The 66th Berlin International Film Festival runs from February 11 through February 21, 2016. This year’s edition of the festival features a selection of films co-financed by the Polish Film Institute and several events related to Polish cinema.

Tomasz Wasilewski’s New Feature Screening in Main Competition

Zjednoczone Stany Miłości (United States of Love), photo by Oleg Mutu

One of 23 films from around the world screening in the 66th Berlinale Main Competition is Zjednoczone Stany Miłości (United States of Love), the latest film by director Tomasz Wasilewski, co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.

The film has sold to Spain (Golem), Greece (Strada), the former Yugoslava (MCS), Benelux (Contact), Sweden (Triart), Portugal (Films4You), Turkey (Bir), Switzerland (Xenix), Bulgaria (Bulgaria Film Vision), Taiwan (Flash Forward) and South Korea (Brandon Young Ent.).

Variety put Tomasz Wasilewski on 10 Europeans to Watch list. 

Tomasz Wasilewski during the presentation “10 Europeans to Watch” at Berlinale, photo by Olga Domżała, PFI

Zjednoczone Stany Miłości (United States of Love) is in the running for the following awards: the Golden Bear for Best Film; the Silver Bear for Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, or Best Screenplay; the Alfred Bauer Prize for opening new perspectives on cinematic art, as well as awards for Best Cinematography, Best Music, Best Editing, and Best Costume Design. The competition films are also judged by independent bodies, including the FIPRESCI jury and the ecumenical jury.

Małgorzata Szumowska in Main Competition Jury

Małgorzata Szumowska, photo by Dominik Kulaszewicz

The Main Competition entries will be judged by jury members Meryl Streep (head of the jury), Małgorzata Szumowska, Clive Owen, Alba Rohrwacher, Brigitte Lacombe, Nick James, and Lars Eidinger. Zjednoczone Stany Miłości (United States of Love) will screen in Main Competition along with the latest works of such acclaimed filmmakers as Thomas Vinterberg, Mia Hansen-Løve, André Téchiné, and Lav Diaz.

A Film Co-Financed by the Polish Film Institute in Berlinale Lineup

Tomasz Wasilewski’s latest feature is a Polish-Swedish co-production, with cinematography by Oleg Mutu (who previously lensed Cristian Mungiu’s 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days, winner of the Palme d’Or in Cannes, as well as Sergey Loznitsa’s In the Fog). The film was produced by Mañana and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. In 2014, the project had been presented at the CineMart co-production market of the 43rd Rotterdam International Film Festival. World sales are handled by New Europe Film Sales.

Posters of United States of Love in Berlin, photo by Marcin Oliva Soto

Screening Schedule

  • 19.02, 9:00am, Berlinale Palast (press screening)
  • 19.02, 4:00pm, Berlinale Palast
  • 20.02, 9:30am, Friedrichstadt-Palast
  • 20.02, 10:00am, Zoo Palast 1
  • 20.02, 9:00pm, Friedrichstadt-Palast
  • 21.02, 10:30pm, International

Zud in Generation Kplus Competition

ZUD, photo courtesy of Otter Films

Zud, a film directed by Marta Minorowicz and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, competes for the Crystal Bear award in the Generation Kplus competition. This competition is judged by a professional jury (this year’s jury members are Anne Kodura, Nagesh Kukunoor and Kathy Loizou), as well as a children’s jury.
Zud is a story of Mongolian nomads, and marks the feature debut by director Marta Minorowicz, author of multiple award-winning documentary films. Her short film Kawałek lata (A Piece of Summer) received the Grand Prize at the 2011 Clermont-Ferrand festival, the Golden Dove at DOK.Leipzig, and the Grand Prize at the “Man in Danger” Media Festival. The film stars real-life nomads, Sukhbat Batsaikhan and Batsaikhan Budee. Other parts have also been cast with indigenous inhabitants of the Mongolian steppe. The film was written by Marta Minorowicz and Kenneth McBride, lensed by Paweł Chorzępa, and edited by Beata Walentowska.

Polish-German Co-Production

The film was made in co-production between Poland and Germany. The producer on the Polish side is Anna Wydra of Otter Films, while the producers on the German side are Ann Carolin Renninger and Thomas Kufus of zero one film. The film was produced with co-financing from the Polish Film Institute, Eurimages, FFA Filmförderungsanstalt, Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, and the MEDIA programme. The project had also been developed at the EAVE workshop, the NIPKOW programme, and Dragon Forum. World sales are handled by Manuela Buono of Slingshot Films.

The crew of Zud at the 66th Berlinale, photo courtesy of producer

Screening Schedule

  • 14.02, 10:00am, HKW
  • 15.02, 10:00am, Filmtheater am Friedrichshain
  • 21.02, 12:30pm, Zoo Palast 1

Ja, Olga Hepnarová (I, Olga Hepnarová) as Opening Film in the Panorama Section

Ja, Olga Hepnarová (I, Olga Hepnarova), photo: press materials

Ja, Olga Hepnarová (I, Olga Hepnarová), a film by Tomáš Weinreb and Petr Kazda, is in the Panorama lineup at this year’s Berlinale, and screened as opening film in this section. The film stars Polish actress Michalina Olszańska and was lensed by Adam Sikora. Production on the Polish side was handed by Wrocław-based Media Brigade. Ja, Olga Hepnarová (I, Olga Hepnarová) is a Czech-Polish-Slovak co-production, made with financial support of the Polish Film Institute and the Lower Silesian Film Fund. The film marks the directing and producing debut of Tomáš Weinreb and Petr Kazda, who also authored the script. The film is also eligible for the Best First Feature Award for films screening in Main Competition, Panorama, Forum, and Perspektive Deutsches Kino. Film debuts will be judged by jury members Enrico Lo Verso, Ursula Meier, and Michel Franco.

