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Polish films at Sundance Film Festival 2018

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Polish films at Sundance Film Festival 2018

january 16, 2018    
Three Polish short films and co-production Litość (Pity) have been selected to screen in competition at the Sundance film festival, which runs from January 18 through January 28, 2018.

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Polish films at Sundance Film Festival 2018

Three Polish short films and co-production Litość (Pity) have been selected to screen in competition at the Sundance film festival, which runs from January 18 through January 28, 2018.

Polish Co-Production Screening in World Dramatic Cinema Competition

Litość (Pity). Photo courtesy of Madants 

The script was written as a collaboration between Babis Makridis and Efthimis Filippou (co-writer of Yorgos Lanthimos' films Dogtooth, The Killing of the Sacred Deer, and Lobster). "The story of a man who feels happy only when he is unhappy. A man addicted to sadness, ready to sacrifice everything for a look of pity on other people's faces. 'Pity' is the story of a man for whom the world is not cruel enough," write the film's producers.

The film was made as a co-production between Greece and Poland; co-producing parties include Neda Film, Faliro House Productions, Madants, Beben Films, Studiem Produkcyjnym Orka, and Foss Productions. The film has received support from the Onassis Foundation, Eurimages, ERT SA, the Greek Film Centre, and the Polish Film Institute.

The Latest Project Made as a Collaboration Between Greece and Poland

Litość (Pity) is not the first project to bring together Greece's Neda Film and Poland's Madants. The first film made as a co-prodution between these two was Park, a film directed by Sofia Exarchou, winner of the prestigious New Directors Award in San Sebastian. The film had its international premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival.

Neda Film was founded in 2014 in Athens by producer Amanda Livanou who focuses on intelligent and challenging feature and documentary films, as well as on international co-productions. In 2012, Amanda Livanou produced Babis Makidris' previous film L, which also premiered in the World Dramatic Competition at Sundance.

Madants was launched in 2015 by Klaudia Śmieja and Beata Rzeźniczek with a focus on independent international productions with festival and distribution potential. The company's credits include Porto, a film by Gabe Klinger, W cieniu drzewa (Under the Tree) by Haffstein Gunnar Sigurdsson (premiered in the Orizzonti competition at the Venice International Film Festival) and High Life by Claire Denis, undisputed icon of French auteur cinema. In January 2017 Madants also launched its distribution branch Madness, focusing on European independent cinema.

World sales are handled by New Europe Film Sales.

Three Films from Poland

Polish cinema will be represented at the 2018 Sundance festival by the following films: Deer Boy, a short narrative by Katarzyna Gondek, Czerń (Black), an animated short by Tomasz Popakul, and Wolta (Volte), a documentary by Monika Kotecka and Karolina Poryzała.

Deer Boy

Katarzyna Gondek's short film is the story of a hunter's son born with antlers; a film about customs around killing what we love most. The film stars Janusz Chabior, Katarzyna Śnieżka-Sobiszewska, Eryk Maj, and Mieszko Czachor. Deer Boy is a co-production between Poland, Croatia and Belgium, with Paweł Kosuń and Agnieszka Janowska of Centrala Film as leading producers. Co-producers include Belgian company Bekke Films, Croatia's Motion - Filmska Udruga, along with Stern Pictures, Alchemiq Studio, Studio Fandando, Studio PUK and The Fridge. The film received financial support from the Poznań Film Commission within the framework of the regional film fund, and from the Croatian Audiovisual Centre. At script development stage, this story of half-boy half-deer was at Euro Connection in Clermont-Ferrand, and later at the Nisi Masa European Short Pitch 2016, where Deer Boy received the award for Best Pitch. The film was also part of the Vysegrad Film Forum.

Following Figure, Deer Boy marks Katarzyna Gondek's second film to screen at the Sundance Film Festival. This is also the third Sundance entry for 1st AD Kasia Szczerba, and second film edited by Jarek Piekarski to screen in Park City. To date, Deer Boy has screened at the Krakow Film Festival and the Festival du Nouveau Cinéma - FNC in Canada. World sales are handled by Radiator IP Sales.

Further details about the film are available at www.deerboy.pl.

