FNE at Cannes 2017: Polish Cinema in Cannes

By Polish Film Institute

    Polish Cinema Stand - 9th floor of Grand Hotel, La Croisette 45

    Digitally Remastered "Man of Iron" Screening in Prestigious Cannes Classics
    A digitally-remastered print of Andrzej Wajda's 1981 film Człowiek z żelaza (Man of Iron) will screen at the 70th Cannes International Film Festival in the prestigious Cannes Classics section. The digital remastering of the film was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.
    Cannes Classics

    Launched 13 years ago, the Cannes Classics focuses on screening digitally-remastered prints of the masterpieces of world cinema. As stated by its creators, this festival section is an homage to the remastering work done around the world and to the efforts of film organisations, copyright holders, film archives, and production companies around the world. The Cannes Classics screenings are often accompanied by Q&A sessions with the filmmakers and the crew involved in the digital remastering process.

    The film continues the story of the family of Mateusz Birkut, the protagonist of Wajda's earlier film Człowiek z marmuru (Man of Marble). During the events that took place in Poland in August 1980, Aleksander Ścibor-Rylski, wrote the script in six days, based on documents from the strike in the Gdańsk Shipyard, eye-witness accounts, and tape recordings. The film also featured previously unreleased footage from the events of December 1970.

    Golden Palm and Oscar Nomination

    Człowiek z żelaza (Man of Iron) was made at an impressive speed; the film was still in principal photography as it was edited and translated into French to be able to screen in Cannes. The print arrived barely in time for its screening on May 27, 1981, which did not prevent the film from winning the Palme d'Or. Człowiek z żelaza (Man of Iron) then went on to receive an Oscar nod in the Best Foreign Language Film category.

    The film's Polish premiere was delayed, mainly due to the director's adamant stance resisting censorship — it was finally released on July 26, 1981. As Andrzej Wajda recalled, he had been asked to remove scenes or dialogue that cast the authorities in an unfavourable light; the censors were particularly sensitive about the parts of the film that focused on the events of December 1970.
    Later that year, the film received the Solidarity award at the Polish Film Festival in Gdańsk, followed by an Oscar nomination for Best Foreign Language Film a few months later.

    "Man of Iron complemented my civic education and shaped my way of thinking about our country and history. I sometimes come to the terrifying realisation that if I hadn't met the right people, read the right books, I would have remained a clueless imbecile. The film touches on a similar theme: thanks to Birkut, Agnieszka enters the world of thinking people, which changes her completely," recalled Krystyna Janda years later.

    Jerzy Radziwiłowicz in the Lead Role

    The film stars Jerzy Radziwiłowicz, with supporting performances by Krystyna Janda, Marian Opania, Bogusław Linda, Janusz Gajos, Andrzej Seweryn, Marek Kondrat, Bożena Dykiel, Artur Barciś, Janusz Zaorski, and Krzysztof Zaleski. Człowiek z żelaza (Man of Iron) was lensed by Edward Kłosiński and produced by Zespół Filmowy X.

    Over time, the film received more critical opinions that emphasised its lack of nuance, however Człowiek z żelaza (Man of Iron) remains indisputably one of the most important films in Polish cinema. Martin Scorsese included Man of Iron in his selection of the Masterpieces of Polish Cinema.

    Marta Sikorska

    Translated by Karolina Kołtun


    Roman Polański's new feature Based on a True Story, co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, will screen in official selection at the 70th Cannes International Film Festival, playing out of competition.

    Based on a True Story

    Roman Polański's latest feature is based on "D'après une histoire vraie," a novel by Delphine De Vigan, published in France in 2015. Based on a True Story is the third film by Roman Polański to be supported by the Polish Film Institute, and the second to be co-produced by Monolith Films.

