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Gdynia Festival 2023. Films that will compete for the Golden Lions

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Sixteen films, including two feature debuts and four second films by young directors, were qualified for the 48th edition of the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia. They include such titles as “Doppelgänger. Double” by Jan Holoubek, “Peasants” by DK and Hugh Welchman, “Imago” by Olga Chajdas, “Różyczka 2” by Jan Kidawa-Błoński and “Figurant” by Robert Gliński.

– We have a record number of applications this year – almost 60 films competed for participation in the Main Competition – says the newly elected artistic director of the festival, Joanna Łapińska. – Selecting only 16 titles from them was not an easy task for us. I am especially sorry for the few films that have already been eliminated at the final selection stage, she added.

He also emphasizes that he is particularly pleased with the diversity of genres and styles of the submitted films. – Polish cinema today has many varieties, it can surprise – assures the director of the 48th Polish Film Festival in Gdynia, which will take place on September 18-23.

Still from the film “Imago” by Olga Chajdas, awarded in Karlovy VaryAPPLE MOVIE

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Which movies are we most looking forward to?

Among the 16 films this time, there are almost exclusively premieres. The most anticipated titles include “Doppelgänger. Doppelgänger” by Jan Holoubek, well known from the award-winning film “25 Years of Innocence. The Case of Tomek Komenda” and from the series “Wielka Woda” and “Rojst”.

His new film is a thriller set on both sides of the Iron Curtain, produced by TVN Warner Bros. discovery. The movie is inspired by a true storyJames Bond It takes viewers to the turn of the 1970s and 1980s and has two protagonists, one of whom stole the identity of the other. It is a story about how the world of high politics affects the lives of ordinary people. turning back from the road from which there is no return, as well as about finding the truth, looking for one’s own identity. The main roles are played by Jakub Gierszał and Tomasz Schuchardt.

In turn, Jan Kidawa-Błoński, 13 years after the award winner in Gdynia Złota Lions “Różyczki” returns with its sequel simply titled “Różyczka 2”. This time, the main character is Joanna – the daughter of an eminent writer under surveillance in the first film by the Security Service. A woman’s well-developing political career and family happiness are disrupted by a terrorist attack that kills her beloved husband. Joanna gets a new chance from fate, but she is hit by another blow. Someone sends her photos and documents that undermine family ties and slander her mother. The woman decides to conduct a historical investigation herself and solve the mystery. In the main, double role we will again see Magdalena Boczarska, who is partnered by Janusz Gajos and Robert Więckiewicz.

Robert Gliński’s “Figurant” inspired by a true story also promises to be interesting. This is the story of an esbek who kept Karol Wojtyła under surveillance for over 20 years. Between the esbek and the bishop, who is unaware of his existence, an unusual one-sided bond will arise over time – obsessive and dangerous.

Still from Jan Holoubek’s “Doppelgänger. Doppelgänger”.TVN Warner Bros Discovery

“Peasants” was also among the nominees. About the highly anticipated next painting animation of the Welchman duo we wrote extensively a week ago. It promises to be an extraordinary work, after being nominated for Oscar for the previous film for creators, it will certainly arouse interest not only in Poland.

The group of films that may be awarded in September’s Main Competition also includes the post-punk FIPRESCI awarded in Karlovy Vary psychological drama by Olga Chajdas “Imago”.

Among the 16 competition titles, there is certainly a lot of interest in “Blackbird” directed by the creator of “Panic Attack”, Paweł Maślony, whose production was widely discussed. This time, the director moved back over 200 years, to the times of the Kościuszko Uprising.

In the creators’ information we read: “In the spring of 1794, Poland is boiling. General Tadeusz ‘Kos’ Kościuszko returns to the country, who plans to start an uprising against the Russians, mobilizing the Polish nobility and peasants. He is accompanied by his faithful friend and former slave, Domingo. Kościuszko is followed by the merciless Russian cavalry captain Dunin, who wants to capture the general at all costs before he starts a national rebellion. Kościuszko was played by Jacek Braciak, and Bartosz Bielenia will play his antagonist.

As far as historical images are concerned, it is also worth paying attention to “The Pilecki Report” directed by Krzysztof Łukasiewicz, dealing with probably the greatest Polish hero of World War II and the first years of the post-war period, Captain Witold Pilecki. His biography shows a very dramatic heroic, sometimes hopeless, fight against two ruthless totalitarianisms of the 20th century: German and Soviet. We will see Przemysław Wyszyński in the main role.

Still from the film “The Pilecki Report”Polish Film Festival in Gdynia

The fourth artistic director of the event

In accordance with the rules of the Polish Film Festival, the selection of films for the Main Competition was made by: the artistic director of the festival, Joanna Łapińska, and the selection team (advisory body) appointed by her, consisting of: film expert Anita Skwara, film critic Krzysztof Kwiatkowski and film director Janusz Zaorski), as well as the Committee of the Festival.

It is worth emphasizing that the upcoming edition of the festival is the first one organized under the direction of Joanna Łapińska. The new artistic director was appointed by the minister Piotr Gliński at the beginning of June, after the sudden dismissal of the previous director, Tomasz Kolankiewicz.

Joanna Łapińska is the fourth artistic director of the Polish Film Festival after Michał Chaciński, Michał Oleszczyk and the aforementioned Kolankiewicz. None of the listed directors managed to serve more than one term.

As every year, apart from the Main Competition, there will also be a Micro-budget Films Competition Short Films Competition. Traditionally, only at the beginning of September will we know the composition of the Jury of the Main Competition and its chairman, as well as of the other two competitions.

Magdalena Boczarska in Jan Kidawa-Błoński’s “Różyczka 2”Polish Film Festival in Gdynia

Sixteen films in the Main Competition of the 48th Polish Film Festival

Below is a list of all the films competing for awards in the Main Competition of the 48th edition of the Polish Film Festival.

  • “The Peasants”, dir. DK Welchman, Hugh Welchman
  • “Doppelgänger. Doppelgänger”, dir. Jan Holoubek
  • “The Figurehead”, dir. Robert Glinski
  • “Fin del Mundo?”, dir. Piotr Dumala
  • “Freestyle”, dir. Maciej Bochniak
  • “Horror Story”, dir. Adrian Apanel
  • “Imago”, dir. Olga Chaidas
  • “One Soul”, dir. Lukasz Karwowski
  • “Blackbird”, directed by Paweł Maślona
  • “Fear”, dir. Slawomir Fabicki
  • The Pilecki Report, dir. Krzysztof Lukaszewicz
  • “Little Rose 2”, dir. Jan Kidawa-Błoński
  • “Dreams Full of Smoke”, dir. Dorota Kedzierzawska
  • “The Festival of Fire”, dir. Kinga Debska
  • “The Saint”, dir. Sebastian Buttny
  • “As much as nothing”, dir. Grzegorz Dębowski

Main photo source: press materials

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