39. GFF: “Films from Gdynia”. A new film City
“Films from Gdynia” is a section which presents the films that are related to the Festival city as far as the theme and production are concerned. During the 39. Gdynia Film Festival, the viewers will watch three films within this section – a short feature film, a documentary, and a feature documentary.
The last few years are the period of a dynamic development of the film production in Gdynia. Alongside the Film Festival, other initiatives began to gradually develop, resulting in both films related to the city and new names of the filmmakers. Since 2009, Gdyński Fundusz Filmowy (Gdynia Film Fund) operates within Centrum Kultury Gdynia (Gdynia Culture Centre), having co-financed almost 30 projects. In October, another set of students will begin their education in Gdyńska Szkoła Filmowa (Gdynia Film School), founded in 2010 and run by the organizer of the Festival – Pomorska Fundacja Filmowa w Gdyni (Pomeranian Film Foundation in Gdynia). The first graduates have already brilliantly succeeded at national and international film festivals. Pomorskie Warsztaty Filmowe (Pomeranian Film Workshops) should also be mentioned – a valuable educational initiative preceding the foundation of the Gdynia Film School. All these undertakings as well as the support of the city authorities, convinced of the usefulness of investing in cinematography, make Gdynia increasingly often become the venue of filmmaking photography.
Gdynia Film Festival wants to present the most interesting titles related to the city to its viewers. “First and foremost, the aspect of the production decides,” explains Leszek Kopeć, the Director of the Festival. “We are dealing with three films which were created thanks to the support of institutions such as Gdynia Culture Centre, Pomeranian Film Foundation in Gdynia or Gdynia Film School.”
The full-length feature documentary “Aram” by Krzysztof Talczewski was created as a tribute to the deceased Arkadiusz Rybicki, a well-known oppositionist, a participant of the August strikes and a co-author of the 21 demands of “Solidarność” (“Solidarity”). “Dzieci dzwonią” by the renowned director Andrzej Mańkowski is a documentary about the extremely important institution of the Children and Youth Helpline. In the film, we observe the work of female consultants who, located in a small flat in the Warsaw Saska Kępa, answer over 400 phone calls of children from all over Poland everyday and have to face the most difficult problems and questions.
The section includes also a 9-minute feature-length film “Emigrantka” (“Emmigrant”), made during the 12. Pomeranian Film Workshops. The film protagonist is Marta who visits her sister after a long time of absence and during a welcome party has to face her new life. “The participants of the Workshops jointly write the screenplay, make the photography, perform the editing and postproduction under the supervision of experienced filmmakers. In the case of this film, these were the director Wojciech Marczewski, the cinematographer Sławomir Pultyn, the editor Milenia Fiedler and the screenwriter Grzegorz Łoszewski. The initiator and coordinator of all the editions of the Workshops is Jerzy Rados,” explains Leszek Kopeć.
The Artistic Director of the Festival, Michał Oleszczyk, emphasises the special role of the section as seen from his perspective: “I myself am still getting to know Gdynia as a city – each month, I am more pleased that I can work here and discover the Tricity for myself. Films from Gdynia help me in this and I am more than certain that they are a great flagship of the city for all the Festival’s visitors as well as a reason for the pride of the very inhabitants.”