EO by Jerzy Skolimowski will open and Agnieszka Smoczyńska’s Silent Twins will close the 22nd New Horizons International Film Festival

    EO by Jerzy Skolimowski EO by Jerzy Skolimowski copyright: Aneta and FIlip Gębscy

    Here’s the program of this year’s event

    271 films, with a total running time of 24,965 minutes, were included in the program of the 22nd edition of the New Horizons. Over 600 screenings await viewers at the New Horizons Cinema, the Lower Silesian Film Centre (DCF) and the Wrocław market square. Nearly half of all titles will be available online as the New Horizons IFF will be held in a hybrid model (July 21-31 – on-site screenings, July 21 – August 7 – online screenings). This year’s festival horizon is set by light. Following white nights, a phenomena special to Nordic countries, we placed the sun in the center of this year’s branding, which – similarly to the New Horizons-like cinema – is to illuminate new paths and brighten the world, in spite of the ubiquitous darkness. The theme of light is also embodied in this year's tagline: „cinematic solstice”.

    Our program includes bold, uncompromising films that go beyond usual patterns, experiment with form and provoke discussion. During this year’s New Horizons, you’ll get to see both the most important titles from prestigious festivals (Cannes IFF, Venice IFF, Berlinale IFF, Toronto IFF), as well as avant-garde gems unavailable anywhere else. The 22nd New Horizons IFF will be visited by nearly 500 guests from all over the world (counting industry events), including Agnieszka Holland, Jerzy Skolimowski, Lorenzo Vigas, Denis Côté, Hlynur Pálmason and Rita Azevedo Gomes. The full program of the festival can be found on nowehoryzonty.pl. Ticket sales, for on-site screenings and online access, will start this Thursday, July 7th, at 12:00 (CET).

    View the full program of the 22nd New Horizons International Film Festival

    A Polish beginning and ending of the festival

    The festival will open with the revelation of this year’s Cannes, awarded with the Jury Prize – EO, directed by one of the masters of Polish cinema Jerzy Skolimowski, who will greet viewers gathered at the opening night, at the New Horizons Cinema. On the first day of the festival, you’ll have a chance to see the sensational feature debut of Aga Woszczyńska, recognized by the Toronto IFF critics - Silent Land; the Grand Prix winner of Cannes - Close by Lukas Dhont; Alcarràs by Carla Simón, awarded with the Golden Bear in Berlin; Godland by Hlynur Pálmason, presented at Cannes and Momentary Bodies: The Intimate World of F. Percy Smith – a unique documentary essay directed by Stuart A. Staples, frontman of the Tindersticks band, who will give a concert on the first Saturday of the festival (Staples will also meet with the audience). The festival will come to a close with a screening of Silent Twins – Agnieszka Smoczyńska’s English-language debut, starring Letitia Wright and Tamara Lawrance. The partner of Polish film screenings is Dr Irena Eris.

    New Horizons International Competition

    The New Horizons International Competition has become a showcase section of the Wrocław-based festival. It presents uncompromising works of creators seeking original forms of expression. The twelve competition titles that will compete for this year’s Grand Prix, include productions from Bolivia, Brazil, France, Mexico, Poland, Romania, Switzerland and Great Britain. The best film will be selected by the jury members – Agata Buzek (an outstanding Polish actress, who we’ll see in the film Illusion by Marta Minorowicz), Michel Franco (one of the most important contemporary directors from Mexico; we’ll present his latest work – Sundown), Radu Jude (master of Romanian cinema; we’ll look back on his, rarely presented, short films), Nadav Lapid (one of the most interesting contemporary directors from Israel, author of Ahed’s Knee) and Sandra Wollner (representative of the young generation of Austrian directors, author of the award-winning The Trouble with Being Born). As every year, attendees will get to vote for their favorite film of the festival.

    The best of the best from international festivals    

    The mBank Gala Screenings and Masters sections will feature the most important films shown and awarded at prestigious festivals. In addition to the already mentioned EO and Close, the festival audience will also see other award winners from the 75th Cannes IFF – Ruben Östlund’s Triangle of Sadness (Palme d’Or), Park Chan-wook's Decision to Leave (Best Director), Tarik Saleh’s Boy from Heaven (Best Screenplay), Ali Abbasi’s Holy Spider (Best Actress) and Hirokazu Koreeda’s Broker  (Best Actor). That’s not all the gems from Cannes – the New Horizons program will also include R.M.N. by Cristian Mungiu, David Cronenberg’s Crimes of the Future, Albert Serra’s Pacifiction, Tori and Lokita by Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Nostalgia by Mario Martone or Burning Days by Emin Alper.

