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More funding means better quality at Gdynia festival

2007-09-17

The artistic director of the 32nd Polish Film Festival in Gydnia says this year's screenings by younger directors will be marked by a higher level of quality than in the past, both substantively and technically -- the direct result of increased funding.

A film law adopted in 2004 provided the means for funding domestic productions through the newly created Polish Film Institute (www.pisf.pl) and some other sources.

"This year we have the first results," Mirosław Bork, who heads Poland's most important market for feature films, said in a phone interview with Film New Europe. "These films were produced at the [high] standard we remember."

However, he added the quality level still needs to catch with the European average, and more funds are needed. "We don't have a problem with talent; we have a problem with money," he said.

For the past couple of years organizations such as PFI and the Association of Polish Filmmakers (www.sfp.org.pl) have made special efforts to encourage the next generation of filmmakers, now in their 30s or early 40s, who have laboured under the shadow of international greats such as Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Zanussi and Krzysztof Kieslowski.

"For many years I came to the festival and felt it was like a meeting of pensioners," he said. "We must do everything possible to attract young directors, to give them a chance to show their works."

As a result, this year's festival will show 22 features in competition, out of 34 entries. Six of the features are debuts by young directors, while about a dozen are by directors who have developed a name on the Polish market -- many of them in their 30s. Fifteen of the films are being shown in public for the first time.

In all, about 20 prizes will be handed out, including the top award of 50,000 zloty (€13,300) for best director. The prize includes a 50% increase in funding from PISF for the next project.

There will also be a special competition for directors fresh out of film school.

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