Polish Films at 52nd Karlovy Vary IFF

June 30 marked the start of the 52nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival, one of the key film events in Eastern Europe. One of the films competing for this year’s Crystal Globe award is Ptaki śpiewają w Kigali (Birds Are Singing in Kigali) by Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze. Other sections of the festival also feature Polish films in their line-up.

Ptaki śpiewają w Kigali (Birds Are Singing in Kigali) in Main Competition

Ptaki śpiewają w Kigali (Birds Are Singing in Kigali)

Ptaki śpiewają w Kigali (Birds Are Singing in Kigali), the latest film by Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze, screenes in Main Competition at the 52nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival. The film is in the running for the prestigious Crystal Globe Award against eleven other productions.

Ptaki śpiewają w Kigali (Birds Are Singing in Kigali) is Poland’s first film about refugees. Beginning in 1994, in the days immediately preceding the beginning of genocide, and ending in 1997, the film tells the story of a Polish ornithologist researching the decline in the population of vultures in Rwanda. When the genocide begins, she – somewhat accidentally – saves the life of a young Rwandan girl, the daughter of her Tutsi coworker. She brings her to Poland. But after arriving in Poland, the two women are distraught and incapable of leading a normal routine life. They try desperately to get past their horrific experience. A story about friendship, forgiveness, and the power of nature.

The film was written and directed by Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze. Ptaki śpiewają w Kigali (Birds Are Singing in Kigali) was lensed by Krzysztof Ptak, Józefina Gocman and Wojciech Staroń. The film was produced by Kos Film, co-produced by Telewizja Polska, Narodowe Centrum Kultury, Odra Film and Studio A. The film was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute and in April 2016 received the First Look Award at the 69th Locarno IFF worth 65,000 EUR worth of post-production services.

The poster Ptaki śpiewają w Kigali (Birds Are Singing in Kigali) takes part in the competition for the Best Poster of the films in the Official Selection. You can vote for it at  www.kviff.com/en/best-poster/ until July 6, 2017. 

Ptaki śpiewają w Kigali (Birds Are Singing in Kigali) – screening dates:

  • 04.07, 8:00pm Grand Hall
  • 05.07, 1:00pm Pupp Cinema
  • 07.07, 11:30am Drahomíra Cinema

Listopad (November) in Official Selection

Listopad (November)

Listopad (November), an Estonian-Polish-Dutch co-production directed by Rainer Sarmet, is screened in official selection out of competition. The film’s Polish co-producer is Łukasz Dzięcioł of Opus Films. Other co-producers are Homeless Bob Production OÜ (Estonia) and PRPL B.V. (Netherlands). The film was scored by Jacaszek. The film’s screening in Karlovy Vary marked its European premiere.

The film is based on “Rehepapp,” a best-selling Estonian novel that has been translated into eight languages. It is a story with elements of magic, black humour, and romantic love. Set in a pagan Estonian village, the film focuses on Liina, a young woman working on a farm, hopelessly in love with a local village boy named Hans. The film brings together pagan Estonian mythology with European Christian mythology in search of a miracle — the ancient force that gives man his soul. This is a film about souls: about wanting to have one, about selling it, and about living without it.

Listopad (November)  – screening dates:

  • 30.06 6:30pm        Čas Cinema
  • 04.07 9:30pm        Karlovy Vary Municipal Theatre
  • 06.07 12:30pm      Čas Cinema
  • 08.07 5:00pm        Cinema B

In Memory of Andrzej Wajda

The festival’s Out of the Past section features Andrzej Wajda. Róbmy zdjęcie! (Andrzej Wajda: Let’s shoot!), a documentary film by Maciej Cuske, Thierry Paladino, Marcin Sauter and Piotr Stasik. The film was co-financed by the Polsih Film Instutite and documents several moths of wok on Wajda’s Katyn, focusing on the mood and the scope of production, whilst being a personal portrait of one of the masters of Polish cinema.

Andrzej Wajda: Róbmy zdjęcie! (Andrzej Wajda: Let’s Shoot!) – screening dates:

  • 30.06, 8:30am        Congress Hall
  • 02.07, 10:30am      Husovka Theatre
  • 05.07, 1:00pm        Congress Hall
  • 07.07, 1:30pm        Husovka Theatre

The lineup of the Out of the Past section of KVIFF also features Andrzej Wajda’s Popiół i diament (Ashes and Diamonds).

Popiół i diament (Ashes and Diamonds) – screening dates:

  • 01.07, 7:00pm      Národní dům Cinema
  • 06.07, 9:00am      Grand Hall

Films Co-Financed by the Polish Film Institute Screening in Karlovy Vary

The Variety Critics’ Choice section lineup features Zwierzęta (Animals), the latest film by Greg Zglinski. The film had its world premiere at the 67th Berlin IFF.

