The number of Covid-related cases has been recently soaring in Poland. After having discussed and analyzed the situation and with concern for the health of our viewers, we made the difficult decision to transfer this year's New Horizons International Film Festival and the American Film Festival to our online platform. As a result, from November 5 till 15, viewers can watch over 170 new films (including over 130 features) from both festivals’ original lineups online, except for a few symbolic screenings (opening and closing films) organized in accordance with the Chief Sanitary Inspector’s guidelines to be held at the theaters.
In preparing for every scenario, we began building our video platform several months ago. Our goal, however, was to organize a physical festival with viewers in the theaters, screenings on the big screen, and Q&As with our guests. However, as the pandemic has accelerated, we deem it irresponsible to allow our viewers to gather at the New Horizons Cinema for the festival screenings. We must, temporarily, forget about the festivals as we know them. At the same time, we are not forgeting about our viewers, and are making our best attempt to let you, our audiences, enjoy the movies selected for our festivals. In this unfortunate moment, we believe it is our responsibility both towards our viewers and filmmakers to move our festivals online to the greatest extent possible. We estimate that the New Horizons IFF and AFF combined will turn out to be one of the largest virtual film festivals in the world.
We also believe that we will meet in person next year - all of us safe and craving the communal cinema experience. Some of the films from this year's virtual festival editions will be presented during the next New Horizons festival in July 2021. We strongly and invariably believe in the eternal power of film and that its primary place of presentation is the cinema theatre. We will return with our festivals stronger and - hopefully - with you, our viewers, in front of the screens of the New Horizons Cinema and the Lower Silesian Film Center.
If you have purchased a festival pass or accreditation, you may still enjoy 50 viewings on our online platform between November 5 and 15. Alternatively, you may keep the pass until next year’s New Horizons Film Festival or return it for a refund. The decision has to be made by October 21. Please note the complete festival program will be announced on October 20 at 12:00 noon. The sale of individual tickets and access to the platform begin on October 27 at 12:00 noon.
Thank you for your understanding and the countless expressions of support we are receiving.
Roman Gutek, Urszula Śniegowska and Marcin Pieńkowski