Polish Presence at the 65th Berlin IFF

February 5 marks the start of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival. The festival lineup features several Polish films co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. The festival runs through February 15.

Małgorzata Szumowska’s Feature in Main Competition

Among 23 titles screening in Main Competition at the 65th Berlin IFF is BODY/CIAŁO, the latest film by director Małgorzata Szumowska. The film was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. BODY/CIAŁO will be judged by international jury members Darren Aronofsky (head of the jury), Daniel Brühl, Bong Joon-ho, Martha De Laurentiis, Claudia Llosa, Audrey Tautou, and Matthew Weiner. BODY/CIAŁO is in the running for the following awards: the Golden Bear for Best Film, the Silver Bear for Best Director, Best Actor, Best Actress, Best Script, the Alfred Bauer Prize for opening new perspectives on cinematic art, and awards for best photography, music, editing, and costume design.

BODY/CIAŁO is the fourth feature film by Małgorzata Szumowska to screen at the Berlin IFF, and her second film to screen in Main Competition. In 2013, her feature W imię… (In the Name Of…) screened in Main Competition and won the Teddy Award, a prize dedicated to films that focus on LGBT issues.

A Film Co-Financed by the Polish Film Institute

BODY/CIAŁO is set in present-day Poland and focuses on three individuals: a prosecutor (Janusz Gajos), his anorectic teenage daughter (Justyna Suwała), and a therapist with paranormal abilities (Maja Ostaszewska).

World Premiere

The screenplay for BODY/CIAŁO, a film co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, was written by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert, who also lensed the picture. Starring Janusz Gajos, Justyna Suwała and Maja Ostaszewska, the film features supporting performances by Tomasz Ziętek, Ewa Dałkowska, Adam Woronowicz, and Małgorzata Hajewska-Krzysztofik. BODY/CIAŁO was produced by Nowhere, and co-produced by Kino Świat, D35 and the Mazovia Film Fund. World sales are handled by Memento Films International.

Screening Dates

  • 09.02, 10:00pm Berlinale Palast
  • 10.02, 3:00pm Friedrichstadt-Palast
  • 11.02, 9:00pm Friedrichstadt-Palast

Pod elektrycznymi chmurami (Under Electric Clouds)

Pod elektrycznymi chmurami (Under Electric Clouds), a Russian-Ukrainian-Polish co-production directed by Alexey German Jr. and featuring Piotr Gąsowski in a supporting role, will also screen in Main Competition. The film was produced by METRAFILMS (Russia) and Linked Films (Ukraine), in co-production with Apple Film Production, TVP, and with support from Studio Filmowe TOR and Studio METRANOM (Russia).

Screening Dates

  • 10.02, 3:00pm Berlinale Palast
  • 11.02, 12:00pm, 3:00pm Friedrichstadt-Palast
  • 11.02, 10:00pm Kino International
  • 14.02, 9:30am Haus der Berliner Festspiele

Maja in Generation Kplus Competition

The lineup of the Generation Kplus competition features Maja, a short feature by Jakub Michnikowski and Sebastian Webber. Films in this section (feature-length and short films) will be judged by a youth jury, with jury members between the ages of 11 and 14. Maja was produced at the Łódź Film School and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. Maja addresses the difficult subject of a child coping with the death of a loved one. The Kplus competition has brought success for Polish films in the past. In 213, the youth jury presented the award for best film in the Generation 14plus section to Bejbi Blues (Baby Blues), a film by Katarzyna Rosłaniec. The film also received special mention of the professional international jury in this section.

Screening Dates (Maja screens along with several other short films as Short Films Kplus 2)

  • 10.02, 3:00pm CinemaxX 1
  • 11.02, 10:00am Filmtheater am Friedrichshain
  • 12.02, 5:30pm CinemaxX 1
  • 13.02, 10:30am CinemaxX 1

February 14 at the 65th Berlin IFF will also bring the Short Film Night of the Golden Bears – a selection of winning films from previous decades. This selection includes one Polish film – Maski by Piotr Karwas, which received an award at the 1999 Berlin IFF.

Polish Films in Forum and Forum Expanded

The Forum section of the 65th Berlin IFF features a Polish-German co-production entitled Dni uciekają jak dzikie konie za wzgórzami (The Days Run Away Like Wild Horses Over the Hills) by Marcin Malaszczak. The film is an intimate story about womanhood. As the producers describe it, “The Days […] thoroughly explore the female identity and maturity by portraying its various protagonists from birth to old age in a world without borders where time is both transient and frozen.” With its dream-like quality, the film is set in Berlin and a small town in Poland. Malaszczak’s previous film Sieniawka also screened in the Berlinale Forum section in 2013, while in 2014 his short film Orbitalna screened in Forum Expanded.

