Warsaw market is a shop window of CentEast cinema

By Jorn Rossing Jensen

    Warsaw (CentEast Daily News) -- As the Third CentEast Market at the Warsaw International Film Festival closed Saturday (Oct. 20) with a showing of Polish director Dorota Kedzierzawska's Time to Die (Pora umierac), market director Rik Vermeulen said he was pleased with the operation.


    "It was business as usual, but the market is increasingly establishing its role as a shop window of Central and Eastern European cinema," he said. "Our 45 screenings of new films were well attended, and some of the participants have already become regulars."

    One of the main attractions to CentEast marketeers was Polish director Andrzej Wajda's Katyń (aka Post Mortem), which has clocked in some 1.8 admissions domestically while still waiting for its international première, now scheduled for the Berlin International Film Festival.

    Launched at last month's Polish National Film Festival in Gdynia, the Polish submission for the Oscars depicts the murder of 22,000 Polish officers in Katyń, Miednoe and Charków, mainly through the perspectives of three women - a mother, a wife and a daughter.

    The $5.8 million co-production by Poland's Akson Studio France's Les Films du Losange was shown in an industry-only presentation at the market, while Time to Die, another market attraction, got full exposure as the official end to the festival.

    Starring 92-year-old Danuta Szaflarska, who won for Best Actress at Gdynia, Time to Die is the story of an elderly woman who fights for years to again become the mistress of her once beautiful, now somewhat dilapidated villa, where the former regime had placed residents.

    "The CentEast Market is an extremely useful opportunity to catch up with the latest films from Central and Eastern Europe," said head of acquisitions René Wolf of the Netherlands' Filmmuseum, who picked up Polish director Andrzej Jakimowski's Tricks (Sztuczki) for the Benelux.

    "During major markets as Cannes and Berlin, you simply don't have the time to watch these films, whereas in Warsaw you get an updated overview of what happens in these countries, which filmwise are becoming increasingly important."