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Poland bows first American Film Festival

It will screen 20 pics in competition, including fest faves

Polish audiences will get a taste of the West when Eastern Europe’s first fest dedicated to American film opens in Wroclaw on Oct. 20.

The American Film Festival — an offshoot of the Era New Horizons fest held there in July — will screen 20 indie features in competition, with hits from Cannes, Sundance, South by Southwest and Tribeca, including Vincent D’Onofrio’s “Don’t Go in the Woods” and Tim Rutili’s “All My Friends Are Funeral Singers.”

There’s a John Cassavetes retrospective and a 15-strong documentary section that includes “And Everything Is Going Fine,” Steven Soderbergh’s study of the life and death of performance artist Spalding Gray, and Michael Moore’s “Capitalism: A Love Story.”

There is also probably Poland’s first cinematic screening of director D.W. Griffith’s 1915 classic “Birth of a Nation,” notorious for its racist depiction of African Americans.

It will be shown as part of a performance by visual artist DJ Spooky (aka Paul Miller), who’ll offer his multimedia riff on the theme “Rebirth of a Nation” that’s a contemporary take on race relations in America.

The fest offers winning films cash prizes and the chance for Eastern European distribution, as already established by mother fest Era New Horizons.

Described by organizers as a kind of Eastern European Deauville, the AFF runs through Oct. 24.

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