FNE at Gdynia Polish Film Festival Competition: Black Thursday

In his drama Black Thursday Antoni Krauze explores the tragic Polish shipyard workers riots of December 1970, a recent and painful chapter in the Polish history. The script is based on a real life story of Brunon Drywa, a shipyard worker who died tragically during the riots from a gunshot into his back.

ImageThe executive producer of the film is NORDFILM (www.nordfilm.pl), a Polish company based in Gdynia, in co-production with BOB-ROLLO (www.bobrollo.com.pl) Marian Bobrucki, Henryk Bobrucki and the National Culture Center (www.nck.pl). The producer told FNE that the budget was 7.4 million PLN (EUR 1.8 million) with 1 million PLN from Bob-Rollo and 300,000 PLN from the National Culture Center. The production received 4 million in financing from the Polish Film Institute (www.pisf.pl), 307,000 PLN from the Gdynia Film Fund (www.centrumkulturygdynia.org) and 400,000 from Bank Zachodni WBK (www.bzwbk.pl), the film's official sponsor.


FNE at Gdynia Polish Film Festival Competition: Suicide Room

In his feature debut Suicide Room, Jana Komasa creates a thrilling story about the dangers of modern technology and the problems of the young generation.

ImageSuicide Room follows the life of a high school senior Dominik. He is popular, dates the prettiets girl in school and comes from a wealthy family. All of this is disrupted once he gets involved with a mysterious girl he meets online, who introduces him to the virtual world of the Suicide Room.

The film was produced by Studio Filmowe KADR (www.sfkadr.com) using mixed film techniques including over 20 minutes of computer animation. The budget of the film was over 5 million PLN with 2 million PLN in financing from the Polish Film Institute (www.pisf.pl).


FNE at Gdynia Polish Film Festival Competition: The Mill And the Cross

Lech Majewski has created an artistic and challenging drama inspired by Pieter Brueghel's art in The Mill and the Cross.

ImageThe Mill and the Cross is based on Brueghel's painting Christ Carrying a Cross and inspired by a book of the same title written by art critic and connoisseur Michael Gibson. Majewski portrays 16th century Flanders using an experimental film style to intertwine the story of the life of a Flemish painter with scenes of Christ's passion.

The film was one of the biggest productions made in Poland in 2009. The Polish-Swedish international coproduction included not only a detailed reconstructed historic set and costumes but also multilevel film shots and the use of 3D techniques. The shoot took place in several locations in Silesia starting in November 2008.


FNE at Gdynia Polish Film Festival Competition: Essential Killing

Jerzy Skolimowski tackles the themes of war drama and imperialism in his challenging artistic drama, Essential Killing, considered one of the most significant Polish films of the year. Skolimowski portrays the tragic journey of a fugitive, who escapes from the U.S. military in Afghanistan. He tries to combat not only the winter conditions but also his overwhelming fear and paranoia.

ImageThe film is an international coproduction with executive producer Skopia Film (www.skopiafilm.com) from Poland in coproduction with Cylinder Productions ( www.cylinder.no) from Norway, Element Pictures (www.elementpictures.ie) from Ireland and Mythberg Films (www.mythbergfilms.hu) from Hungary in association with Canal + Poland (www.canalplus.pl) and Syrena Films (www.syrenafilms.com). Essential Killing was shot in the winter of 2010 in Poland, Israel and Norway. The budget was 8 million PLN (EUR 2 million) with 3.5 million in financing from the Polish Film Institute (www.pisf.pl). The film also received financing from Akson Studio (www.akson-studio.pl) and Task Films .


FNE at Gdynia Polish Film Festival Competition: Italians

In his drama Italians Łukasz Barczyk create a dream-like image of passion and betrayal, where reality is mixed with the memories of his characters.

Italians is a story of a love triangle between two Italian brothers and a German woman set in fascist Italy during World War II. The film is a journey into the intimate world of one of the brothers, exploring his subconscious images of his relationships with his family and friends. In a bold search for new film language, Barczyk tries to combine the poetics of a dream and neorealism.


