Cannes Daily Spotlight 2012: Polish Cinema

Poland’s T-Mobile New Horizons Intl. Film Festival may not yet have entered its teens, but is already hitting above its weight.

Based in the western city of Wroclaw, New Horizons is Poland’s biggest film event, attracting ticket-buying auds of more than 110,000.

The fest, now in its 12 year, was founded by Roman Gutek, a leading distributor of arthouse fare, and offers distribution in Poland to the winning films of its local and international competition, while also touting art and industry events.

New Horizons, which runs July 19-29, adds another event this go-round: Polish days, a series of exclusive screenings of films aimed at buyers and fest programmers. It runs July 21-23, and organizers anticipate about 100 participants out of the projected 400 industryites expected at the fest this year.

“The idea came after feedback from international professionals wanting to see the very latest Polish films on an exclusive basis,” says fest artistic director Joanna Lapinska. “This is the perfect time for programmers and buyers to an event timed (to coincide with) the final programming days for Venice, Toronto and San Sebastian and the right time for Sundance, Rotterdam and Berlin to see works in progress.”

This year’s screenings will include Leszek Dawid’s “You Are God,” a follow-up to the director’s feature debut, “Ki,” which played Critics’ Week in Venice 2011 and won the Fipresci Award in Cottbus that same year. Also featured are such works in progress as Andrzej Zulawski’s “Dark Matter,” co-produced by Poland’s Metro Films and France’s Fondivina; and Urszula Antoniak’s “Comrade Jesus” from Polish producers New Horizons Assn. Marcin Wrona’s new film “Water Tower” will also be pitched.

A third edition of New Horizon Studio will take place, with 14 Polish helmers, producers, lensers, writers and composers participating in sessions on promotion, film marketing, sales, pitching, networking and fest strategy. Locarno and Cottbus are partners in the event.

Speakers will include Agathe Valentin, head of sales at Films du Losange, Mathilde Henrot, co-founder of Festivalscope, and Ivana MacKinnon and David Pope of the London Film Academy.

Cannes Daily Spotlight 2012: Polish Cinema
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