20-06-2008

ERA New Horizons programme announced

NEW HORIZONS International Competition - the most important part of the festival, which also raises the most emotions, will include 16 premieres of bold and original films selected from among hundreds of works presented at film festivals all over the world. The NEW HORIZONS Competition is an excellent chance to get to know films by directors who oppose fashion and trends, as well as by individualists of their own style and inimitable language. And one of these films will receive the festival's main prize - Grand Prix, awarded by the audience. This year among the films selected for the competition are: the German documentary Jesus Christ Saviour (Jesus Christus Erlöser) by Peter Geyer - a recording of a performance by the legendary Klaus Kinski, the Spanish film In the City of Sylvia (En la ciudad de Sylvia) - a subtle reflection on time by José Luis Guerín, Eat, for This is My Body (Mange, ceci est mon corps) - a revelation of festivals in Toronto and Rotterdam directed by Haitian Michelange Quay and My Winnipeg, directed by the well-known Canadian, Guy Maddin.

The NEW POLISH FILM Competition, presenting new full-length Polish films, both features and documentaries. This year's competition will have a renewed form - in the selection, films will be considered which premiered after 29.07.2007, both premieres and works screened in Polish cinemas, at other festivals in Poland and abroad. This way of selecting films will surely allow us to present the most interesting phenomena of Polish cinema and to submit them for evaluation of the young audience.
An international jury will grant the Wrocław Film Award to one of them, funded by the Mayor of Wrocław, Mr. Rafał Dutkiewicz. The amount of this prize is PLN 100 thousand.

POLISH SHORT FILM Competition - the most interesting new Polish short films: documentaries, animations, and features. This competitive section is co-organized by the Association of Polish Filmmakers.

A Panorama of Contemporary Cinema presents 40 films, which have won awards at the most prestigious international film festivals. In this section there are both great masters and new talents.
Among the films shown there will be: The Song of Sparrows (Avaze gonjeshk - ha) directed by the Iranian master, Majid Majidi; the French Secret of the Grain (La graine et le mulet) - winner of several Cesar awards (including for the best film), the latest work by Abdellatif Kechiche, a well-known author to the Polish audience, Blame It on Voltaire and the latest piece of the French master, New Wave precursor Eric Rohmer - Romance of Astrea and Celadon (Les amours d'Astrée et de Celadon).

New Zealand cinema - 25 feature-films, feature-length documentaries, and screenings of short films. The review will present both the earliest pieces of the kiwi cinema and the latest works. A special place will be granted to the productions of the "golden age" - the turn of the 1970s and 1980s, when international festivals saw such artists as: Roger Donaldson and Geoff Murphy - and a complete retrospective of Vincent Ward. We will also show films inspired by the Maori history and culture.
The review will be complemented by meetings with New Zealand directors and critics. The publishing house słowo / obraz terytoria is preparing a book about New Zealand cinema, edited by the British critic Ian Conrich. Related events: a screening of the silent movie The Te Kooti Trail (1927), directed by Rudall Harward in the opera, with live music performed by the New Zealand pianist Chris Hainsworth; concert of the band Moana & the Tribe (18.07, festival club) combining original Maori music with modern rhythms and shows of traditional Maori dance by the group Manaia; Ma-uri festival (massage, workshops); multi-media performance and films by the artist and choreographer Shona McCullagh and an exposition (in the Market place and in Helios cinema) of photos by landscape photographer and environmentalist - Craig Potton.

The curator of this section is Ian Conrich, the British film critic, Director of the Centre for New Zealand Studies of the University of London and author, who cooperates with BBC, the monthly Sight & Sound and other institutions.

The program of the New Zealand section is already available on the Internet site www.eranowehoryzonty.pl.


Contemporary Brazilian cinema

The review will focus on the latest achievements in Brazilian cinema. An honourable place will belong to the films of the retomada - the extraordinary renaissance the cinema from the Amazon underwent in the mid-1990s. This is when such films as Carlota Joaquina, Princess of Brazil (Carlota Joaquina - Princesa do Brazil, 1995) by Carla Camurati or Central Station (Central do Brasil, 1998) by Walter Sallesa made Brazilian cinematography renowned at the most significant film festivals. Retomada brought about exceptional activities of this country's artists and its effects can be seen even today. The latest films from the Amazon river country, such as Movies, Aspirin and Vultures (Cinema, Aspirinas e Urubus) (2005) by Marcelo Gomes or Suely in the Sky (O Céu de Suely) (2006) by Karim Ainouz have received awards not only in Latin America, but at film festivals all over the world as well. They must be present in Wrocław, too.



