Two competitions, twenty films and over PLN 200,000 in the awards pool. Mastercard OFF CAMERA International Festival of Independent Cinema has presented the list of films nominated in the Main Dramatic Competition “Making Way” and the Polish Feature Film Competition. At the turn of April and May, filmmakers from all over the world will come to Krakow to experience, together with thousands of viewers, the very best and most valuable in the world of independent cinema.
So far, the Festival organizers announced the first five films that will compete for the Andrzej Wajda Krakow Film Award of USD 25,000. This year, the competition jury will comprise, among others, world-famous cinematographer Michael Seresin and Ewa Puszczyńska, producer of films such as the Oscar-winner Ida and the acclaimed The Silent Twins.
We also know the first five films qualified for the Polish Feature Film Competition, that will be judged, among others, by casting world icon Debbie McWilliams and Bernd Buder, programme director of FilmFestival Cottbus – Festival of East European Cinema. The winner will receive the Dominika Kulczyk & dFlights Award of PLN 100,000. On the 30th of March, the organizers announced the next ten films: five titles from the Main Dramatic Competition and five from the Polish Feature Film Competition.
Main Dramatic Competition “Making Way” 2023
The films nominated this year in the Main Dramatic Competition “Making Way” are:
- Do You Love Me?, dir. Tonya Noyabrova – reaching adulthood proves incredibly painful for seventeen-year-old Kira from Kyiv. The collapse of the Soviet Union, family breakdown and the protagonist’s desperate move she is saved from by a paramedic named Misha. A story about growing up at the time of great political transformations.
- Storm, dir. Erika Calmeyer – a psychological thriller raising a question about the boundary between unconditional maternal love and the ability to put emotions aside. A little boy named Ulrik, the son of Elin and the younger brother of ten-year-old Storm, dies in a tragic accident on a fishing trip. A rumor is going round the school that Storm deliberately pushed her brother into the river.
- Delegation, dir. Asaf Saban – a cry mixed with anger and helplessness with firm decisions about the future, all that on a school trip of three Israeli friends (Frisch, Nitzan and Ido), who set out on a traditional journey from Israel to Poland. One of the trip participants is Frisch’s grandfather, a Holocaust survivor, with whom they visit former death camps.
- Banger, dir. Adam Sedlák – a wild ride through night-time Prague, shot entirely with an… iPhone, guided by a drug dealer who is dreaming about a real career as a rapper – Alex. The protagonist is given a unique chance to record a hit with an established artist. To make his dream come true, Alex begins a race against time, facing all sorts of party and drug related trials and tribulations.
- Medusa Deluxe, dir. Thomas Hardiman – a horrific murder is committed at a regional hairdressing competition in Great Britain – one of the contestants is found dead. From now on, only two things matter – finding who is guilty of the murder and selecting the winner of the most outlandish hairstyle competition.
Other films competing for the Andrzej Wajda Krakow Film Award of USD 25,000 are: Motherhood dir. Pilar Palomero, The Great Silence dir. Katrine Brocks, Bread and Salt dir. Damian Kocur, Spare Keys dir. Jeanne Aslan and Paul Saintillan, A Room of My Own dir. Ioseb ‘Soso’ Bliadze.
Polish Feature Film Competition 2023
- The Breach, dir. Bartosz Konopka – a mysterious fatal car accident of Maciek’s wife, Janina, makes the man embark on a journey to understand the circumstances of his beloved wife’s death. Psychological drama, an adaptation of the best-selling novel by Wojciech Chmielarz, in which a crucial role is played by Wojnar, an actor whom Maciek suspects of having an affair with his late wife who, as it turns out, kept many secrets from her husband.
- Hela, dir. Anna Kasperska – Zuzia, rebellious Hela’s little sister, has a chance to be adopted. Desperate Hela realizes it may be the last moment to get her beloved sister back, before she forgets her. A story about the need for closeness, fear of loss and the power of family ties.
- Dangerous Men, dir. Maciej Kawalski – four prominent figures of Polish culture and the Zakopane bohemia – Tadeusz Boy-Żeleński, Stanisław Witkiewicz, Joseph Conrad and Bronisław Malinowski – wake up after a drunken party finding… the corpse of a male stranger. Culturally vibrant Zakopane is full of gossip and the protagonists’ paths cross not only with enforcement officers but also with Włodzimierz Lenin himself.
- Dad, dir. Anna Maliszewska – Michał, a single father raising his daughter, is an HGV lorry driver. When he is on the road, Miśka is cared for by his Ukrainian neighbor, who suddenly passes away. The girl together with the late nanny’s granddaughter set out on a journey with Michał, during which he faces his demons and discovers what the most important things in life are. Warm family cinema and unconventional road film filled with touching moments and good humor.
- You Were Not Supposed To Be Here, dir. Jakub Michalczuk – a touching story about life’s castaways, seventeen-year-old Ryfka and her forty-year-old father, who unexpectedly enter each other’s worlds, despite the previous very limited contact between the two. They are different from each other in age and experience but they are united by contrariness, the willingness to find their place in life and the desire for being understood.
Other films competing this year for the Dominika Kulczyk &dFlights Award of PLN 100,000 in the Polish Feature Film Competition are: Woman on the Roof by Anna Jadowska, Apokawixa by Xawery Żuławski, Shreds by Beata Dzianowicz, The Silent Twins by Agnieszka Smoczyńska and Norwegian Dream by Leiv Devold.
Krakow is cinema
This year’s edition of the Mastercard OFF CAMERA Festival will be held in Krakow between 28th April and 7th May. The capital of the Malopolska region will again host representatives of film industry from all over the world, who, apart from taking part in nearly 200 film screenings, will participate in the PRO INDUSTRY section which focuses on topics related to the industry development in the recently dynamically changing world of cinema. The program includes open-air screenings, special screenings and Film Village located in Szczepański Square.
Already before Easter, the organizers will announce nominations for Best Actress and Best Actor awards. For detailed information on tickets and passes visit www.offcamera.pl/en website.