Wolta (Volte)

12-year-old Zuzia has been training for two years and has been practicing vaulting for a few years. At the start of a new season, it becomes clear that she's lost some grace and lightness due to a growth spurt.

Another season begins. Other teammates finally admit that Zuzia has grown and they no longer have the strength to lift her in the air. It becomes clear that if Zuzia wants to stay on the team, she will have to find a new role to fill.

The film was produced by Munk Studio. The co-producer and executive producer on Wolta (Volte) was Magdalena Bryk. The film was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute and has received an award at Hot Docs, and been selected to screen at multiple film festivals, including IDFA, Hot Springs, and GZDOC in China.

Further details about the film are available at www.studiomunka.pl.

Czerń (Black)

A Polish-Japanese co-production about a pair of astronauts trapped on an orbital space station due to unexpected nuclear war on Earth. They lost contact with Earth and all attempts to communicate with their base or anybody else have failed. All they can do now is watch the atomic mushrooms exploding across the globe, and try to survive together. Czerń (Black) has screened at 40 film festivals to date.

Tomasz Popakul graduated from the Łódź Film School, majoring in animation and special effects. He also studied screenwriting. He has made eight animated shorts, including Ziegenort, which has screened at film festivals and received multiple accolades around the world. Popakul was a participant in the Animation Artist in Residence Tokyo programme, organised by the Japan Image Council (JAPIC).

Polish Films Awarded at Sundance

In recent years, Polish films have often screened and received acclaim in various competition sections of the Sundance festival. In 2016, the Directing Award in the World Cinema Documentary Competition went to Michał Marczak for Wszystkie nieprzespane noce (All These Sleepless Nights) and Córki Dancingu (The Lure) by Agnieszka Smoczyńska received the Special Award in the World Dramatic Cinema Competition. In 2011, Jakub Stożek received Honourable Mention in the short film competition for his short documentary Poza zasięgiem (Out of Reach). In 2015, Paulina Skibińska's Obiekt (The Object) received the Special Jury Award in the Short Film Competition, while in 2013, the top prize in this category went to Gwizdek (The Whistle) by Grzegorz Zariczny. Also in 2013, Nieulotne (Lasting), a film by Jacek Borcuch, received the award for Best Cinematography in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition.

All these films were co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. Nieulotne (Lasting) was the second film by director Jacek Borcuch to screen at Sundance; in 2010, Sundance audiences had an opportunity to see Borcuch's Wszystko, co kocham (All That I Love).

Polish Films Awarded at Sundance

In recent years, Polish films have often screened and received acclaim in various competition sections of the Sundance festival. In 2016, the Directing Award in the World Cinema Documentary Competition went to Michał Marczak for Wszystkie nieprzespane noce (All These Sleepless Nights) and Córki Dancingu (The Lure) by Agnieszka Smoczyńska received the Special Award in the World Dramatic Cinema Competition. In 2011, Jakub Stożek received Honourable Mention in the short film competition for his short documentary Poza zasięgiem (Out of Reach). In 2015, Paulina Skibińska's Obiekt (The Object) received the Special Jury Award in the Short Film Competition, while in 2013, the top prize in this category went to Gwizdek (The Whistle) by Grzegorz Zariczny. Also in 2013, Nieulotne (Lasting), a film by Jacek Borcuch, received the award for Best Cinematography in the World Cinema Dramatic Competition.

All these films were co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. Nieulotne (Lasting) was the second film by director Jacek Borcuch to screen at Sundance. In 2010, Sundance audiences had an opportunity to see Borcuch's Wszystko, co kocham (All That I Love).

Sundance Film Festival

The Sundance film festival is one of the world's top events for independent filmmakers. Created by actor Robert Redford, the festival takes place annually in Park City, Utah. The Sundance Film Institute supports independent filmmakers by providing grants for directors, screenwriters and producers, and by co-financing films.

The 2018 edition of the festival runs from January 18 through January 28.

Further details about the festival are available at www.sundance.org.

Translated by Karolina Kołtun

"Pity" world premiere at Sundance 2018 Więcej "Pity" world premiere at Sundance 2018 Polish Shorts at Sundance 2018 Więcej Polish Shorts at Sundance 2018

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