Non-competitive sections at the 63rd Krakow Film Festival

The Illumination, Through a Glass Darkly, The Promised Land, non-competitive sections at the 63rd KFF

The films of Krzysztof Zanussi, Ingmar Bergman, and Andrzej Wajda need no introduction; they are classics of European cinema. Just what do these excellent fiction films have in common with the great documentaries featured in our non-competitive series? Krzysztof Gierat, the creator of the three new sections, shares the idea behind them. 

In the history of cinema, there are films of almost mythical status – ones that serve as a point of reference for cinephiles and can often become inspiration for filmmakers. When I watch exceptional documentaries, I often recall the sensations I had while seeing the works of the Masters. This year, three great titles are the patrons of 12 films. This selection includes films-festival winners, films–vivid portraits and films–neverlands. – comments Krzysztof Gierat, director of the Krakow Film Festival.

The Illumination

In what is perhaps Krzysztof Zanussi’s most outstanding film, for which the director received the Grand Prix at the Locarno Film Festival, the protagonist searches for the truth about himself and the world, and longs for enlightenment. The protagonists of films presented and awarded at important film festivals also need this kind of illumination, as did their creators to deliver outstanding works that escape simple interpretations. 
This series features films about an excellent Polish-born painter (Apolonia, Apolonia, dir. Lea Glob), about the Chopin piano competition and its talented contestants (Pianoforte, dir. Jakub Piątek), about the international and lifelong friendship of two women (Between Revolutions, dir. Vlad Petri), as well as an experimental documentary inspired by Stanisław Lem’s prose (Solaris, Mon Amour, dir. Kuba Mikurda).

Through a Glass Darkly

A novel is a mirror carried along a high road. At one moment it reflects to your vision the azure skies, at another the mire of the puddles at your feet – to quote Stendhal. Through a Glass Darkly is the title of Ingmar Bergman’s Oscar-winning film. In this series, the mirror will be turned towards characters from five countries. 
We’re going to take a look at Latvian schoolgirls born in 1960 and their current complex lives (The Girls of 1960, dir. Una Celma); make a visit to an Israeli hotel targeted in a terrorist attack in 1975 (Savoy, dir. Zohar Wagner); meet a Hungarian couple who unexpectedly wins a fortune in a lottery (Paying a Visit to Fortuna, dir. Matyas Kalman);we’ll shake a leg to the tune of Poland’s oldest DJ (Vika!, dir. Agnieszka Zwiefka); and be plunged into the war in Ukraine, following in the footsteps of an ambiguous hero (Yarik the Rascal, dir. Yurii Pupirin).

The Promised Land

Hailed by many as Andrzej Wajda’s best film. This Oscar-nominated masterpiece is the turbulent tale of three friends from Łódź: a Pole, a Jew, and a German, who decide to create their own promised land. 

To tourists visiting Laos, the country seems like a gateway to paradise; they absorb its incredible beauty, but their view is generally rather superficial (Onlookers, by Kimi Takesue). Those coming to the polar region of Norway believe that this harsh but enchanting place will become their home despite cultural differences and dissimilar traditions (The Visitors, dir. Veronika Lišková). The pandemic prompts two Berliners to escape the hustle and bustle of the city and take up farming on remote Mallorca (Step by Step, dir. Felix Starck). A utopia? A little, yes, because each of these stories brings with it the anxiety about climate change.

The Illumination:

  • Apolonia, Apolonia, dir. Lea Glob, 116’, Denmark, Poland, France, 2022
  • Between Revolutions, dir. Vlad Petri, 71’, Romania, Croatia, Iran, Qatar, 2023
  • Pianoforte, dir. Jakub Piątek, 89’, Poland, 2023
  • Solaris Mon Amour, dir. Kuba Mikurda, 47’, Poland, 2023

Through a Glass Darkly

  • Girls of 1960, dir. Una Celma, 72’, Latvia, 2022
  • Paying a Visit to Fortuna, dir. Matyas Kalman, 73’, Hungary, Croatia, 2022
  • Savoy, dir. Zohar Wagner, 78’, Israel, Germany, France, 2022
  • Vika!, dir. Agnieszka Zwiefka, 74’, Poland, Germany, Finland, 2023
  • Yarik the Rascal, dir. Yurii Pupirin, 84’, Ukraine, 2022

The Promised Land

  • Step by Step, dir. Felix Starck, 96’, Germany, 2022
  • Onlookers, dir. Kimi Takesue, 72’, USA, 2023
  • The Visitors, dir. Veronika Lišková, 83’, Czech Republic, Norway, Slovakia, 2022

Detailed program:

The Krakow Film Festival is on the exclusive list of qualifying events for the Oscars® in the categories of short film (live action, animated, documentary) and documentary feature, as well as a recommending event for the European Film Awards in the same categories.

The Krakow Film Festival is organised with the financial support of the European Union as part of the “Creative Europe” program, the City of Kraków, the Polish Film Institute, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, and the Lesser Poland Province. The co-organiser is the Polish Filmmakers Association, and the main organiser is the Krakow Film Foundation

The 63rd Krakow Film Festival will be held in Kraków’s cinemas from 28 May to 4 June and across Poland at the KFF VOD online streaming platform between 2 and 18 June.

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