On the 15th of February passed the final deadline for submitting films to the 58th Krakow Film Festival. The festival selectors will have to face an extremely difficult task of choosing exceptional and surprising films for the competition and non-competing sections.
Thanks to the change of the rules and regulations, it was possible to reduce the number of submissions and to devote more time to the search for films at important festivals abroad. The selection panel, consisting of 20 people, can now take even more thorough look at the candidates for the up-coming edition.
Just like it was the case in previous years, the majority of submitted titles are short feature films. This year, almost 1400 were submitted. The selectors again confirm that in this group there are no prevailing issues or trends, and the film-makers take up various subjects. Dagmara Romanowska, a film critic and the curator of the feature film section, emphasises that “selection for the short feature film competition is a place where anything can happen! Here, you can come across playing with the genre, pastiches, fairy tales, detective stories, even westerns, but also very serious dramas, made in a way that resembles a mystery play, which can touch one’s heart or ask very difficult, sometimes inconvenient, and sometimes even provocative questions. The selection of the finalists is not easy, but certainly there will be a lot of surprises in store for the audience at Krakow Film Festival, and a lot of films which are impossible to ignore”.
The number of submitted documentary films is also impressive – over 400 short ones (no longer than 30 minutes) and almost 700 medium- and feature-length ones: “The documentary films watched by us, both the ones which were submitted and the ones which were found at the festivals abroad, can be broadly divided into two categories,” explains Anita Piotrowska, a film critic and the curator of the documentary film section. “On the one hand, we get a deeper look at what matters in the world today, that is, great ideological and social tensions, which often take the form of armed conflicts, on the other hand, however, we have intimate stories about protagonists tormented by internal conflicts, searching for their identities or struggling against adversity. Preparing the programme, we will try to capture this diversity.”
There is also a lot of work in store for the selectors of animated films, who will have to watch more than 200 animations. Robert Sowa, the head of the animated film studio at the Academy of Fine Arts, the curator of the animated film section, emphasises that this year “a lot of films take up the issues of searching for one’s identity. The authors ask straightforward, but difficult questions with their films: about one’s roots, the sense of social belonging or the meaning of relationships with others. In this context, the films about gender identity also promise to be interesting. This year’s animated films are also extremely diverse as far as their visuals are concerned. There are a lot of promising films with huge sense of humour and distance, which will allow us to relax as well.”
From among all films, almost 280, that is, the same number as the year before, are Polish films or co-productions. Because the call for films for Polish competition was the longest one, the prevailing themes will emerge after some time.
As it is the case every year, films from around the world were submitted to Krakow. Polish films (272) were followed by German ones (259), French ones (249) and American ones (161). After them, there are, among others, Spain, Great Britain, Russia, Italy and Israel.
There appeared also a lot of submissions from distant corners of the world, from countries such as: Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Ecuador, Egypt, the Philippines, Honduras, Hong Kong, Yemen, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Kenya, Kirgizstan, Malaysia, Nepal, New Zealand, Pakistan, the Republic of South Africa, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, East Timor or Vietnam.
The team consisting of eminent critics, film theorists and film-makers under the leadership of the Director of the Festival, Krzysztof Gierat, will select films which will be shown in four competitions of equal rank: documentary film competition, short film competition, music documentary film competition DocFilmMusic and Polish film competition. Traditionally, carefully selected films will be also shown in the special sections which accompany the Festival.
The results of the selection will be published on the Festival’s website at the beginning of April.
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58th Krakow Film Festival is held from May 27 to June 3, 2018.