France: "The Congress" DVD Release
The Congress, a film directed by Ari Folman and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, was released on DVD and blu-ray in France on April 8, 2014.
“The Futurological Congress”
The screenplay of The Congress was based on Stanisław Lem’s novel “Kongres futurologiczny” (“The Futurological Congress”), first published in 1971. The film tells the story of an actress (Robin Wright) who signs a contract with a film studio, selling her identity. As a result, the studio will hold the rights to her virtual image for use in future productions. Twenty years later, the contract is up for renegotiation. But by then the situation has changed dramatically; the film studio has been bought by a pharmaceutical corporation that wants to transform Wright’s identity into a drug that is to be sold globally.
The Latest Film by Ari Folman
Ari Folman is the director of Waltz with Bashir (2008), an animated feature documentary that screened in Main Competition in Cannes and later received multiple awards, including a Golden Globe Award. The Congress, Folman’s latest work, is a feature film combining live-action with animation techniques. The film was lensed by Polish cinematographer Michał Englert, and features performances by internationally-acclaimed actors Robin Wright, Harvey Keitel, Paul Giamatti, Danny Huston, Jon Hamm, Francis Fisher, Sami Gayle, and Kodi Smit-McPhee. David Polonsky, who previously collaborated with Ari Folman on Waltz with Bashir, was responsible for production design and animation visual design. The animation department was led by Yoni Godman.
International Co-Production Supported by the Polish Film Institute
The Congress is an international co-production, produced by Opus Film (Poland), Pandora Film (Germany), Bridgit Folman Film Gang (Israel), ARP Selection (France), Entre Chien et Loup (Belgium), and Paul Thiltges Distribution (Luxembourg). Institutions that provided co-financing include the Polish Film Institute and the Silesian Film Fund. Animation work on the project was done at Orange Studio in Bielsko-Biała. World sales are handled by The Match Factory, based in Germany.
European Film Award and World Premiere in Cannes
Most recently, The Congress received the 2013 European Animated Feature Film Award. The film had its world premiere at the 66th Cannes International Film Festival, screening as the opening film of the Directors’ Fortnight. The Congress was released theatrically in Poland on September 13, 2013 and in Slovakia on Februrary 20, 2014.