    Moreover, our viewers will get to watch the most important films of this year’s Berlinale (starting with the winner of the Golden Bear – Alcarràs by Carla Simón); Sundance (including Utama directed by Alejandro Loayza Grisi,); Rotterdam (the winner of the festival – Eami by Paz Encina) or San Sebastián (including Blue Moon directed by Alina Grigore).

    There are plenty of new Polish films in this year’s program. On the screens of Wrocław cinemas, we will premiere (in addition to the already mentioned films by Jerzy Skolimowski and Agnieszka Smoczyńska) Tomasz Wasilewski's Fools, Marta Minorowicz's Illusion, Grzegorz Mołda’s The Hatcher, Kamil Krawczycki's Elephant or Tracking Satyrs by Gilles Lepore, Michał Mądracki and Maciej Mądracki.

    Festival sections

    Agnieszka Holland – a master of Polish (and more) cinema, Lucile Hadžihalilović – French director of wonderful, dense with meanings and insanely corporeal films, Joanna Hogg – a phenomenal portraitist and landscape painter from Great Britain, specializing in creating sceneries of inner life, and Jonas Mekas – Lithuanian-American avant-garde icon, a separate artist, an outsider and a genius. These are the four heroes of this year’s Retrospectives. All to which, a special place will be devoted in the New Horizons program. The Jonas Mekas retrospective will be accompanied by the premiere of a book by Andrzej Pitrus – Glimpses of Beauty. Meetings with Jonas Mekas and the As Far as I Can See exhibition at the SiC gallery! of BWA Wrocław (more information below). All events related to the retrospective are organized as part of the international celebration of the 100th anniversary of the artist – Jonas Mekas 100! Under the auspices of the Lithuanian Cultural Institute and the Estate of Jonas Mekas, in cooperation with numerous cultural organizations and institutions around the world. The Lithuanian Cultural Institute and the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania in Poland are partners of the Wrocław retrospective. The partner of Joanna Hogg's retrospective is the British Council, while  Agnieszka Holland's retrospective is done in media partnership with TOK FM radio.

    This year, the Third Eye turns its attention to maids, butlers, nannies and caregivers. The common area of the interpenetration of cinema and art will redefine the Visual Front, and the latest productions deconstructing genre cinema patterns, playing with conventions, surprising and crossing borders, will be found as part of the Midnight Madness. The program will also, traditionally, include a section co-created with Ale kino+ – a long-term partner of the New Horizons – and in it, screenings of great hits that won the hearts of viewers, at the most important film festivals in the world. In the Lost Lost Lost section, we will get to know the cinema of the periphery. Films that expand awareness and cross the boundaries of species, including biological ones.

    The program will include a new section called White Nights, thanks to which we will go on 15 film journeys to the farthest corners of Iceland, Canada, Sweden, Finland and Norway. In the footsteps of the midnight sun, we will also head to the Sun Republic exhibition at the BWA Studio gallery, to see how its rays draw the landscape of the real and imagined North – a cold paradise on Earth. At the break of day, after Saturday night (July 24th), we will welcome the sunup (at 4:30 AM) during the Wrocław edition of At Dawn – a unique musical event. The White Nights project, along with the Republic of the Sun exhibition and the At Dawn concert, is co-financed by the EEA and Norway Grants and Ministry of Culture and National Heritage of the Republic of Poland.

    A special hero of this year’s New Horizons IFF will also be the cinema of Kosovo – full of youthful energy that blasts the screens. As part of the Focus on Kosovo section, we will look at one of the youngest cinematographies in the world. Its short history is inversely proportional to the number of awards and favorable reviews received at world festivals.

    Once more, we invite you for open screenings, as part of Cinema at the Market Square. Every day at 22:00 PM, from July 22nd to 31st, in the very heart of the capital of Lower Silesia, you’ll get to watch exceptional films bearing the New Horizons quality seal. Participation in the screenings is free (limited seating).

    The festival will also feature short films: Shortlist will prove that the brief form very often favors great talents, and that the creators of shorts are able to capture the essence of the world around us, in an original way.

    The art scene

    Our long-term collaboration with BWA Wrocław, which is the official co-organizer of the festival’s exceptionally rich artistic scene, is flourishing. Together, we will take care of experiences for every sense, stimulating the intellect and feeding the emotions. Starting on July 22nd, at the BWA Studio gallery, you will get a chance to see the above-mentioned exhibition Sun Republic (curators: Ewa Szabłowska, Stach Szabłowski), which is an extension of cinematographic research conducted at the festival. The protagonist of the second exhibition, presented at the SiC! gallery of BWA, is Jonas Mekas. As Far as I Can See is an exhibition by Emanuel Geisser and Kama Sokolnicka, where we’ll see themes of travel, movement, light and dreams that remain unfulfilled (curator: Joanna Kobyłt; exhibition available from July 22nd).