FNE at Gdynia Polish Film Festival Competition: Fear Of Falling

In Fear of Falling, his feature film directing debut. Bartosz Konopka creates an emotional drama about crossing the line between madness and sanity.

Fear Of Falling follows the life of Tomek, a young television journalist who leads a very structured life. When he finds out that his father had been admitted to a psychiatric hospital he decides to use his absence to sell his parents apartment. While visiting his father he has to cope with his own guilt and immerse himself in the madness to find out the truth about his origins.


FNE at Gdynia Polish Film Festival Competition: Daas

Dass, a major costume production written and directed by Adrian Panek, brings to life the dillemas of faith and politics in the 13th Century. The film premieres at the 36th Polish Film Festival in Gdynia.

ImageDaas tells the story of a heretic Jackob Frank and the last period of his life spent in Vienna. Frank arrived in Poland in the second half of the 13th Century where he annouced himself to be the new Mesaiah. He used the apocalyptic mood of the era and convinced a part of the Jewish community and the Catholic Church hierarchy to convert to his beliefs.


FNE at Gdynia Polish Film Festival Competition: My Name Is Ki

Polish director Leszek Dawid poses questions about love and motherhood in the contemporary drama My Name Is Ki.
The film will have its premiere during the 36th Polish Film Festival in Gdynia (www.fpff.pl), followed by a theatrical release in September 2011.

ImageKi is a young single mother who refuses to feel sorry for herself and puts her life on hold for her child. Despite her reluctance to have serious relationships with men, they help her to realize her responsibilities towards her son.

The film was shot in Warsaw in April and May of 2010. My Name Is Ki was produced by Skorpion Arte in co-production with Piramida Film (www.piramidafilm.pl), Film Factory (www.filmfactory.com.pl), Hydrafilm (www.hydrafilm.pl) and Studio UFO. The budget of the film was 2.3 million PLN (EUR 580,000) with 1.5 million input from the Polish Film Institute (www.pisf.pl). The movie was also co-financed by Canal Plus Polska (www.canalplus.pl).


FNE at Gdynia Polish Film Festival Competition: The Courage

In The Courage, a tragic story of two brothers faced with a moral dilemma, director/writer Greg Zgliński explores the theme of courage and its consequences with brutal reality. The film will have its premiere in competition at the 36th Polish Film Festival in Gdynia (www.fpff.pl).

ImageTwo brothers witness a girl being mugged on a train. While the younger brother comes to her aid, his older brother fails to react under pressure, and is forced to watch the hooligans throw his brother out of the speeding train.

The film was shot on location in Łódź and the surrounding region in June and July 2010. The production company Opus Film told FNE that the budget of the picture was 4,465,000 PLN (EUR 1.1 million) with 3 million PLN in financing from the Polish Film Institute (www.pisf.pl), 300,000 from the Łódź Film Commission (www.lodzfilmcommission.pl) and 30,000 PLN from Euro Media Plus.


FNE at Gdynia Polish Film Festival Competition: The Mole

The Mole, the feature debut drama from documentary director Rafael Lewandowski, explores the very current theme of an ongoing investigation of people actively involved in the political events of the 1989 Solidarity movement in Poland.

ImageThe drama follows Paweł, the son of a Solidarity union member, whose father is being accused of being an SB agent with the code name The Mole, working to destroy the freedom movement from within and denounce his fellow workers. The situation is even more complicated by the fact that Paweł's wife Ewa is a daughter of the miner killed during the Solidarity strike.


FNE at Gdynia Polish Film Festival Competition: Rose

Director Wojciech Smarzowski returns to Gdynia with Rose, a drama exploring a relatively recent episode in Polish history, when the habitants of Masuria became second class citizens under communist authorities after WWII.