Zwierzęta (Animals) is “a cinematic psychological riddle in pure Lynchian tradition; the film’s ending does not bring pay-off but instead a riddle of existential questions and an encouragement to tackle the mystery that is life. A roadside accident involving a sheep begins a series of mysterious events in the life of Anna and Nick; events during which each of them becomes confused about whether what they’re experiencing is happening in real life, in their imagination, or even in their partner’s imagination.”

Zwierzęta (Animals) is a co-production between Switzerland, Austria and Poland. Greg Zglinski not only directed the film, but also co-wrote it together with Jörg Kalt. The film was lensed by Piotr Jaxa and stars Birgit Minichmayr, Philipp Hochmair and Mona Petri. The film’s production designer was Gerald Damovsky, while Tanja Hausner was costume designer. The film’s producer on the Polish side is Łukasz Dzięcioł of Opus Film. with Aleksandra Skraba as production manager. The film’s Swiss producer is Katrin Renz of Tellfilm, while the Austrian producer was Bruno Wagner of Coop99 Filmproduktion. Zwierzęta (Animals) was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.

Zwierzęta (Animals) – screening dates:

  • 01.07, 9:00am        Cinema B
  • 02.07, 9:30pm        Čas Cinema
  • 05.07, 7:30pm        Lazne III Cinema
  • 08.07, 1:30pm        Husovka Theatre

Another section called Czech Films 2016–2017 features Agnieszka Holland’s Pokot (Spoor). The film was made as a co-production between Poland, Germany, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, and Sweden. The film’s producer is Studio Filmowe TOR, supported by funds from the European Union’s MEDIA programme and the Polish-German Co-Development Fund for developing feature film projects. The film’s co-producers include Heimatfilm (Germany), Nutprodukce (Czech Republic), Nutprodukcia (Slovakia), and Chimney (Sweden). Polish co-producers include Odra-Film, the National Audiovisual Institute, HBO, and Agora. The film was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute and received financing from Eurimages.

Pokot (Spoor) – screening dates:

  • 01.07, 2:00pm      Cinema B
  • 03.07, 7:30pm      Lazne III Cinema
  • 07.07, 7:00pm      Pupp Cinema

The festival’s People Next Door section, featuring seven productions dedicated to the blind, presents Andrzej Jakimowski’s Imagine.

Imagine – screening dates:

  • 01.07, 10:00am     Národní dům Cinema
  • 07.07, 8:00pm       Drahomíra Cinema

Barbara Hollender Programming the Six Close Encounters Section

The festival team invited Polish film critic Barbara Hollender to programme the Six Close Encounters section. This prestigious festival section focuses on film experts in various fields selecting their favourite films. This year’s titles were selected by film critics. Thanks to Barbara Hollender the Karlovy Vary audience has an opportunity to see Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Krótki film o zabijaniu (A Short Film About Killing).

Why Krzysztof Kieślowski? Because I miss him a lot. He was a unique artist who told us so much about the world and about ourselves. Today, his wisdom, tolerance and boundless honesty would be so important,” reads Barbara Hollender’s statement about her choice.

Krótki film o zabijaniu (A Short Film About Killing) – screening dates:

  • 02.07, 9:30pm      Small Hall
  • 06.07, 9:30pm      Small Hall

Another festival section called Future Frames’ Mentor: Denis Côté features Andrzej Żuławski’s Najważniejsze to kochać.

Najważniejsze to kochać – screening dates:

  • 02.07, 7:00pm      Congress Hall
  • 05.07, 9:00pm      Small Hall

Poles Attending Industry Events

Karlovy Vary’s Works in Progress section features the latest projects by Bodo Kox [Człowiek z magicznym pudełkiem (The Man with the Magic Box)] and Jagoda Szelc [Wieża. Jasny dzień (Tower. Bright Day)].

One of the documentary projects from Central and Eastern Europe with an opportunity to be pitched for industry professionals at the festival within the framework of Docu Talents 2017 is  Occupation 1968, a co-production between Slovakia, the Czech Republic, Poland and Bulgaria that shows five different views of the occupation of Czechoslovakia in 1968. The film was directed by Evdokia Moskvina, Linda Dombrovszky, Marie Elisa Schiedt, Stefan Komandarev ad Polish director Magdalena Szymków. The film’s Polish co-producer is Silver Frame.

The 52nd Karlovy Vary International Film Festival runs from June 30 through July 8, 2017. Further details are available at: www.kviff.com.

Translated by Karolina Kołtun