Polish Films in Rotterdam

Młyn i krzyż (The Mill and the Cross) by Lech Majewski will screen at the upcoming jubilee 40th Rotterdam International Film Festival, marking the film’s European premiere. Festival audiences will also have an opportunity to see Essential Killing by Jerzy Skolimowski. The Short Film Competition lineup also features Maska (The Mask) by the Quay Brothers.


At Rotterdam’s CineMart film market, Jacek Borcuch will present his latest project, a film known under the working title Chwile nieulotne. Borcuch’s previous feature Wszystko co kocham (All That I Love) screened at last year’s Rotterdam IFF.

Further details about CineMart available at: www.filmfestivalrotterdam.com.


The festival programme is divided into three main sections, along with various presentation and competition segments. The key festival section is Bright Future; it’s focused on promoting new talent, first-time and second-time directors. The Main Competition takes place within the framework of Bright Future and awards the VPRO Tiger Awards. Zero by Paweł Borowski screened in this section at last year’s Rotterdam festival.


Another festival section is Spectrum – a wider look at the key issues and trends in contemporary cinema. This section focuses on films by acclaimed filmmakers; films that relate to the heritage of world cinema. It is within the Spectrum section of the Rotterdam event that Lech Majewski’s film will be shown. In 2010, Jacek Borcuch’s Wszystko co kocham (All That I Love) and Robert Gliński’s Świnki (Piggies) screened at Spectrum, while 33 sceny z życia (33 Scenes from Life) by Małgorzata Szumowska screened here in 2009.


The festival’s largest programme section is the one known as Signals. It is divided into several smaller sections by subject. An extremely popular of these sections is the presentation of works by acclaimed filmmakers; in 2009, Rotterdam screened an incredibly wide selection of films by Jerzy Skolimowski. This year, Rotterdam audiences will see the Polish director’s latest feature Essential Killing. The Signals section, in co-operation with Wrocław’s Era New Horizons festival, will also present a selection of western films made in Eastern Europe between 1924 and 1980.


Rotterdam is also a major platform for short film. This year’s edition of the short film competition will include the animated short Maska (The Mask) by the Quay Brothers, based on a short story by acclaimed science-fiction writer Stanisław Lem, and with music by Krzysztof Penderecki. The short film section will also feature Mur i Wieża, a film made in Poland and directed by Israeli artist Yael Bartany.


The Rotterdam film festival has always been known for bringing new trends and discoveries to cinema audiences. It was here that Christopher Nolan, director of Inception, showed his first film, Following, which won the Rotterdam Main Competition in 1999. It was also Rotterdam that helped promote and continues to promote Asian and South American cinema. Since 1988, the festival has also cooperated with the Hubert Bals Fund for supporting film production, which gave financial support to such films as the Cannes Palme d’Or winning Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives by Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

The Hubert Bals Fund provides financial support for filmmakers (with over 750 projects supported to date), assisting filmmakers from various countries by giving them the chance to participate in master classes, workshops, co-production meetings, and seminars. The Hubert Bals Fund is named after the Rotterdam festival creator, who established the event in 1972 and had it focus on independent cinema and films from distant parts of the world. Hubert Bals died in 1988. His successor as festival director was Simon Field, followed by Sandra den Hamer, with current festival director Rutger Wolfson taking over the position as of 1 September 2007.


Rotterdam is also home to workshops for young film critics and the Cinema Reloaded programme, which enables audiences to provide direct support to selected filmmakers. The festival website includes a Video-on-Demand platform, and the festival published a series of DVD Tiger Releases, featuring a selection of films screened at previous edition of the Rotterdam International Film Festival.


The complete lineup of the 40th Rotterdam IFF will be announced on January 20. The event takes place annually and has an average of 300,000 admissions and 2,000 accredited guests. This year’s edition will run from January 26 through February 6.

Further details about the 40th Rotterdam IFF available at: www.filmfestivalrotterdam.com.


Translated by Karolina Kołtun