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Polish fest spotlights American helmers

American fest sets tributes to Malick, Swanberg

Retrospectives devoted to Todd Solondz, Terrence Malick, Billy Wilder and mumblecore mainstay Joe Swanberg will highlight the second annual American Film Festival, taking pace Nov. 15 – 20 in Wroclaw, Poland.

Solondz’s latest, “Dark Horse,” which premiered at Venice, will open the fest, while the director’s “Life During Wartime” (2009) will be shown in Poland for the first time.

Malick’s five previous features as a director will also be on display at AFF, along with his recent Cannes Palme d’Or winner, “Tree of Life.”

Swanberg will be present to introduce and discuss his films in Wroclaw, which “aims to introduce new names and phenomena in the American cinema to the Polish audiences,” according to its mission statement.

In addition there will be two music-accented offerings: the Buster Keaton classic, “The General” (1926), will be accompanied by live music composed by Marcin Pukaluk, while a jazz program block will include Clint Eastwood’s Charlie Parker biopic “Bird” (1988), Bertrand Tavernier’s “Round Midnight” (1986), starring Dexter Gordon, and the pioneering 1927 talkie “The Jazz Singer,” starring Al Jolson.

The fest’s narrative and documentary competition sections offer audience awards of $10,000 and $5,000. The festival will also host Gotham in Progress, devoted solely to U.S. indie films in Europe.

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