T-Mobile New Horizons IFF in Gdynia
The last edition of the Festival in Gdynia has marked a new beginning in the Polish cinema. Among the new initiatives was the Central-Eastern Europe Film Review, which included films made in Poland’s neighbouring countries, with a special emphasis on Hungary. This year, Gdynia Film Festival has entrusted the foreign cinema section to the T-Mobile New Horizons IFF. The Artistic Director of New Horizons, Joanna Łapińska, will select films from among the most noteworthy Romanian pictures made in the recent years. “The choice for this first new edition was easy”, says Joanna Łapińska. “In terms of cinematography, Romania is still one of the most interesting countries in the world. It has been on a winning streak since 2006 and The Death of Mr. Lazarescu by Cristi Piuiu. This film is believed to have begun a new trend in the Romanian cinema and many critics claim it is one of the greatest Romanian films ever made. Since then, Romanian cinema has been present at all major film festivals and the subsequent titles have proven its prominence and diversity. We have done our best to make our selection truly representative.” Therefore, the Review features the key pictures, provocative and prize-winning, like the already mentioned Cannes Film Festival winner The Death of Mr. Lazarescu by Piuiu, but also Police, Adjective by Corneliu Poromboiu, Hooked by Adrian Sitaru, California Dreamin’ by Cristian Nemescu and the Romanian candidate for the Academy Award in 2007, 4 Months, 3 Weeks & 2 Days directed by Cristian Mungiu.
However, the co-operation of the two festivals not only means that Wroclaw is coming to Gdynia, but also the other way round. Michał Chaciński, the Artistic Director of Gdynia Film Festival, will present the latest Polish titles at the 12. T-Mobile New Horizons IFF. “Gdynia Film Festival and New Horizons attract different audience but share a deep devotion to cinema”, says Chaciński. “The Wroclaw viewers have repeatedly shown that they also love Polish cinema, as long as it meets their high expectations. I would particularly like to present those Polish films which embody the festival’s idea, that is open new horizons, use intriguing forms and pursue new ways of expression.”
T-Mobile New Horizons IFF has gone a long way since the first edition organized in 2001 in Sanok. For a few years, it took place in Cieszyn (also in the Czech part of the city), then moved to Wroclaw in 2006. Today, New Horizons is undoubtedly one of the most important film festivals in Poland. Roman Gutek, the initiator and Director of the festival, says on its website: “…it is a celebration […] of the visionaries, artists who are uncompromising and daring enough to follow their own way regardless of the current trends and to talk about the matters of the greatest importance in their own language”. The festival has managed to achieve this goal and for the last 12 years it has attracted thousands of viewers. It has been also recognized by major film institutions. New Horizons IFF is a member of FIAPF (Fédération Internationale des Associations de Producteurs de Films) and winner of several Polish Film Institute awards. Michał Chaciński says, “The co-operation of the two festivals does not only entail film screenings. Both parties have a lot to offer, because they are so very different. While T-Mobile New Horizons has won the affection of the young, Gdynia Film Festival is the main focus of the Polish film industry. We want to exchange experiences, strategic solutions and ideas, so that we can reach different types of audience more effectively. I am deeply convinced that if we learn something from Wroclaw’s festival and we teach them something in return, there can only be two winners.”