The world premiere of I, Olga Hepnarova at the 66th Berlinale, photo by Olga Domżała, Polish Film Institute

Screening Schedule

  • 11.02, 9:00pm, CinemaxX 7
  • 11.02, 9:15pm, CinemaxX 5
  • 11.02, 9:30pm, CinemaxX 4
  • 12.02, 10:45pm, CineStar 3
  • 13.02, 8:15pm, Cubix 7
  • 13.02, 8:15pm, Cubix 8
  • 18.02, 2:00pm, International
  • 21.02, 8:15pm, Cubix 8
  • 21.02, 8:15pm, Cubix 7

Polish Co-Productions and Polish Filmmakers in Other Festival Sections

Ilegitim (Illegitimate), a Romanian-Polish-French co-production directed by Adrian Sitaru, and Maquinaria Panamericana (Panamerican Machinery), a Mexican-Polish co-production directed by Joaquín del Paso, screen in the Forum section of this year’s Berlinale. The festival lineup also features several films by Polish-born filmmakers working abroad. Piotr J. Lewandowski will show his German feature debut Jonathan in the Panorama section, while this year’s Berlinale Specials include a screening of The Season in Quincy, a four-essay documentary about British intellectual and storyteller John Berger. One of the essays was filmed by Tilda Swinton, another by Polish-born UK-based director-cinematographer Bartek Dziadosz. The lineup of the Forum Expanded section of the festival will feature The Right, a German-Polish video project by Assaf Gruber. One of the members of Label Europa Cinemas jury (Panorama section) is Małgorzata Kuzdra from the Cinema Muza in Poznań (last year she juged films at Berlinale in the CICAE jury – this year this role will fall to Ewa Kujawińska and Michał Matuszewski).

Berlinale Talents 2016

Berlinale Talents is the new name of Talent Campus, a series of workshops for young filmmakers. This year marks the 16th edition of the workshop, organized annually as a sidebar of the Berlin IFF. This year’s edition will be attended by a total of nine participants from Poland: Kacper Czubak (cinematographer), Aniko Kiss (production designer), Bartosz Warwas (director), Aleksandra Gowin (editor), Katarzyna Gondek (director), Jan Kwieciński (producer), Wojciech Stuchlik (producer), Wiktor Piątkowski (screenwriter), and Monika Pawluczuk (director). Berlinale Talents 2016 runs from February 13 through February 18.

Further details available at: www.berlinale-talents.de.

European Film Market 2016

In addition to the films screening in this year’s festival lineup, the EFM will also screen the following Polish films and co-productions: Baby Bump by Kuba Czekaj; 11 minut (11 Minutes) by Jerzy Skolimowski; Niewinne (Agnus Dei) by Anne Fontaine; Wszystkie nieprzespane noce (All These Sleepless Nights) by Michał Marczak; Ederly by Piotr Dumała; Intruz (The Here After) by Magnus von Horn; Córki Dancingu (The Lure) by Agnieszka Smoczyńska; Obce niebo (Strange Heaven) by Dariusz Gajewski, Moje córki krowy (These Daughters of Mine) by Kinga Dębska, and Embers by Claire Carre.

Niewinne (Agnus Dei) by Anne Fontaine has already been sold to Canada, Japan, Mexico, Belgium, Brazil, Sweden, Findland, Norway, Spain, Italy, Denmark, Portugal, Greece, Switzerland, Colombia, USA, and UK

Further details available at: www.efm-berlinale.de.

The Polish Film Institute as Official Partner of This Year’s Berlinale Co-Production Market (BCPM)

BCPM is a three-day event at Berlinale, bringing together over 500 carefully selected international film producers. The BCPM programme features Countries-in-Focus sessions, where representatives of six national film institutes, including the Polish Film Institute, will present co-production opportunities and elaborate on the regulations governing co-production financing. Five young Polish producers will attend BCPM as Visitors, taking part in industry events. There will also be representatives of four Polish production companies, as well as observers. This year’s 13th edition of the Berlinale Co-Production Market features 36 feature films from 29 countries. The BCPM runs from February 14 through February 16, 2016.

Further details are available at: www.efm-berlinale.de.

The Polish Cinema Stand at the 66th Berlin IFF

Polish Cinema Stand at the 66th Berlinale, photo by Marcin Oliva Soto

Polish Cinema Stand No. 103
European Film Market Berlin 2016

The Polish Cinema Stand is co-hosted by the Polish Film Institute, Film Commission Poland and TVP. This is the eleventh year running of Polish Film Institute presence at the EFM, and the sixth consecutive year as an independent Polish stand. This year, the Polish Cinema Stand has a new location, with more exhibition space and room for one-on-one meetings with industry reps. Visit the Polish Cinema Stand to find publications promoting Polish films, including the 2016 New Polish Films catalogue. There will also be a new edition of the New Polish Films app, available for the iPhone and iPad.

Poles in Berlin, Polish Film Magazine

Polish Film Magazine, photo courtesy of Film Commission Poland

Film Commission Poland prepared the guide Poles in Berlin. This catalogue aims at introducing in an accessible and brief way the immense potential of the Polish film industry. This year at Berlinale is possible to read for the first time Polish Film Magazine

The 66th Berlin International Film Festival runs from February 11 through February 21, 2016. Further details are available at: www.berlinale.de.