW Mariott
  • 23.05, 16.00 Theatre Croisette I JW Mariott

More information about the film: en.pisf.pl/news/frost-an-international-co-production-at-the-70th-cannes-film-festival.

Scaffolding in the ACID programme

Scaffolding team during 70. Cannes IFF

Keren Berger, Izabela Kiszka-Hoflik, Matan Yair, Asher Lax, Bartosz Bieniek and Stanisław Dziedzic. Photo by PFI

An Israeli-Polish co-production supported by the Polish Film Institute, Scaffolding – Matan Yair’s debut – was included in the programme of the ACID section (Association du Cinéma Indépendant pour sa Diffusion). The director of photography for Scaffolding is Polish cameraman Bartosz Bieniek.

Dates and screening times:

  • 20.05, 11:00 Studio 13 (filmmakers attending)
  • 20.05, 20.00 and 22:30 Les Arcades (filmmakers attending)
  • 24.05, 14:00 Alexandre III

After the premiere in Cannes first reviews appeared in the press. “At its core, Scaffolding is a sharply drawn study of the father-son dynamic; highlighted by teachings of thematically appropriate Greek tragedies and works by Chekhov, the only heavy-handed moments in an otherwise impressively sensitive film” – we read in Screen Daily review. Nikki Baughan calles Matan Yair’s movie “a small film with a big heart” and underlines “Scaffolding’s strong message and central performance from striking newcomer Asher Lax — one of Yair’s real-life students and the inspiration for the film”.

More information about the film: en.pisf.pl/news/scaffolding-co-financed-by-pisf-at-70th-cannes-film-festival.

Maria Blicharska in the “Producers on the Move” programme

Producers on the Move 2017 na 70. MFF w Cannes. Fot. Agata Dąbrowska/bindupphoto.pl

Polish producer Maria Blicharska (Donten & Lacroix Films) was among the participants of the prestigious programme “Producers on the Move”. The 18th edition of the programme, organised by European Film Promotion, was attended by 20 young European producers. Participation in the programme is intended to establish broader industry contacts and networking, which are increasingly influencing European cinema industry.

More information: en.pisf.pl/news/maria-blicharska-producer-on-the-move-2017.

Poles Participating in the Producers Network

Producers Network

Producers Network at 70. Cannes IFF. Photo by Agata Dąbrowska/bindupphoto.pl

The 14th edition of the Producers Network industry events took place place from 18-24 May. The annual event accompanying the festival in Cannes is attended by about 550 film industry representatives from around the world. Participating in the event is a great opportunity to meet potential partners to co-produce, distribute, or promote films.

The programme of this year’s edition of the Producers Network was attended by five Polish producers selected by the PFI – Polish Film Institute:

  • Leszek Bodzak (Aurum Film)
  • Katarzyna Fukacz (Tito Productions)
  • Marta Lewandowska (No Sugar Films)
  • Marta Plucińska (Federico Film)
  • Izabela Igel (Harine Films)

Among the Polish producers participating at the Producers’ Network meetings are Anna Fam, representing Film Spring Open. On Wednesday 24 May, as part of the Producers Network, a business breakfast was held, co-organised by the Polish Film Institute.

New Horizons’ Polish Days Goes to Cannes

New Horizons’ Polish Days Goes to Cannes. Fot. Agata Dąbrowska//bindupphoto.pl

New Horizons’ Polish Days Goes to Cannes was presenting five titles, including three feature-length debuts: Diagnosis – a documentary film directed by Ewa Podgórska, Thrice Falls the Saint – Jacek Januszyk’s fiction debut, Tower. A Bright Day – Jagoda Szelc’s fiction debut and Mariusz Wilczyński’s animated film – Kill It and Leave This Town, as well as the latest film by Dorota Kędzierzawska – “Speedway”.

The closed screening of New Horizons’ Polish Days Goes to Cannes was held on 23 May at 10.00-12.00 at the Palais K-level 4 in the Palais des Festivals.

More information: en.pisf.pl/news/new-horizon-s-polish-days-goes-to-cannes-at-march-du-film.

A Polish-Lithuanian Agreement

Rolandas Kvietkauskas, Magdalena Sroka. Fot. Agata Dąbrowska/bindupphoto.pl

During the 70th IFF in Cannes a cooperation agreement was signed between the Polish Film Institute and the Lithuanian Film Centre.

More information at en.pisf.pl/news/cannes-2017-cooperation-agreement-between-film-institutes-from-poland-and-lithuania.

Co-Production Meetings

Polish producers are planning to take part in a number of industry co-production meetings. Here are some of them:

  • A meeting with producers from Luxembourg, organised in collaboration with Film Fund Luxembourg, took place on Saturday, 20 May from 12:00 – 13: 00 at the Luxembourg stand (International Village, Pavilion 128).
  • A meeting with Argentinian producers, organised in cooperation with the INCAA, took place on Saturday, 20 May from 17:30 – 19:00 at the Argentina stand (International Village, Pavilion 127).
  • The French-German-Polish co-production breakfast was held on 22 May at the Polish Cinema Stand. The event was organised jointly by the PFI, CNC, FFA and two German regional funds, MBB and MDM. This was a closed co-production meeting between producers of all three countries.