ImageRose looks at events that took place following the end of World War II, when the people of Masuria were deemed "unfit" to build the new, better society as envisioned communist regime in Poland. Told through the eyes of the Home Army officer, Smarzowski shows how the local people had to struggle -- not against any person, but with two contrasting ideas of nationalism in their own country. The circumstances seem unsuitable for new love to flourish, but the characters in Rose experience it regardless of their situation.


FNE at Gdynia Polish Film Festival Competition: In The Name Of The Devil

Inspired by true events, director and screenwriter Barbara Sass creates a film about crossing the limits of faith and madness behind the walls of a nunnery, In the Name of the Devil. The film will have its world premiere in competition at the 36th Polish Film Festival in Gdynia, with the national premier planned for September 2011.

ImageThe story is based on a mutiny by the Bethany nuns in Kazimierz, who refused to implement a Vatican decision to change their leader. This behavior led to further investigations of the convent and disturbing changes within the rules that the nuns practiced. In the Name of the Devil follows Anna, a young girl who became a nun to heal her emotional wounds. The strict Mother Superior successfully protects the women from the dangers of the outside world until a charismatic priest appears to help her head the monastery and claims that God can be experienced carnally. The new forms of faith practiced are scaring and confusing for the young nun.


Venice (110', colour, 2010) by renowned director Jan Jakub Kolski is one of the most important productions being presented at the market.

This affecting film is set during World War II. The cellar of a house becomes both a place of hiding and a place of cherishing the deepest, most vital human dreams. At first these are dreams of children, full of pure belief in making all things possible by the force of will and mind; but later the older generations of the large family join in the play as it transforms into a ritual and an attempt to overcome the hostile world through the human spirit.

The special, old, family nest/house seems to be a final asylum and brings a promise of safety. This feeling gradually flows over to the successive circles of the family's friends, neighbors and - finally - the total strangers who one day enter the house. How will it withstand a confrontation with the cruelty of war?

Venice was awarded Best Artistic Contribution Prize at the Montreal World Film Festival in August 2010.

Made in Poland (90', colour, 2010), a contemporary drama written and directed by Przemysław Wojcieszek

Bogus (17) realizes that the only message he wants to convey to the world is captured in the phrase "fuck off". He hence tattoos it on his forehead. He shows his rage by destroying everything in his way. Even the priest Edmund is unable to soothe Bogus's frustration. His teacher, a lonely alcoholic, tries to convince the boy to quote the masterpieces of literature, but he doesn't propose any concrete solution. His mother disregards her son's distractions and worries that his tattoo will prevent him from finding a job. Only his sister and brother are fascinated with Bogus's radicalism and calls for rebellion.

This dynamic plot is strengthened by a gangster motif. With the help of the priest and the intervention of an outside power, the gangsters are convinced to forgive a debt, and Bogus is able to marry his girlfriend.

Flying Pigs (99', colour, 2009), a film starring one of Poland's biggest movie stars, directed by Anna Kazejak.

Flying Pigs is a movie about passion, honor, and living life to its fullest. The stake of the real game is love... One day, a local football club ceases to exist, and the lives of the four main characters are turned upside down. Oskar (Paweł Małaszyński) is forced to put on a suit and accept a job offer from the boss (Cezary Pazura) of a local company, which has decided to launch a new football club. This is just the beginning of big troubles and ... becoming a superhero.

Joanna (105', colour, 2010) is a feature concerning the most important questions in everybody's life in German-occupied Warsaw in the midst of the WWII.

In the time of turmoil and insecurity of war, there arise questions that suddenly confronted every person: How much love of other human beings does one have within oneself? How much is one willing to sacrifice? Is there a price one would refuse to pay to protect his loved ones? Is one really as good as one sees oneself? Joanna, a Jewish woman, has to decide for herself whether to engage or whether to stay safe.

Screening schedule:

Flying Pigs 11.05.2011 11.30 Palais D

Venice 11.05.2011 15.30 Palais D

Joanna 12.05.2011 13.30 Gray d'Albion 4

Made in Poland 13.05.2011 9.30 Gray d'Albion 4