Poland’s biggest film showcase, Era New Horizons, opens Thursday with the local premiere of Austrian helmer Michael Haneke’s Cannes Palme d’Or winner “The White Ribbon” and Thai director Pen-ek Ratanaruang’s “Nymph.”
The 11-day festival, established in 2001 in Cieszyn, western Poland, moved to Wroclaw three years ago. With three competition sections, the festival will present more than 500 films from 45 countries, including 250 features. Most will be Eastern European or Polish premieres, bringing more than 600 screenings to festival audiences and industry guests.
In the international competition, 14 titles from directors regarded as being at the cutting edge of film art will compete for a grand prize worth $28,000.
The films, which include Tsai Ming-liang’s “Face,” Steve McQueen’s “Hunger” and Philippe Grandrieux’s “A Lake,” will be judged by an international jury chaired by Portuguese director Joao Botelho.
A Films on Art competition section debuts with 14 documentaries, including Agnes Varda’s “The Beaches of Agnes,” Nik Sheehan’s “Flicker” and Peter Greenaway’s “Rembrandt’s J’accuse” chasing a top prize of $14,000.
A New Polish films competition will showcase 13 titles, including world premieres for “Rebound,” directed by Kinga Debska, and “The Forest” by Piotr Dumala.
Judged by an international jury chaired by Hungarian filmmaker Marta Meszaros, the Polish films compete for a Wroclaw Film Prize worth $35,000 and a new director prize of $14,000.
All competition winning pics are guaranteed distribution in Poland.
The festival also includes sidebars on contemporary Swedish and Canadian cinema and classic Hungarian films.
A Polish-Swedish co-production forum will present eight projects in a series of one-to-one meetings July 26-28.