48th Polish Film Festival in Gdynia.  Opening of “Doppelgänger.Doppelgänger” by Jan Holubek

The 48th Polish Feature Film Festival kicks off on Monday evening at the Music Theater in Gdynia with Jan Holubek’s film “Doppelgänger. Sobowtór”. 16 films are competing for the Golden Lions award in the main competition, which is held by a jury headed by director and screenwriter Philippe Pagon.

This year, a record number of entries were submitted to the main competition – nearly 60 films. The festival’s newly elected artistic director, Joanna Lapinska, admitted that choosing only 16 titles among them was not an easy task, and she expressed her deep regret over several titles that were excluded in the final stage of selection.

The same selection rules still apply to the competition – the selection of 12 titles for the competition rests with the artistic director, and 4 additional titles are “added” to the competition by the festival organizing committee.

Traditionally, next to the main competition, two other competitions are held in parallel: the Short Film Competition, with 25 titles, and the Small Budget Film Competition with four productions.

The Platinum Lions Award for lifetime artistic achievement will be given to Academy Award winner Alan Starsky.

A still from the movie Doppelgänger. Double”Jaroslaw Sosinski/TVN Warner Bros. Discovery

For a good start

Usually, in order to get an event off to a good start, organizers choose a title that has the greatest chance of reaching the largest possible audience. This year it is “Doppelgänger. Sobowtór” by director Jan Holubek, famous for the award-winning film “25 Years of Innocence. The Tomek Kominda Case”, including Best Director’s Debut and Best Leading Role for Piotr Trojan. .

Holobeck’s new film – Doppelgänger. “The Doppelganger” is a thriller set on both sides of the Iron Curtain, produced by TVN Warner Bros. Television. Discovery, the picture is inspired by the true story of “James Bond in the era of the Polish People’s Republic”, and takes viewers back in time. Its events go back to the early seventies and eighties of the last century and it has two heroes, one of whom stole the identity of the other. It is a story about how the world of big politics affects the lives of ordinary people. A story about a man torn apart by his desire for transformation, his return from the path of no return under the influence of love, and finally the story of finding the truth and searching for his identity.

The main roles in the film are played by Jacob Gerzal and Thomas Schuchardt. In addition, we will also see, among others: Andrzej Siwerin, Slawomir Lozinska and Katarzyna Herrmann. The film is scheduled to be released in cinemas on September 29.

A scene from the movie “The Peasants”Next movie

“Chłopi”, “Kos” and “Różyczka 2”, i.e. selected from the competition

This year, most of the titles in the main competition are premiere films. The artistic director confirms that she is particularly happy with the diversity of types and styles of films presented.

The most anticipated productions in the main competition are certainly “Chłopi” – just like “Loving Vincent”, a full-length animated painting for adults by DK and Hugh Welchman. DK Welchman (formerly Dorota Kobiela) reveals that the productions are very different from each other. “Loving Vincent” is an intimate production, with lots of set pieces and dialogue. “Chłopi” is a real sight. The film contains impressive dance and battle scenes. He adds that these are incredibly dynamic shots, the camera often follows the hero, and a lot is happening in the frame.

The film had its world premiere a few days ago during the Toronto International Film Festival and was a huge hit there. The audience rewarded the creators with a standing ovation, and the critics with great reviews. “Peasants” is one of the greatest achievements of animation I have ever seen,” Larry Fried, a respected critic, wrote on Twitter. A huge step forward from Loving Vincent in every respect and a thoroughly engaging epic story.

A group of Polish stars participate in the film, including: Miroslaw Baka, Ewa Kasprzyk, Sonia Bohosiewicz, Malgorzata Kochovska, Dorota Stalinska, Andrzej Konopka. Kamila Urzędowska plays Jagna.

Jacek Brasiak in the movie “Kos”FPFF

The film “Kos”, directed by Paweł Maślona, ​​creator of the film “Panic Attack”, is also generating great interest among viewers in Gdynia. While his previous film was strictly contemporary, Kos takes us back more than 200 years, to the time of the Kosciuszko Uprising.

The creators’ info reads: “In the spring of 1794, Poland is in an uproar. General Tadeusz ‘Kos’ Kosciuszko returns to the country, planning to start an uprising against the Russians, and mobilize the Polish nobility and peasants. Accompanied by his loyal friend and former slave, Domingo, he follows Kosciuszko’s trail.” He is followed by the ruthless Russian cavalry commander, Donin, who wants to capture the general at any cost before he starts a national rebellion.” Jacek Braciak played Kościuszko, and Bartosz Bielenia played his antagonist.

Finally, a completely different and contemporary cinema, despite its deep immersion in the past – “Little Rose 2” by Jan Kidawa-Błoński, which returns with its continuation 13 years after Little Rose, which was awarded the Golden Lion in Gdynia. This time the main character is the daughter of a prominent writer who was under surveillance by the security service in the first film. The prototype of the hero was Paweł Jasienica. A woman’s thriving political career and family happiness are disrupted by a terrorist attack in which her husband is killed. She soon suffers another blow – someone sends her photos and documents that undermine family ties and discredit her mother. The woman decides to investigate on her own and solve the mystery. We will once again see Magdalena Poczarska in the double lead role, jointly with Janusz Gagos and Robert Wieczkiewicz.

Magdalena Poczarska in the movie “The Little Rose 2”Monolith movies

Not just competition films

However, the competing films are not the only attraction of the Gdynia event. The oldest section of the festival, besides the main competition, is the famous Polonica section. It often presents co-productions with the participation of Polish filmmakers. This year will be shown, among others: the Polish-Israeli-German film “The Delegation” (directed by Assaf Saban), telling the story of two teenagers from Israel who must confront the tragedy of their ancestors.

Festival viewers will also have the opportunity to participate in a masterclass presented by Alan Starsky, this year’s Platinum Lions winner, led by distinguished cinematographer Paul Edelman. It will be a conversation about the films, inspirations and projects of Alan Starsky, who won an Academy Award for designing the sets for Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List”, illustrated with portions of the film. An exhibition of Alan Starsky’s film projects will also be a special event.

As usual, there will also be a series popular with younger viewers, “Gedenia for Children”. The program includes titles such as “Kajtek the Wizard” directed by Magdalena Łazarkiewicz with Maja Komorowska and Karolina Gruszka in the cast, adapted from the prose of Janusz Korczak. This is the premiere of the movie. Another film, an adaptation of children’s prose by Roman Pisarski – “About the Dog Who Rode the Railway” by Magdalena Nitsch, premiered in cinemas as recently as August.

Polonica is the oldest section next to the main competitionFPFF

The festival continues until September 23. On that day we will meet all the winners of the Golden Lions competition and the winners of the other two competitions.

Main image source: Jaroslaw Sosinski/TVN Warner Bros. Discovery

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