The Locarno Film Festival has picked Poland, which is currently an Eastern European cinematic hotbed, for its First Look sidebar dedicated to works-in-progress.
Between five and seven Polish pics in post will be selected. Their producers will attend the fest to tubthump these works to sales agents, buyers, fest programmers, and post-production support fund representatives attending the fest.
The purpose of the initiative, which will run August 6-8, is to facilitate completion and attract distribution.
Prizes will be awarded by a prestigious jury panel comprising Toronto artistic director Cameron Bailey, Rotterdam fest topper Bero Beyer and Wieland Speck, director of the Berlinale’s Panorama section.
Poland scored the foreign language Oscar in 2015 for Pawel Pawlikowski’s “Ida,” while the Berlin Silver Bear last year, for best director, went to his compatriot Malgorzata Szumowska for “Body,” and “Brothers,” by Wolciech Staron, scooped the critics’ week nod in Locarno.
The Polish Film Institute will be receiving submissions for the works in progress until May 1 2016. Locarno will announce the pics that made the First Look cut in July.
“First Look has become one of the assets of the Industry Days thanks to the quality of the selected films in post-production, the high-profile industry attendance, the efficient collaboration with our partners and the professional input of Markus Duffner, Project Manager of the section,” enthused Nadia Dresti, Locarno’s Delegate of the Artistic Director and Head of International in a statement.
The Locarno spotlight, formerly called Carte Blanche, is in its sixth year. Previous participating countries were Israel (2015), Brazil (2014), Chile (2013), Mexico (2012) and Colombia (2011).
The 69th edition of the Swiss fest dedicated to indie cinema will run August 3-13.