For the first time, Poland will be represented in the main competition at the Venice Film Festival (www.labiennale.org) by four films, all co-produced by the Polish Film Institute. The festival started Aug. 29 and lasts through Sept. 8.
The two international co-productions financed partially by the film institute (www.pisf.pl) are Nightwatching, directed by Peter Greenaway and It's a Free World directed by Palme d'Or winner Ken Loach. Nightwatching is based on the life of the legendary Dutch painter Rembrandt van Rijn. It's a Free World is the story of a relationship between a young woman who teams up with her flatmate to run a recruitment agency and a Polish immigrant. The Polish films in competition are Sztuczki (Tricks) by Andrzej Jakimowski, which will premiere in Poland on Oct. 26, and the short film Wazki (Dragonflies) by debutante director Justina Nowak. "It was with great joy and satisfaction I got the news that four films co-financed by Polish Film Institute will be in Venice," said its director, Agnieszka Odorowicz. "This is a great success for Polish filmmakers and also an affirmation that the institute is going in the right direction." PFI, established by the adoption of a film law in 2004, is responsible for financially supporting and promoting the Polish film industry. The four Polish films will be introduced to journalists at a briefing on Sept. 5.