Screening Dates

  • 06.02, 6:30pm Akademie der Künste (Hanseatenweg)
  • 07.02, 10:40pm Kino Arsenal 1
  • 13.02, 10:30pm Delphi Filmpalast14.02, 2:30pm Zoo Palast 2

Films in the Forum and Panorama section of the Berlin IFF will be judged by the independent C.I.C.A.E. Cinema Award jury, comprised of members of the association of art-house cinemas. One of this year’s jurors is Małgorzata Kuzdra of the Muza cinema in Poznań.

Performer (The Performer) in Forum Expanded

Performer (The Performer), a film directed by Maciej Sobieszczański and Łukasz Ronduda and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, will screen in this year’s Forum Expanded. This section was launched in 2006 and focuses on projects that bring together contemporary art and cinema. The film’s premiere screening in Berlin will be followed by a special performance by Oskar Dawicki entitled “I Am Sorry.”

Screening Dates

  • 07.02, 9:30pm Akademie der Künste (Hanseatenweg)
  • 09.02, 3:00pm Kino Arsenal 1

Berlinale Talents 2015

Berlinale Talents is the new name of the Talent Campus workshop for young filmmakers, taking place for the 15th time this year as a side event of the Berlin International Film Festival. This year’s edition will have nine Polish participants: sound director Agata Chodyra, cinematographer, director and producer Paweł Tarasiewicz, directors Zuzanna Solakiewicz, Anna Wieczur-Bluszcz, Jakub Piątek, Magdalena Szymków, and Matej Bobrik, editor and screenwriter Filip K. Kasperaszek, and Swedish-born cinematographer Frederik Olsson (representing both Sweden and Poland). Berlinale Talents 2015 runs from February 8 through February 13.

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

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

The BCPM is a three-day event for over 500 carefully selected international film producers, taking place annually at the Berlin IFF. The BCPM features Countries-in-focus sessions, where representatives of six national film institutes, including the Polish Film Institute, will present co-production opportunities and provide details about the regulations concerning funding for international co-productions. The Co-Production Market will be attended by five young Polish producers, who will participate as Visitors and take part in special industry events. This year’s twelfth edition of the Berlinale Co-Production Market features a total of 36 feature film projects from 28 countries. The BCPM runs from February 8 through February 10, 2015.

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

European Film Market 2015

Several Polish films co-financed by the Polish Film Institute will be presented at this year’s European Film Market: Hiszpanka (InfluenZ) by Łukasz Barczyk, Kebab i Horoskop (Kebab & Horoscope) by Grzegorz Jaroszuk, Obce ciało (The Foreign Body) by Krzysztof Zanussi, Fotograf (The Photographer) by Waldemar Krzystek, Letnie przesilenie (Summer Solstice) by Michał Rogalski, Miasto 44 (Warsaw 44) by Jan Komasa, and Warsaw by Night by Natalia Koryncka-Gruz. The lineup of Berlinale’s Perspektive Deutsches Kino section also features Elixir, a film by Brodie Higgs featuring a performance by Polish actor Mateusz Kościukiewicz, who was one of Berlinale’s Shooting Stars in 2014.

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

ScripTeast 2015

The 65th Berlin IFF will also host the second session of the ninth edition of ScripTeast, a series of workshops for experienced screenwriters, co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. The selection of eleven best screenplays from across Central and Eastern Europe includes three Polish projects – Bodo Kox, Anna Jadowska, Piotr Głowacki and Antonina Gugała (the latter two working together) will be developing their latest screenplays. The goal of this year-long programme is to select the best screenplays in the region and create an opportunity for the screenwriters to work with acclaimed filmmakers from around the world. ScripTeast is organized by the Independent Film Foundation and supported by the European Union Media Programme, Apple Film Production, the National Centre for Culture, and the Polish Film Institute, in co-operation with the European Film Academy, the Producers Network and ACE, Transatlantic Partners, Film New Europe, and Telewizja Polska.

Further details are available at: www.scripteast.pl.

The Polish Cinema Stand at the 65th Berlin IFF

Polish Cinema Stand No. 155
European Film Market Berlin 2015

The Polish Cinema Stand at the 2015 European Film Market in Berlin is co-hosted by the Polish Film Institute, Film Commission Poland, and Telewizja Polska. This year marks the tenth appearance of Polish cinema at the EFM, and the fifth time as a separate Polish stand. This year’s stand has the same location as last year, providing a comfortable exhibition space for meetings with representatives of the film industry. Materials promoting Polish films, including the New Polish Films 2015 catalogue, will be available at the Polish Cinema Stand. This year will also mark another edition of the New Polish Films app, available for the iPhone and iPad.

The official website of the 65th Berlin International Film Festival is available at www.berlinale.de.

Marta Sikorska

Translated by Karolina Kołtun