    The Midnight Show will return to New Horizons. The symbolic night screening will be held at the Cathedral of St. Mary Magdalene in Wrocław and will last several hours – from midnight until dawn. The dream-sound show will be built live, by singer and composer Antonina Nowacka, in collaboration with artists Paweł Kulczyński, Krzysztof Gil and Planet. Beds will be waiting for the audience in the Gothic cathedral, to indulge in the state of half-sleep (curators of the Midnight Show: Katarzyna Roj, Stach Szabłowski). Start on Monday, July 25th at 23:59 PM.

    For the sixth time, the Ambient Room prepared by the IP Group collective is included in the New Horizons program. DISCHARGE will allow us to look at the process of energy flow. We will examine the relationship between tension and relaxation, energy accumulation and its dissipation. The IP Group will prepare a synesthetic immersive discharge environment, a place for energy release, a sound-visual landscape created from the excess of accumulated force. Ambient Room #6 will be open from July 22nd, from 19:00. The project is financed by the municipality of Wrocław.

    Special events and the return of the Arsenal

    The band Tindersticks, an alternative rock legend from Nottingham, will perform at the National Forum of Music as part of the 22nd New Horizons International Film Festival on July 22nd, 20:30. The band has been creating tender, melancholic music for three decades, which, combined with the equally beautiful and disturbing voice of Stuart A. Staples, sounds as if Nick Cave was singing about Twin Peaks.

    Following the musical trail, we also invite you to a screening of the classic horror film by F.W. Murnau - Nosferatu: A Symphony of Horror (1922), to which music will be performed live at the New Horizons Cinema by Jozef van Wissem – an outstanding composer, lute player and master of instrumental minimalism (July 23rd, 22:30).

    After Saturday night, on July 24 at 4:30 AM, we’ll meet at Szczytnicki Park for the first Wrocław edition of At Dawn and enter into a musical dialogue with the gracious, but demanding aura of sunrise. In the magnificent space of Szczytnicki Park, we’ll listen to a concert on historical flutes made by Maja Miro-Wiśniewska, of a radical girl band Rock AngelZ. A radio play inspired by the game Against the Storm in the form of a soundscape prepared by Mikołaj Kurpios – a producer focused on creating music for games. And DJ Nightingyal’s set, that will bring us smoothly into the rest of the day. Participation in At Dawn is free, prior registration is not required. The partner of the event is the National Museum in Warsaw.

    This year, the Festival Club returns to the map of the New Horizons. Located in the historic space of the City Arsenal, you’ll find a food zone and relaxation area with music of some of the best Polish DJs. Tenczynek Brewery is a partner of the Festival Club.

    Films in Ukrainian

    We believe that cinematography has the power to change the world and, in moments of turbulence, to really help, facilitate conversation and build understanding. The festival is a platform for an exchange of ideas, during which you can direct the audience’s focus in a specific direction. We want it to be also directed toward our neighbors. During the New Horizons, we’ll present the latest Ukrainian cinema. At the Wrocław market square, as part of an open air cinema with free admission, we’ll show two films with Ukrainian subtitles. On July 23rd C'mon C'mon, and on July 25th, Petite Maman.

    At regular festival screenings, we’ll present the most important Ukrainian films of last year, shown at international festivals. Reflection, Pamfir and Klondike. We’re also preparing a special screening (with Ukrainian subtitles) of Alcarràs awarded in Berlin.

    An accessible festival

    New Horizons has always presented demanding cinema that breaks stereotypes and is intellectually stimulating. However, we don’t want to lock ourselves in an ivory tower – access to culture, including the highest quality cinema, should be egalitarian and open to the widest possible audience. Therefore, this year, we will ensure that the volunteers and employees of the festival are prepared and trained in servicing viewers with disabilities. Additionally, we’ll organize special screenings of films with audio description and closed captions for the hearing impaired. The Blind Man Who Did Not Want to See “Titanic” with a lecture translated into sign language, as well as C’mon C’mon by Mike Mills, as part of the Cinema at the Market Square (free admission) . The Katarynka Foundation is our partner in ensuring accessibility.

    More information about the festival will be available soon at nowehoryzonty.pl.

    The festival in numbers

    • 271 films, including 209 features and 62 shorts
    • 156 Polish premieres
    • 35 films of Polish authors
    • 236 films directed by foreign authors
    • 24,965 minutes - total running time of all films
    • 470 guests at the festival, 300 of which are Polish and 170 foreign (including industry events)
    • 3,854 - the total number of cinema seats
    • 158 people overseeing the organization of the festival
    • 168 wonderful volunteers