Alexei Uchitel’s Toronto title The Edge will open the 26th Warsaw Film Festival (Oct 8-17).
The festival program, which includes 134 features and 71 shorts, is divided into five competitive and three non-competitive sections. Fifteen titles will compete for the Warsaw Grand Prix and a EUR 25,000 cash award, including Ágnes Kocsis’ Cannes title Adrienn Páland Denis Villeneuve’s recent Toronto hit Incendies.
Films in the selection never before screened in in festivals outside their home territories include Israeli-French coproduction Infiltration, Iranian feature Third Floor, and Czech thriller Walking Too Fast.The Christening represents Poland in the competition.
This year’s edition is Warsaw’s second as a FIAPF-recognized non-specialised competitive festival. Festival director Stefan Laudyn said his program includes “a significant number of European, international, and world premieres”. “We received a record number of submissions,” Laudyn told ScreenDaily.com. “There was plenty to choose from.”
While only a few of the films in the main competitions are international premieres, Laudyn dismissed what he called “the level of premiere paranoia at festivals”.
“We at the Warsaw Film Festival always go for quality before exclusivity. I mean we require absolute Polish premieres, and about half of our program titles are regional — Eastern European — premieres. But I’m not obsessed with world, international and European premieres,” he said. “We overlap with Pusan, so some films will be presented there days before Warsaw, but I don’t mind.”
Laudyn pointed out that an ever-more-crowded festival calendar made it difficult for programmers and producers to juggle screenings. “Sundance announced last year the world premiere of Carmo [dir. Murilo Pasta], the film we had presented three months before them. Fine with me,” he said.
Eighteen titles comprise the festival’s 1-2 Competition of directors’ first and second films, including Florin Şerban’s Berlinale title If I Want To Whistle I Whistle. International festival premieres in the selection include Swedish-Polish coproduction Between Two Fires, Hungary’s Children Of The Green Dragon, and Argentina’s The Pursuer.
The event will close with the festival premiere of The City of Ruins, director Damian Nenow’s moving 3D reconstruction of what Warsaw looked like in 1945 after being completely destroyed by the Germans.
“In 1939, when WW2 started, Warsaw was inhabited by 1.2 million people. In early 1945, when the photos on which the film is based were taken, only about 1,000 of them remained,” Laudyn said.
A Useful Life, dir. Federico Veiroj (Uruguay, Spain)
Adrienn Pál, dir. Ágnes Kocsis (Hungary, France, Austria, Netherlands)
Childhood, dir. Carlos Carrera (Mexico)
The Chosen Heaven, dir. Victor Gonzalez (Argentina)
The Christening, dir. Marcin Wrona (Poland)
Everything Will Be Fine, dir. Christoffer Boe (Denmark)
Illegal, dir. Olivier Masset-Depasse (Belgium, Luxembourg, France)
Infiltration, dir. Dover Koshashvili (Israel, France)
The Lips, dir. Ivan Fund, Santiago Loza (Argentina)
Outbound, dir. Bogdan George Apetri (Romania, Austria)
Scorched, dir. Denis Villeneuve (Canada, France)
Silent Souls, dir. Aleksei Fedorchenko (Russia)
Third Floor, dir. Bijan Mirbagheri (Iran)
Third Star, dir. Hattie Dalton (UK)
Walking Too Fast, dir. Radim Špaček (Czech Republic)
American Jihadist, dir. Mark Claywell (USA)
Between Two Fires, dir. Agnieszka Lukasiak (Sweden, Poland)
The Children Of Diyarbakir, dir. Miraz Bezar (Germany, Turkey)
Children Of The Green Dragon, dir. Bence Miklauzic (Hungary)
Erratum, dir. Marek Lechki (Poland)
Hunting Down Small Predators, dir. Tsvetodar Markov (Bulgaria)
If I Want To Whistle I Whistle, dir. Florin Şerban (Romania)
The Imperialists Are Still Alive, dir. Zeina Durra (USA)
It’s Us, dir. Mariano Blanco (Argentina)
One Day, dir. Hou Chi-Jan (Taiwan)
One Life Maybe Two, dir. Alessandro Aronadio (Italy)
The Pursuer, dir. Victor Cruz (Argentina)
Snap, dir. Carmel Winters (Ireland)
Son Of Babylon, dir. Mohamed Al-Daradji (Iraq, UK, France, UAE, Qatar)
Tilva Rosh, dir. Nikola Ležaić (Serbia)
Udaan, dir. Vikramaditya Motwane (India)
The Wanderer, dir. Avishai Sivan (Israel)
Lynch, dir. Krzysztof Łukaszewicz (Poland)