Polish Short Films at the Short Film Corner

Polish films were included in the 14th edition of the Short Film Corner review. In the “Polish Shorts” programme, as well as the two competition titles, you were able to see 25 films, including The Wizard of U.S. by Balbina Bruszewska, Spitsbergen by Michał Szcześniak, Tomasz Siwiński’s The Moczarski Case, The Range by Anna Fam and Olga Chajdas’s, Morning Has Broken.

More information on the Short Film Corner: www.cannescourtmetrage.com.

Marché du Film

This year, over fifty Polish films and co-productions were represented in Cannes at the Marché du Film, including Animals by Greg Zgliński, Spoor by Agnieszka Holland, Behind the Blue Door by Mariusz Palej, I’m a Killer by Maciej Pieprzyca, Baba Vanga by Aleksandra Niemczyk, Waves by Grzegorz Zariczny, Art of Loving by Maria Sadowska, The Erlprince by Kuba Czekaj, Communion by Anna Zamecka, The Last Family by Jan P. Matuszyński and Maria Skłodowska-Curie directed by Marie Noelle.

More information about the fair: www.marchedufilm.com.

11th Edition of ScripTeast and Awarding the Krzysztof Kieślowski ScripTeast Prize

ScripTeast 2017 in Cannes. Photo by PFI

During the 70th Film Festival in Cannes, the Krzysztof Kieślowski Prize for Best Screenplay developed under the PFI co-financed ScripTeast programme was awarded for the eleventh time, to the best scriptwriter from Central and Eastern Europe. Through the decision of the ScripTeast Artistic Council, composed of Sandy Lieberson, Antonio Saura, Manfred Schmidt, Simon Perry, Tom Abrams and Christian Routh, the Award has been made to the script “Sorry Poland” by Kuba Czekaj. The 11th edition of the programme featured 11 scripts from nine countries, including from Georgia and Belarus, for the first time in the programme’s history.

This year’s edition of the programme began on 18 May. Participants at the workshop in Cannes will focus on the promotion of the completed projects and will meet producers, sales agents, representatives of festivals, film funds and distribution companies.

The ceremony announcing the winner was held on 23 May. Three scripts from Poland were running for the prize: by Anna Kazejak and Przemysław Nowakowski, Kuba Czekaj and Agnieszka Zwiefka.

Agnieszka Holland on the European Film Academy and Equal Opportunities

Agnieszka Holland. Photo by Marcin Kułakowski, PFI

The 70th IFF in Cannes also sees the European Film Forum, which is organised by the Creative Europe MEDIA programme. During this event, there was a lecture on the European Film Academy and European Film Awards by EFA President Agnieszka Holland. On 20 May, Agnieszka Holland, together with the director of the Swedish Film Institute, Anna Serner and Austrian director Jessica Hausner, took part in the “50/50 in 2020” debate on equal opportunities for women and men in the film industry. The co-organisers of this meeting were Women in Film and Television Nordic Network and the Cannes Film Market.

The Polish Cinema Stand

The 9th floor of the Grand Hotel in Cannes (La Croisette 45) will again host the Polish Cinema Stand. This has long been the favoured place for meetings of PFI representatives, filmmakers, producers and partners and representatives of the international film industry and festivals, world sales agents, distributors and foreign press.

On 21 May, the Polish Cinema Opening Night was held for the festival guests (Le Rado Plage, Cannes).

A new Polish Film Magazine issue is presented at the Cannes Film Festival, which is available online from 17 May at Film Commission Poland website and at the Marché du Film. The current issue is largely devoted to the Polish presence in Cannes. The magazine will feature texts about Polish films and co-productions that are included in the programme of the festival. The PFM also intruduces the figures of Maria Blicharska, Monika Lenczewska and Jan Naszewski. A special interview was given to the PFM by Roman Polański, whose film Based On A True Story will be shown in Cannes.

For the fair and the festival, Film Commisison Poland has also prepared new editions of well-known publications. Production Guide Poland is a condensed guide to the Polish film industry, presenting the regulations for the financing of film production in Poland as well as the available resources (e.g. film studios and facilities) and the market participants (producers, distributors, broadcasters, industry organisations).

In turn, Location Guide Poland provides a thematic overview of Polish locations and highlights their diversity. Both publications are available in Cannes in paper and online: www.filmcommissionpoland.pl/about-fcp/production-location-guide.

The 70th Cannes International Film Festival takes place from 17-28 May 2017.

More information: www.festival-cannes.com.

Marta Sikorska

Translated by Paweł Włochacz