    "This is the story of a writer who greatly resembles the author. She too has written a book that became a bestseller, in which she painted a portrait of her suicidal mother with a borderline personality. Her success leads to a series of book signings that leave the writer completely exhausted. To top it off, she starts receiving anonymous letters, accusing her of exploiting her mother's death for fame and of slandering her family. One day she meets L., a women of a similar age. They become friends. Delphine confides in L., who shows her a level of compassion and understanding like no one else. L. moves in with Delphine and takes care of her. She even begins replying to emails sent to Delphine. How far will L. go? Has she come into Delphine's life to fill a void, or to wreak havoc? Vigan brilliantly portrays the toxic relationship between the two women that leads to one gradually gaining control of the other," reads a statement on the website of Sonia Draga, the Polish publisher of De Vigan's book.
    The Cast & Crew

    Starring Eva Green and Emmanuelle Seigner, the film shows a stand-off between two strong female personalities competing for supremacy and even struggling for their lives. The script was written by Roman Polański and Olivier Assayas, and the film was lensed by Paweł Edelman. The leading producer is Paris-based WY Productions.

    The film was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute within the framework of the new initiative for supporting minority co-productions. Two other films financed within this support scheme: Scaffolding by Matan Yair and Frost by Šarūnas Bartas were selected for this year’s Cannes.


    27.05, 08:30, 14:30, 19:00 Grand Theatre Lumiere

    1900 feature film submissions for this year's Cannes fest

    This year's Cannes festival saw over 1900 feature film submissions. The festival's official selection includes films from 29 countries. The Main Competition lineup of the 70th Cannes IFF features 18 films, including the latest works by Michael Haneke, Sofia Coppola, and Yorgos Lanthimos. Films screening in Main Competition will be judged by an international jury led by director Pedro Almodovar.

    The 70th Cannes International Film Festival runs from May 17 through May 28, 2017.

    Further details are available at www.festival-cannes.com.

    Translated by Karolina Kołtun


    Maria Blicharska - Producer on the Move 2017
    Marta Sikorska
    Polish producer Maria Blicharska is one of this year's participants of the prestigious "Producers on the Move" programme, taking place from May 19 through May 23 at the 70th Cannes International Film Festival.

    18th Edition of "Producers on the Move"

    The 18th edition of the 'Producers on the Move' programme, organised in Cannes by European Film Promotion, will be attended by 20 young producers from across Europe. Participation in the programme is aimed at developing a network of industry professionals who will play an increasingly significant role in European cinema. Supporters of the programme include Eurimages and the Cineuropa website.
    Maria Blicharska

    The Polish representative at the 2017 edition of "Producers on the Move" is Maria Blicharska. She and Monika Sajko-Gradowska launched Donten & Lacroix Films in 2006. Operating in Poland and France, the company produces and Maria Blicharskaco-produces films aimed at an international audience and provides production services in Poland and overseas.

    Blicharska is a graduate of La Femis in France, Filmakademie in Ludwigsburg, Germany, the Radio and Television Department of the University of Silesia in Katowice, and IECS in Strasbourg. A recipient of the Nipkow programme in Berlin, she has lectured at La Femis in Paris, and is a member of the European producers EAVE Network.

    Maria Blicharska has worked on over 30 film projects (feature films, documentaries, television projects and animated films) that have received awards at multiple prestigious film festivals. She produced Crache-Coeur (Raging Rose), a film by Julia Kowalski that premiered in the ACID section of the 68th Cannes IFF, programmed by filmmakers of the Association du Cinéma Indépendant pour sa Diffusion – an organisation that focuses on promoting independent cinema. Following its Cannes premiere, the film screened at a number of festivals, including the 20th Busan IFF, the 10th Rome Film Festival, and the 25th Festival of Eastern European Cinema in Cottbus. Crache-Coeur (Raging Rose) has also been released theatrically in Poland and France.

    One of the films in the Directors' Fortnight lineup at the upcoming 70th Cannes IFF is Frost, a film directed by Sharunas Bartas and co-produced by Donten & Lacroix Films.
    Polish "Producers on the Move"

    Polish 'Producers on the Move' participating in past editions of the programme include Klaudia Śmieja (2016), Mariusz Włodarski (2015), Mikołaj Pokromski (2014), Agnieszka Kurzydło (2013), Marta Plucińska (2012), Łukasz Dzięcioł (2011), and Kamila Polit (2010).

