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.

    In the NEW POLISH FILMS Competition the Wroclaw Film Prize founded by the President of the city (€25,000) went to Made in Poland by Przemyslaw Wojcieszek (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.).

    The directors of Ewa/ Poland 2010/ Adam Sikora, until recently a cinematographer who has worked alongside many directors including Jerzy Skolimowski, and Ingmar Villqist were awarded the Best New Director Prize (approximately €10,000), funded by the Marshal of Lower Silesia. International Jury decided about the verdicts.

    The main competition Jury also gave the International Film Guide Award to Le Quattro Volte by Michelangelo Frammartino / Italy, Germany, Switzerland/ 2010.

    This year's festival featured the first edition of the NEW HORIZONS Studio. The three-day workshop was intended for young professionals in the film industry from Poland. Their lecturers included the American director Jonathan Caouette and the Turkish master Nuri Bilge Ceylan.

    Xavier Beauvois' Of Gods and Men and Gaspar Noé's Enter the Void opened the festival, while Francis Ford Coppola's Tetro was the closing film.

    The festival paid tribute to the French New Wave master Jean-Luc Godard, who will turn 80 this year. Over 100 of Godard's films were shown in this full retrospective.

    New cinema of Turkey was profiled at this year's festival. The directors whose films were shown in this category began their careers in the 1990s and since have been successful at many European festivals.

    The festival audiences had the privilege to see to Wojciech Jerzy Has retrospective that coincided with the tenth anniversary of Has' death.

    The Quay Brothers, best known for their stop-motion animation, presented a full retrospective of their works. It included interpretations of Has' films.

    10th ERA NEW HORIZONS International Film Festival hosted over 250 foreign guests, among them 160 film industry professionals. 650 Polish guests were present, including 280 industry professionals.

    Among the festival guests there were the directors: Jonathan Caouette, Yeşim Ustaoğlu, Petr Zelenka, Kornél Mundruczó, Stig Björkman, Petter Mettler, the Quay Brothers, Anocha Suwichakornpong, Philippe Mora, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Jasmila Žbanić, Laura Mulvey.

    The festival presented over 500 films from 50 countries, including 240 features, bringing over 530 screenings to festival audiences and visiting industry guests. 315 journalists from Poland and abroad were accredited to the festival. The festival's audience reached 122 500 people.

    In addition to film screenings, this year's festival hosted many other artistic events. For example, Mike Patton performed his Mondo Cane album on the opening night of the festival on Wroclaw's Wyspa Slodowa. This musical project consists of Patton's covers of popular Italian songs from the 1950s and 1960s. This concert was the first in his European tour.

    Equally significant was the only Polish showing of the world-renowned Dutch composer Michel van der Aa's film opera The Book of Disquiet. The narrator was Klaus Maria Brandauer and the opera featured the Portuguese singer Ana Moura and the German orchestra musikFabrik.

    The festival audiences had the privilege to see the first monographic exhibit related to Wojciech Jerzy Has, which complemented a film retrospective of Has' work.

    In cooperation with the Ha!art publishers, the film festival has published several books devoted to all the subjects of this year's retrospectives. And also about new Turkish film and about surrealism in Polish cinema.

    Next year's festival will include retrospectives of Pinku eiga, Japanese erotic films, and an overview of both classical and contemporary Norwegian cinema. The festival will also showcase the works of Terry Gilliam.

    The 2011 festival will focus on the work of Andrzej Munk, as next year will mark the 90th anniversary of his birth and 50th anniversary of his death. Munk was one of the foremost representatives of the post-war Polish Film School. His best-known films include Eroica and Passenger

    Finally, the next festival will feature a "Midnight Movies" section. This small category will showcase cult films popular at late-night showings in art house theatres in the United States.

    11. ERA NEW HORIZONS IFF will take place between 21 July - 31 July, 2011.