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Leszek Kopec Takes on New Combined Director Role at Gdynia Film Festival

2016 Gdynia premiere “Hatred” leads nominations for Polish Film Academy’s Eagles

Leszek Kopec will take on a newly combined role as both Festival Director and Program Director of the Gdynia Film Festival, Poland’s leading festival for local films, it was announced this week.

The appointment marks a change to the festival’s rules and regulations by Gdynia’s organizing committee which has decided to combine the two roles for the first time having considered other candidates for the Program Director role. Kopec already occupied the role of Festival Director.

The organizing committee also announced Wojciech Marczewski would take on the position of chairman of the festival’s program committee, with Michal Oleszczyk and Jan Pawlicki also invited to participate in the work of the program committee.

The 42nd Gdynia Film Festival will take place September 18-23.

Tuesday (Feb. 7) also saw the Polish Film Academy announce the nominations for its annual film awards, the Eagles.

Wojciech Smarzowski’s World War II drama “Hatred” leads the way with 14 nominations including best film, director, screenplay, actor (Arkadiusz Jakubik), actress (Michalina Labacz), supporting actor (Jacek Braciak) and supporting actress (Izabela Kuna).

Ken Loach’s Palme d’Or winner “I, Daniel Blake” will compete with Stephen Frears’ “Florence Foster Jenkins” and Laszlo Nemes’ Oscar-winning “Son of Saul” for best European film.

“Hatred” will contest the best film, director and screenplay awards with Jan P. Matuszynski’s biopic “The Last Family,” about painter Zdzislaw Beksinski, and Maciej Pieprzyca’s true-story crime drama “I’m a Killer.” “The Last Family” and “I’m a Killer” follow “Hatred” leading the Eagles nominations with 10 and 9, respectively.

“Hatred” saw its world premiere at Gdynia last September where it won festival prizes for cinematography, make-up and best debut actor for Labacz.

“The Last Family” premiered at the Locarno Film Festival last August, where it won the best actor prize for Andrzej Seweryn. Seweryn will compete with Jakubik and “I’m a Killer” star Miroslaw Hanieszewski for the Eagle for best actor.

“I’m a Killer” also premiered at Gdynia last year, which awarded Pieprzyca its screenplay prize.

More than 600 members of the Polish Film Academy voted on the nominees between January 16 and February 2. The awards ceremony will take place March 20 at the Teatr Polski in Warsaw. It will be broadcast by Canal+ in Poland for the first time.

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