Poland's largest and one of the Europe's biggest virtual festivals featuring the latest releases begins on November 5 - the combined edition of the 20th New Horizons International Film Festival and the 11th American Film Festival. Over 11 days, through November 15, viewers can enjoy over 170 films (nearly 140 full-length and 40 short films) from dozens of different countries. The vast majority of titles will be premiered in Poland, and individual films will be available on a special online platform integrated with the newhoryzonty.pl website. This year, safety is a priority - that's why the organizers invite you to comfortably participate in the event at home.
Several symbolic, but very important screenings will be held at the Nowe Horyzonty Cinema and the Lower Silesian Film Center, organized in accordance with the guidelines of the Chief Sanitary Inspector. On November 5, as part of the opening of the New Horizons IFF, the award-winning full-length animation by Mariusz Wilczyński, Kill It and Leave This Town, will screen for the first time in Poland. On the same day, there will be a screening of Sweat, the latest film by Magnus von Horn, straight from this year's official Cannes selection, along with the acclaimed Gunda by the documentary filmmaster Victor Kossakovsky, which will open the Oslo / Reykjavik section. The opening film of the American Film Festival will be Mona Fastvold's Venice-award-winning The World to Come, starring the excellent Vanessa Kirby and Katherina Waterson. In turn, on November 14, as part of the closing show of New Horizons, the latest movie by Thomas Vinterberg will be presented on the screens of the NH Cinema - Another Round, starring the pugnacious Mads Mikkelsen. The American Film Festival will close with a screening of a concert film - the legendary David Byrne's American Utopia, directed by Spike Lee.
Uncompromising films by artists looking for new forms of expression - presented in the competition section are the showpiece of New Horizons. This year, 12 productions from around the world will compete for the Grand Prix in the New Horizons International Competition. These will include productions from Lesotho - This Is Not a Burial, It's a Resurrection by Lemohang Jeremiah Moseses, Greece - Kala Azar by Janis Rafa, Hungary - Éden byÁgnes Kocsis, Mexico - Sanctorum byJoshua Gil, and from Portugal - The Metamorphosis of Birds by Catarina Vasconcelos. Poland will be represented by Grzegorz Zariczny (Simple Things) and Filip Jan Rymsza (Mosquito State).
The winner will be selected by a jury consisting of Dorota Lech (programmer of the Toronto International Film Festival), Krzysztof Skonieczny (director), Monika Strzępka (theater director), Klaudia Śmieja (film producer) and Greg Zgliński (director, screenwriter, cinematographer). The festival audience will also select their New Horizons favorite through online voting.
In the competition sections of the American Film Festival - Spectrum and American Docs (22 movies in total, 11 in each section) viewers will see an overview of new trends and young talents of US cinema, as well as the most acclaimed documentaries presenting various faces of America. Productions, rated by viewers, will compete for awards in two categories: feature and documentary film. The Spectrum competition will include: Danny Madden's Beast Beast, Mario Furloni and Kate McLean's Freeland, and Emma Seligman's Shiva Baby. In the American Docs section, the following will compete for the award sponsored by BNY Mellon: They Call Me Dr. Miami by Jean-Simon Chartier, Truth to Power: Barbara Lee Speaks For Me by Abby Ginzberg, and Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President by Mary Wharton.
All 34 films from the three competition sections will be available online to viewers throughout Poland.
The Gala Shows and Highlights section will include Michel Franco's Silver Lion winner from the Venice Festival, New Order; Berlin Alexanderplatz by Burhan Qurbani, shown in the main competition of this year's Berlinale; Quo vadis, Aida? by Jasmili Zbanić about the Srebrenica Massacre; Michael Almereyd's Tesla from the Sundance Festival and starring Ethan Hawke and Kyle MacLachlan in excellent roles; Alexandre Rockwell's Sweet Thing, which won this year's Crystal Bear at Berlinale, the hit from Sundance and Berlinale - First Cow by Kelly Reichardt as well as Last Words by Jonathan Nossiter, starring Nick Nolte, Charlotte Rampling and Stellan Skarsgård.
The Masters section will feature the latest films by outstanding directors of contemporary cinema; among them: Vitalina Varela by Pedra Costa (winner of three awards at the festival in Locarno: for best film, best actress and the Ecumenical Jury Prize), Tsai Ming-liang's Days (Teddy Award at Berlinale), Malmkrog by Cristi Puiu (award in the Encounters section of the Berlin festival) and Dear Comrades! by Andrei Konchalovsky (Special Jury Award at the Venice Film Festival).
The (anti) heroines of the Third Eye section will be sleeping beauties - unusual film portraits of women who stand (or in fact lie) behind the first line of active protagonists. As every year, the Ale kino+ section prepared in cooperation with the Ale kino channel will feature hits from international festivals, including official Cannes selection Spring Blossom by Suzanne Lindon and Berlin award-winner Mogul Mowgli by Bassam Tariq, starring Riz Ahmed. For the third time, as part of Oslo/Reykjavik 3 - the section created with the support of the Norwegian and European Economic Area Funds from Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein - the achievements of contemporary Norwegian and Icelandic cinema will be presented (including Last and First Men by Jóhann Jóhannsson). The Visual Front section will redefine the intersection of cinema and art, and the filmmakers who constantly explore (and cross) the boundaries of cinematic language will be featured in the Midnight Madness section. As every year, we will show the cinema from the festival outskirts in the Lost Lost Lost section.
This year's main exhibition accompanying the festivals can be admired live - in the Studio BWA Gallery in Wrocław. The Bureau of Found Islands (curators: Ewa Szabłowska, Stach Szabłowski, Joanna Stembalska) presents island designs - their topography and geology, created by artists, filmmakers and people of various artistic disciplines. The curators asked each of the artists what they would take to a desert island. In this case, however, it is not so much about taking, but about leaving something on the island.
Tickets and online access to films go on sale October 27 (Tuesday) at 12.00 noon.