29th Warsaw Film Festival
Poland, October 11 - October 20 2013
The 29th edition of the Warsaw Film Festival took place from October 11th to October 20th, 2013 in the Polish capital. Since 2009, the WFF has been recognized by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) as one of 14 international competitive festivals. It was created in 1985 as “Warsaw Film Week” in the framework of the intellectual opposition club “Hybrydy”. In 1991, after the Polish State’s full democratization, Stefan Laudyn took over as director of the “Warsaw Film Festival”. Since 1995, the festival has been run by the Warsaw Film Fund. The programme of the WFF is divided into five competitive and five non-competitive sections. In the first category: the International competition for feature films from all over the world; the 1-2 competition for first and second movies; the Free Spirit competition for “independent, innovative, rebellious films”; the documentary competition and the short film completion. The non-competitive sections include: “Special screenings” of new films by acclaimed international directors; “Discoveries” selected from the programmes of other leading international festivals; “The World Today” section featuring fiction films and documentaries dealing with contemporary issues; a “Family cinema weekend” for children and their parents; and a Polish shorts panorama. A new section was added to this year’s edition: “Polish Classics”, with six re-mastered masterpieces by prominent Polish directors: three by Krzysztof Kieslowski, and one each by Krzysztof Zanussi, Juliusz Machulski and Krzysztof Krauze.
The 29th edition screened 123 full-length films and over 80 shorts. The Polish public showed a huge interest in the event and most of the tickets were sold out. In addition to five juries in the official competitive sections, the festival (warmly) hosted three independent juries, the FIPRESCI jury among them, which were considered by the organizers as an integral part of the festival and presented their verdicts at the official awards ceremony. The International competition comprised 15 movies. The main award in the international competition, the Warsaw Grand Prix, went to Ida by Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski; the Best Director Award went to Zaza Urushadze for Tangerines /Mandariinid (Estonia, Georgia). The FIPRESCI Jury watched eleven movies, all of them debuts by directors from Eastern Europe, whose promotion is one of the Festival’s main concerns. It attributed its award to Yozgat Blues by Turkish director Mahmat Fazil Coskun. Young journalists and cinema critics from Eastern and Central Europe, who participated in a joint training project of FIPRESCI and the Warsaw Film Festival followed the jury’s work and helped with their deliberation. The festival also hosted the 9th edition of CentEast Market Warsaw which serves as a meeting point for sales agents, distributors, festival programmers and producers interested in Eastern European cinema. This year’s edition was mainly focused on the China-Eastern Europe Film Promotion project. (Gideon Kouts)
Warsaw Film Festival: www.wff.pl