FESTIVALS: Mundane History wins ERA New Horizons top prize

Mundane History, Anocha Suwichakornpong's biting critique of Thai society has won the Grand Prix (€20,000) of the NEW HORIZONS International Competition.

The FIPRESCI jury awarded Nikolay and Yelena Renard's film Mama/ Russia/ 2010. The audience award went to Le Quattro Volte by Michelangelo Frammartino / Italy, Germany, Switzerland/ 2010. The festival organizer, New Horizons Association guarantees all three winning films distribution in Poland.

In the FILMS ON ART International Competition the jury awarded Cédric Dupire and Gaspard Kuentz's We Don't Care about Music Anyway/ France/ 2010/ the Best Film prize (€10,000). This title is also guaranteed distribution in Poland.

The Jury's Special Mention went to Sophie Fiennes' Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow / UK, France, Netherlands/ 2010.


FNE at ERA New Horizons: Interview with Roman Gutek

While celebrating the 10th edition of ERA New Horizons, festival director Roman Gutek talked with FNE about the unique role of the festival and its plans for the future.

FNE: The 10th edition invites reflection. How did the festival change during the last 9 years?

Roman Gutek:
The festival has definitely grown and developed over the years. Above all, its location has changed. We started out in the small town of Sanok, where the festival's first edition gathered a surprisingly large audience of 25,000. Then we moved to Cieszyn, a small city with a unique atmosphere. In the beginning, I consciously decided to organize this event outside of urban areas in the summer to give the audience a chance to live and breathe cinema without interruption for 11 days. However, after four editions it became clear that the festival had outgrown its small location.

A breakthrough decision was made to relocate the festival to Wrocław, where Era New Horizons has adapted well. The festival needed a bigger budget to accommodate not only the growing audience but also its expectations to see new, fresh and interesting films from all over the world. Our priorities have always been to make the program as diverse and attractive as possible, to invite international guests and to organize artistic events that would accompany the screenings. All this led to a greater need for financial resources.

Wroclaw's municipal authorities enabled this growth by covering almost half of our expenses. This proved to the mobile network provider ERA, our corporate sponsor, that the festival has an additional source of income, which encouraged them to prolong their contract with us. The relocation also resulted in setting up a much bigger team, as for the first five years a very small group of people organized ENH. A permanent office was established so we could focus on creating a program for at least two years ahead, which is crucial for an event as large as our festival.


FESTIVALS: Era New Horizons opens with Cannes winner

Cannes grand prix winner, Of Gods and Men (Des hommes et des dieux) by Xavier Beauvois, will make its Polish premiere as the opening film of the Era New Horizons International Film Festival, taking place in Wroclaw, Poland, from July 22 to August 1.

The opening night gala will also showcase Enter the Void from Gaspar Noé, which screened at last year's Cannes Film Festival. The festival will show over 500 films from 50 countries, including 240 features. It will mostly be comprised of Eastern European or Polish premieres.

The Quay Brothers, Laura Mulvey, Philippe Mora, Zeki Demirkubuz and Daniel Szczechura will attend the retrospectives of their work. The festival will also pay tribute to Jean - Luc Godard and Wojciech Jerzy Has, presenting full reviews of their works.

Over 11 days, the Festival will host 350 international guests, including Turkish filmmaker Nuri Bilge Ceylan, the Austrian actor Klaus Maria Brandauer, as well the post-modern Polish-American artist Krzysztof Wodiczko.

The NEW HORIZONS International Competition will showcase fourteen director's driven titles which will compete for the Grand Prix (€20,000) - the festival's highest honour awarded by the international jury. This year‘s selection is particularly strong on European and Asian titles. Among them there are: Veiko Õunpuu's The Temptation of St. Tony and Nikolay Renard's Mama. The competition includes one world premiere, the Polish director Adam Sikora's Expelled.

The NEW HORIZONS International Jury includes American director Jonathan Caouette (Tarnation); Polish animator and screenwriter Piotr Dumała (Franz Kafka, Crime and Punishment); British artist and filmmaker Gideon Koppel (who was exhibited at the Tate Modern in London and MoMA in New York); the Polish film, opera and theatre director Mariusz Treliński (best known for adaptations of Puccini's Madame Butterfly and Mozart's Don Giovanni); and the Turkish filmmaker Yeşim Ustaoğlu (Journey to the Sun, Waiting for the Clouds).

The FIPRSECI Jury includes the British film journalist Laurence Boyce, the Polish journalist Krzysztof Kwiatkowski and the Turkish film critic Yeşim Tabak.

FILMS ON ART International Competition consists of 12 feature-length documentaries that will be judged by the international jury, which will award the Best Film Prize (€10,000). The selected films include a world premiere: Philippe Mora's The Gertrude Stein Mystery or Some Like It Art.

The jury will feature the Canadian filmmaker Peter Mettler; the British visual artist Eve Sussman; the Canadian director, writer and journalist Nik Sheehan, whose documentary FLicKeR was awarded in the FILMS ON ART International Competition last year; Grzegorz Jarzyna, a theatre director of the young generation in Poland; and Madaleine Molyneaux, independent producer, curator and festival programmer.

NEW POLISH FILMS Competition will showcase seven titles, including a world premiere: Ewa, directed by Adam Sikora.