    The "Producers on the Move" programme will take place on May 19-23, within the framework of the 70th Cannes International Film Festival.

    Further details are available on the European Film Promotion website.

    Translated by Karolina Kołtun


    Scaffolding, an international co-production co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, will screen in the ACID section at the 70th Cannes International Film Festival.


    Scaffolding is the story of 17-year-old Asher, who has always been the impulsive troublemaker at school. Asher's father sees the boy as the successor to the family business — a company that specialises in building scaffoldings. Meanwhile Asher forges a special bond with his literature teacher Rami and begins to see life outside his father's business. At least until a tragic accident completely changes the course of events.

    One of the greatest strengths of this film by first-time director Matan Yair is the exceptionally believable performance by the lead non-professional actor Asher Lax.
    International Co-Production Supported by the Polish Film Institute

    Scaffolding was made as a co-production between Israeli production company Green Productions (Tom Shoval's Youth), Polish company Film Produkcja run by Stanisław Dziedzic (Illegitimate by Adrian Sitaru and upcoming Gareth Jones by Agnieszka Holland), Mastershot (Thrice Falles The Saint to be presented at New Horizon's Polish Days Goes to Cannes during Marché du Film) and Israeli company United King. The film was written and directed by Matan Yair and lensed by Bartosz Bieniek. The project received co-financing from the Israeli Film Fund and the Polish Film Institute. In 2016, the project won a pitching prize at the Jerusalem Film Festival pitching session.

    Scaffolding was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute within the framework of the new initiative for supporting minority co-productions. Another film financed within this support scheme was Frost, which has also been selected for Cannes and will be screening in the festival's Directors' Fortnight.


    20.05, 11:00 STUDIO 13 (pokaz z udziałem twórców)
    20.05, 20.00 i 22:30 LES ARCADES (pokazy z udziałem twórców)
    24.05, 14:00 ALEXANDRE III

    ACID section

    Running since 1993, ACID is one of Cannes' three sections supporting new directing talent in the field of narrative and documentary filmmaking, next to Critics' Week and Directors' Fortnight. Every year the ACID programmers select nine entries from among hundreds of applications.
    Israeli debut Scaffolding Picked Up by New Europe Film Sales

    Following last year's success of One Week and a Day in Cannes' Critics' Week, New Europe Film Sales has high hopes for this year's premiere of Scaffolding, a new Israeli debut, in the ACID (Association du Cinéma Indépendant pour sa Diffusion) increasingly popular section of the Cannes festival.

    Recent additions to the New Europe Film Sales line-up include: Summer 1993, winner of the Grand Prize in the Generation section and the award for Best Debut at the 67th Berlin IFF; Porto, starring Anton Yelchin; Zoology (Special Jury Prize at the Karlovy Vary IFF, Toronto IFF, Fantastic Fest); Ostatnia Rodzina (The Last Family) by Jan P. Matuszyński (award for Best Actor in Locarno), One Week and a Day (Cannes Critics' Week — GAN Distribution Prize), and Zjednoczone Stany Miłości (United States of Love) by Tomasz Wasilewski (Silver Bear at the 66th Berlin IFF).

    Based on the press release



    The film "Frost" ("Szron"), a minority co-production co-financed by the PFI - Polish Film Institute and directed by Šarūnas Bartas, has qualified for the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs (Directors' Fortnight) section at the 70th Cannes Film Festival.

