On the 15 th of February ended the deadline for submitting films to the anniversary 60 th Krakow Film Festival.
The selectors, under the guidance of the director of the Festival, Krzysztof Gierat, will have to face the breakneck process of selecting the best, both from among almost 2500 submitted titles, as well as those that we managed to invite to Krakow straight from the prestigious festivals around the world.
By mid-April, the team of selectors, consisting of about 20 outstanding critics, film theorists and filmmakers, will select titles which will be presented in four competitions of equal rank — three international ones: documentary film competition, short film competition, music documentary film competition DocFilmMusic and Polish film competition. Fascinating stories from all over the world will also go to the special film sections.
It is not surprising that half of the films submitted from all around the world are short feature films. This trend has persisted for several years. Just like it was the case last year, almost 1300 of them were submitted. Dagmara Romanowska, film critic and the curator of the feature film section, emphasises that this year, there is a prevalence of intimate portraits of family and individuals, themes from the opposite ends of the spectrum of life – adolescence and the last years of life, illnesses, farewells. There are few views on the political and cultural turmoil of the world, although occasionally there are stories that must have arisen on the basis of the #MeToo movement, asking questions about sexuality and crossing borders.
The selectors of the documentary films do not have less work – they have to watch almost 1000 proposals. The films, which come to us from near and far – from Venezuela, Iran or Russia – show us most of all how much our world has shrunk. At the same time, the formula of documentary film itself is expanding: the archival materials are read again, often in a more critical way, YouTube-type services become a powerhouse of inspiration, the formula of social experiment with the participation of camera is revived, points out Anita Piotrowska, film critic and the curator of the documentary film section.
The animated films submitted this year explode with the potential of imagination and themes. We have the titles by recognised authors and original premieres of debut filmmakers. The festival attracts good animated films and certainly, no one will be disappointed, Robert Sowa, the head of the animated film studio at the Academy of Fine Arts, the curator of the animated film section, sums up the ongoing selection. His team has to watch almost 250 animated films.
From among all submitted films (ca. 2500) almost 300 are Polish films or co-productions. The rest of the titles, as it is the case every year, came to Krakow from all over the world. Most of them are from France and Germany (244 each), Spain (170) and Italy (107). The top of the list also included, among others, Great Britain and Iran. As usual, there is no lack of submissions from distant parts of the globe, among others, from Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Burkina Faso, the Congo, Guatemala, Mongolia, Mozambique, Nepal and the Philippines.
The full program of the Festival will be announced in mid-April. It is then when we will find out which films will compete for the highest festival laurels: the Dragons, the Horns, the Hobby-Horses and the Heynal and well as for a chance to win the most important international film awards, because the Krakow Film Festival is on the prestigious list of events qualifying for the Academy Awards in the short film category (feature film, animated film, documentary film) and the feature length documentary film category, and also recommends films for the European Film Awards in the same categories.