The international jury will award the Wrocław Film Prize (approx. €25,000) and the Best New Director Prize (approx. €10,000). The members will include Czech director Petr Zelenka; Swedish director and film critic Stig Björkman; German film critic and Secretary General of FIPRESCI Klaus Eder; Nikolaj Nikitin, responsible for the preselection of Eastern European films for Berlinale; and the Eastern European correspondent for Screen International Theodore Schwinke. All winning titles are guaranteed distribution in Poland. Apart from the competitions, this year's program focuses on NEW CINEMA from Turkey.

The first edition of the NEW Horizons Studio will take place from July 26 - 29. The NEW HORIZONS Studio is a new initiative aimed at young film professionals from Poland. The goal is to provide young filmmakers with knowledge about the workings of the international film industry. The programme of the Studio was created together with Sandy Lieberson,, Chairman of Film London and collaborator of the Berlinale Talent Campus.

ERA NEW HORIZONS IFF has prepared two music events for this year. Mike Patton and his new project Mondo Cane will musically open the festival. The artist will perform new versions of forgotten songs, Italian hits of the 1950s and 1960s. The only Polish premiere of the film opera by the Dutch composer Michel van der Aa - The Book of Disquiet, an adaptation of prose by Fernando Pessoa, will close the festival. In the performance, various forms of expression meet in a mosaic structure of a total piece of art - virtual and real spaces, stage dramaturgy and film editing, sounds played live by the orchestra and those that are electronically generated. On the stage, Klaus Maria Brandauer will play the narrator of The Book..., and the Portuguese fado singer Ana Moura will star in video fragments. The German orchestra musikFabrik will perform the composition by van der Aa.

NEW HORIZONS International Competition Titles:

  • Amer, dir. Hélène Cattet, Bruno Forzani, France / Belgium 2009
  • Püha Tõnu kiusamine / The Temptation of St. Tony, dir. Veiko Õunpuu, Estonia / Finland / Sweden 2009
  • Le quattro volte, dir. Michelangelo Frammartino, Italy / Germany / Switzerland 2010
  • Mama, dir. Nikolay Renard, Yelena Renard, Russia 2010
  • La bocca del lupo / The Mouth of the Wolf, dir. Pietro Marcello, Italy 2009
  • Viajo porque preciso, volto porque te amo / I Travel Because I Have to, I Come Back Because I Love You, dir. Marcelo Gomes, Karim Aïnouz, Brazil 2009
  • Ahasin Wetei / Between Two Worlds, dir. Vimukti Jayasundara, Sri Lanka 2009
  • Putty Hill, dir. Matt Porterfield, USA 2010
  • Refrains Happen Like Revolutions in a Song, dir. John Torres, Philippines 2010
  • Shit Year, dir. Cam Archer, USA 2010
  • Trash Humpers, dir. Harmony Korine, USA / Great Britain 2009
  • Mesa sto dasos / In the Woods, dir. Angelos Frantzis, Greece 2009
  • Expelled, dir. Adam Sikora, Poland 2009
  • Jao Nok Krajok / Mundane History, dir. Anocha Suwichakornpong, Thailand 2009

  • Polish Film Institute awards Era New Horizons

    Era New Horizons International Film Festival (http://www.enh.pl/) has received the "International Film Event of 2009" Award from the Polish Film Institute (http://www.pisf.pl/). The award was presented to the festival's director Roman Gutek.

    The Polish Film Institute's Awards are awarded for the third time to honour persons and institutions, who contribute the most to development, promotion and publicity of film art in Poland. The winners are selected by the 11-person committee made of key representatives of the film industry.

    The 10th Festival takes place 22 July - 1 August.

    ERA New Horizons launches film workshop

    ERA New Horizons International Film Festival will introduce NEW HORIZONS Studio, a workshop for young film professionals, taking place July 26-29, 2010, as part of this year's festival, running July 22 - August 1.

    The goal of the Studio is to provide young filmmakers the knowledge about the workings of the international film industry. During the 3-day workshops the participants will take part in classes on pitching, international promotion, festival strategy and world film sales. All sessions will be run by foreign experts: producers, festival programmers and sales agents. The workshops will also allow the participants the work on specific film projects.

    "We have created the NEW HORIZONS Studio in order to create space for young film professionals within the festival," said Joanna Łapińska, Artistic Director of the ERA NEW HORIZONS IFF. "Most of all, it should allow the participants to talk, look for inspiration and expand the boundaries of their film language. We hope that the Studio will support them in defining their own artistic and professional identity and drawing a path for themselves in the film industry. The knowledge and thoughts exchange as well as the meetings opportunities provided by the workshops should help with that.

    The NEW HORIZONS Studio focuses mostly on master classes run by famous directors, script writers and directors of photography. During the seminars a selection of films will also be shown and analyzed. The Studio will also provide an opportunity for the participants to exchange their thoughts and experiences with five slightly more established colleagues - directors invited to Wroclaw from 5 different countries. Each of these five directors will represent a different tradition of filmmaking and a different vision of filmmaking.

    According to Łapińska, the new initiative by the ERA NEW HORIZONS IFF addresses a very current debate on the international presence of Polish cinema. Polish artists will only have a chance to make a mark in the international film industry if they know how it operates and are willing to open up to it.

    In the first year 30 participants will be selected to take part in the NEW HORIZONS Studio. All classes will be led in English. Submission forms for the workshops are available on the festival's website: http://www.enh.pl/. The submission deadline is April 30.

    Last modified on 04-08-2010