    Rokas and Inga, a couple of young Lithuanians, volunteer to drive a cargo van of humanitarian aid to Ukraine. When plans change and they find themselves left to their own, they cross the vast snowy lands of the Donbass region in search of allies and shelter, drifting into the lives of those affected by the war. They approach the frontline in spite of danger, growing all the more close to each other, as they begin to understand what it is like to be living through war.
    The Creators

    The film is a French-Lithuanian-Ukrainian-Polish co-production. The Polish co-producers of the film, which was made by a Lithuanian director, are Maria Blicharska and Monika Sajko-Gradowska from Donten & Lacroix Films.On the French side, the movie was co-produced by KinoElektron and Reborn Production, with Studija Kinema the Lithuanian co-producer and Insight Media and Tato Film the Ukrainian co-producers. The film was directed by Šarūnas Bartas, who co-wrote the script with Anna Cohen-Yanay. In addition to the Lithuanian actors, the film also features performance by Polish actor Andrzej Chyra. French actress Vanessa Paradis also appears in the film.
    The Lithuanian Director's Latest Film in Cannes

    "Frost" is the ninth film in the career of its Lithuanian director and his fifth to be presented at the Cannes Film Festival. His previous film, "Peace to Us in Our Dreams", was screened in the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs section in 2015.


    23.05, 08:45 Theatre Croisette I JW Mariott
    23.05, 16.00 Theatre Croisette I JW Mariott

    This year, the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs section will show 19 feature films and 10 shorts.

    Polish Accents in the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs

    Previously, the Quinzaine des Réalisateurs section has presented such films as "The Here After" by Magnus von Horn, "Refugiado" by Diego Lerman with photography by Wojciech Staroń, "Four Nights with Anna" by Jerzy Skolimowski and "Code Blue" by Urszula Antoniak, as well as the short films "Drawn From Memory" by Marcin Bortkiewicz, "Fragments "directed by Agnieszka Woszczyńska and "The Congress" by Ari Folman.
    The Polish Film Institute Supports International Co-Productions

    "Frost" received financing from the PFI - Polish Film Institute in the 3/2016 session with the new priority on supporting international minority co-productions. More information about international minority projects co-financed by the Polish Film Institute can be found at:



    New Horizon's Polish Days Goes to Cannes at Marché du Film
    Five Polish films at the production stage will be presented at New Horizon's Polish Days Goes to Cannes during Marché du Film.
    At the initiative of the Polish Film Institute, the T-Mobile New Horizons Film Festival is now one of the 10 international film festivals to present selected films in the prestigious The Goes to Cannes during the biggest film market, Marché du Film, during the 70th Cannes International Film Festival.

    The Goes to Cannes is a program that invites the largest festivals to present domestic films to the international film industry, films that do not yet have agents, distributors or set premiere dates.

    The T-Mobile New Horizons Film Festival and the Polish Film Institute will present a selection of Polish films in various stages of production (works-in-progress) during New Horizons’ Polish Days Goes to Cannes, which will be a preview of the New Horizons’ industry event called Polish Days held during the Wrocław festival.

    “Presence at a film market as prestigious as Marché du Film at Cannes is a tremendous opportunity to promote Polish film productions in their various stages of completion. For over six years we have successfully organized Polish Days jointly with the T-Mobile New Horizons Film Festival in Wroclaw. It is an industry event that has achieved exceptional renown among filmmakers and producers. Now, as part of New Horizons’ Polish Days Goes to Cannes, five Polish productions will be presented to the most important sales agents, distributors and festival programmers from around the world,” says Magdalena Sroka, Director of the Polish Film Institute.
    Polish Days Goes to Cannes

    The program of the New Horizons’ Polish Days Goes to Cannes on May 23 consists of five films, including three feature-length debuts: “Diagnosis”- a documentary film directed by Ewa Podgórska, “Thrice Falls the Saint” – fiction debut by Jacek Januszyk, “Tower. A Bright Day” – fiction debut by Jagoda Szelc and an animated film by Mariusz Wilczyński, „Kill It and Leave This Town,” as well as the latest film from Dorota Kędzierzawska, „Speedway”. The closed screening at New Horizons’ Polish Days Goes to Cannes will be held on May 23 at 10 AM-12 noon at Palais K- level 4 in the Festival Palace during the 70th Cannes International Film Festival.

    More information at www.marchedufilm.com.