Directors' retrospectives:

Theo Angelopoulos, Greek representative of the generation of the cinema masters, whose style refers to the great absentees - Fellini or Tarkowski - and yet it is absolutely recognisable and unique. The international critics' favourite and collector of festival awards has for years consistently realised his own vision of cinema - solemn, symbolic and full of cultural quotations. The retrospective will show all the works by Angelopoulos, starting from the earliest ones, such as Reconstruction (Anaparastasi, 1970), awarded in Berlin, to mature films, such as the winner of the Venetian Golden Lion Alexander the Great (Megaleksandros, 1980) or Landscape in the Mist (Topio stin omichli, 1988), awarded with the Silver Lion, to the laureate of Golden Palm of Cannes festival - Eternity and a Day (Mia aioniotita kai mia mera, 1998).

The Wrocław retrospective of the Greek master will be accompanied by several events, including a music concert by Eleni Karaindrou (25.07, Wrocław Philharmonic), composed for the films by Theo Angelopoulos; and there will also be an exposition of works by the photographer Dimitris Sofikitis, documenting the film Trilogy: The Weeping Meadow (Trilogia I: To Livadi pou dakryzei, 2004).

Terence Davies, British director described as the Proust of the cinema. Although he has only made three short films and four full-length films, he managed to create one of the most fascinating images in the history of cinema and he was acclaimed by audiences and critics. His film Distant Voices, Still Lives (1988) received many prizes, including the Golden Leopard in Locarno and FIPRESCI award in Cannes, while his latest work The House of Mirth (2000) was awarded with a BAFTA prize.

Vincent Ward, New Zealand director, whose visionary films showed kiwi cinema to the entire world. The review will include the entire output of this artist, from the earliest, independent films to his legendary pieces - Vigil (1984) and Navigator: A Mediaeval Odyssey (1988) to his latest works. Ward's feature-length debut - Vigil - was the first New Zealand film screened in the competitive section of the Cannes festival. Navigator, made four years later, was regarded as a revelation in Cannes, too. The director gained the admiration of the world audience and critics with his impressive portraits of outsiders facing the cruel and yet fascinating nature.

Andrzej Żuławski is one of the most controversial Polish directors, who has created emotional, passionate, obsessive cinema on the edge of image hysteria for many years. His debut was the excellent Third Part of The Night (Trzecia część nocy) (1971). For many actresses the roles proposed by Żuławski were the boldest and the most important ones of their artistic lives: Romy Schneider received a Cesar for Najważniejsze to kochać (The Important Thing Is To Love - L'important c'est d'aimer, 1975), and Isabelle Adjani - best actress award at the Cannes festival and a Cesar for her performance in Opętanie (Possession, 1981).

Witold Leszczyński, recollection of the director and cinematographer, who died in 2007, a representative of the "golden generation" - the first who graduated from the Łódź film school, who created excellent film adaptations - Żywot Mateusza (The Life of Matthew) (1968), screened in Cannes, Konopielka (1984), awarded in Gdynia and Siekierezada (1985), winner of the special award in Berlin.
His artistic credo was a sentence of the Danish classic, Carl Theodore Dreyer - I'm not interested in the image of action, I'm interested in the action of image. His film visions - often adaptations of carefully selected pieces of literature - were filtered by his own sensitivity and the inimitable original style.

Alexander Sroczyński, an eccentric artist, animator, illustrator and author of satirical drawings. He has created animations, which win awards in Poland and abroad, such as: 8 and 3/4 (8 i 3/4) (1981), Animated Film (Film animowany) (1982), The First Aid Kit (Apteczka pierwszej pomocy) (1983) or No More War! (Nigdy więcej wojny!) (1987). His works combine black humour, macabre and pastiche of various film conventions: erotic films (Not a Word! Not a Sound! Starring Audrey Hepburn - Ani be!.. ani me!.. z udziałem Audrey Hepburn, 1984), classical science fiction (2013 Space Odyssey- 2013 Odyseja kosmiczna, 1985) or even the American underground of the 1990s (With a Light, 1984). He cooperates regularly with many magazines - the legendary Szpilki and Playboy in Poland, The New York Times and many others in the USA, where he has lived since 1989.

The complete program of the retrospective is already available on the Internet site www.eranowehoryzonty.pl


Federico Fellini: annex

Maestro Fellini is an exposition at the City Museum in Wrocław town hall, presenting more than 300 artefacts from the collection of the Swiss FONDATION FELLINI pour le Cinéma - photos, drawings, screenplays, production documents, posters, costumes, etc. This event will be complemented by a review of documentaries about Fellini and an experimental multi-media project by Witold Liszkowski, inspired by Fellini's La Strada and entitled - Wspólna przestrzeń (Common space) - which will be shown at Galeria na Solnym and at Solny Square; as well as by - Incorto con Fellini - an installation by the sculptor Krzysztof Bednarski.



Special events:

19th July, 2008, Saturday, 7:00 p.m., Wrocław Opera
Concert by the British musician and composer Michael Nyman and his Michael Nyman Band
Michael Nyman is a distinguished British composer, who cooperated with Peter Greenaway. He has composed scores for 11 films for this controversial director; he has also worked with such renowned artists as Jane Campion (for the score of her Piano for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe), Volker Schlöndorff, Neil Jordan and Michael Winterbottom.

At their concert in Wrocław the artists will perform pieces of the program I sonetti lussuriosi (The Lustful Sonnets), inspired by The Lewd Sonnets by Pietro Aretino, called the renaissance precursor of literary pornography and compositions from Nyman's latest album Mozart 252, inspired by Mozart's works.

20th July, 2008, Sunday, 7:00 p.m., Wrocław Opera Michael Nyman and his Michael Nyman Band will accompany live the film Living Russia, or The Man with a Camera (Chelovek s kino-apparatom), directed by: Dziga Wiertow, USSR 1929.
Living Russia, or The Man with a Camera, is a film which belongs to the European trend of urban symphonies and at the same time it is one of the most distinguished works of the silent cinema and a classical piece of soviet cinematography. The main characters of Wiertow's film are Moscow in the 1920s and the camera itself, following the rhythm of life, penetrating fast-running trains, trams, work in factories and offices, and the daily lives of ordinary people. Michael Nyman, fascinated with this rhythmical symphony of images, created a special score for it.

Wrocław Opera (the time will be confirmed soon) screening of the New Zealand silent film The Te Kooti Trail (1927), directed by Rudall Hayward, with live music performed by the New Zealand pianist and organ virtuoso Chris Hainsworth. Rudall Hayward was a legendary pioneer of the New Zealand silent cinema and one of its most talented artists and The Te Kooti Trail is one of his greatest achievements. The film describes Maoris' fight with British settlers in the wonderful New Zealand landscapes. For many years, it has been a hallmark of New Zealand cinematography.

Wrocław Opera (the time will be confirmed soon) screening of the masterpiece of Scandinavian silent cinema Häxan (Witchcraft Through the Ages), directed by: Benjamin Christensen, Sweden 1922, with music by the British composer and multi-instrumentalist Geoff Smith, who will play a hammer dulcimer - an extraordinary instrument, made by the artist himself. Geoff Smith played live music for silent films at the ERA NEW HORIZONS festival in 2006. Witchcraft Through the Ages (Häxan, Sweden 1922) is a horror film, one of the most controversial pieces in the history of silent cinema. This image encyclopaedia of occultism and Satanism, imitating a documentary, was banned by censors for many years until it was re-discovered in the 1960s, when it was re-mastered, narrated by the famous author William Burroughs.

(time and place to be confirmed soon)
Musical concert by Eleni Karaindrou
This Greek pianist and composer has regularly cooperated with one of the heroes of this year's retrospectives - Theo Angelopoulos, starting in 1983 with his film Voyage to Cythera (Taxidi sta Kithira, 1983). The artist composes for the cinema and theatre - so far she has written scores for 19 films and more than 40 spectacles, including works by such recognised directors as Jules Dassin, the famous French experimental artist - Chris Marker and Margarethe von Trotta. In Wrocław she will present her compositions for Theo Angelopoulos's films.

Wrocław Opera (the time will be confirmed soon) - world premiere of the film opera Csoma, directed and composed by Tibor Szemzö.
Csoma is a modern multi-media project, played simultaneously on screen and on stage. The narrator, vocalists and instrumentalists' performance will be perfectly synchronised with the image. This project will be accompanied by a complete review of films by the Hungarian musician, composer and director, whose film A Guest of Life (Az élet vendége: Csoma-legendárium, 2006) was screened at last year's festival and served as an inspiration for creation of the film opera Csoma.



Festival club:


For the duration of the FESTIVAL the historic Wrocław ARSENAL (400 metres from Helios cinema) will be changed into a festival club with a special chill-out part and concerts every evening by foreign bands and sets by DJs presenting eclectic trends of modern music. Among the performers there will be: founders of the legendary recording company Ninja Tune - the famous British duo Coldcut Journeys by VJ; Icelandic vocalist, "master of acoustic guitar and laptop" - Mugison; indie-pop Norwegian band Kaada, who cooperate with Mike Patton; American underground hip hop group Food for Animals and ambient-dub New Zealand group Pitch Black, who used to cooperate with Killing Joke.



The main patron of the festival is the city of Wrocław.

For the sixth time the festival's main sponsor is Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa, the operator of ERA telephony.