    Polish Days is the most important industry event at the T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival, is organized jointly with the Polish Film Institute. During closed screenings, film industry representatives from around the world watch the latest Polish films at various stages of production, including completed works as well as fragments of films in postproduction; they also participate in pitching sessions of projects in development. As each year, organizers expect about 200 guests, including sales agents, distributors, film festival programmers as well as producers. Polish Days is an excellent opportunity for Polish film producers and filmmakers to promote their projects, plan festival strategies and network with international partners.       

    Polish Days will be held on August 8-10, 2017, during the 17th T-Mobile New Horizons Film Festival (August 3-13, 2017).

    Application deadline: May 22, 2017.

    More information here www.nowehoryzonty.pl.

    Press release


    "Time to Go" in Cannes!

    Koniec widzenia (Time to Go), a short film directed by Grzegorz Mołda and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, is one of nine films from around the world that will compete for the Palme d'Or in the Short Films Competition at the 70th Cannes International Film Festival.

    This year's Short Films Competition saw over 4840 submissions. Films in the Short Films Competition and Cinéfondation at this year's festival will be judged by a jury led by Romanian director Cristian Mungiu. The festival team has selected nine films for the Competition lineup (eight narratives and one animation) from Iran, Finland, France, China, Colombia, the United States, Sweden, Poland, and the United Kingdom. Poland will be represented by Koniec widzenia (Time to Go), a short feature by Grzegorz Mołda, produced at the Gdynia Film School and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. Koniec widzenia (Time to Go) is Mołda's graduation film.
    Polish Film in Cannes

    Marta works at her father's auto shop. When her boyfriend is arrested, Marta and her father try to help him. She is eventually faced with having to choose between her father and the man she loves. The situation gets further complicated by a piece of information that Marta reveals to the two most important men in her life. Marta finds herself painted into a corner.

    Written and directed by Grzegorz Mołda, the film features performances by Zofia Domalik, Juliusz Chrząstowski, Eryk Kulm, Szymon Sędrowski, Maciej Wizner, Rafał Kozok, Krzysztof Suszek, Łukasz Proch, Adam Cybulski, and Paweł Podolski. Maciej Miller was the film's cinematographer, while the score was composed by Mikołaj Szatko. Grzegorz Łoszewski served as artistic supervisor on the screenwriting stage, and Elżbieta Benkowska, director of the 2013 Cannes award winning short film Olena was script consultant. The artistic supervisor in terms of directing was Robert Gliński. The film was produced by Leszek Kopeć and Jerzy Rados of the Gdynia Film School.

    The 70th Cannes International Film Festival runs from May 17 through May 28, 2017.

    Further details are available at: www.festival-cannes.com.

    Marta Sikorska


    27.05, 11.00 Salle Debussy
    27.05, 16.00 Salle Bunuel


    "The Best Fireworks Ever" at 70th Cannes Film Festival
    Aleksandra Terpińska’s feature, The Best Fireworks Ever, has been selected for the Short Films section of the 56th edition of La Semaine de la Critique at the Cannes Film Festival! The film was produced by Munk Studio, which operates within the structures of the Polish Filmmakers Association (PFA), and the screening in Cannes will be its world premiere.
    Aleksandra Terpińska says that "It’s an amazing culmination of a particular phase of making shorts. To me, this success is a reward for the years of work so far, which is why I’m thrilled almost beyond words".
    The Best Fireworks Ever (Najpiękniejsze fajerwerki ever)

    The Best Fireworks Ever is set in a contemporary European city and it tells the story of a day in the lives of three young friends who are forced to change their plans for the future in the face of armed conflict in their country. The film features Justyna Wasilewska, Malwina Buss and Piotr Polak in the leading roles and cinematography by Michał Dymek, with Beata Rzeźniczek as its executive producer.
    Second time Munk Studio has had a film in competition at Cannes

    The Artistic Director of Munk Studio-PFA, Jerzy Kapuściński, remarks that "This is the second time Munk Studio has had a film in competition at Cannes. And again, it’s a source of immense delight. We know that every artist dreams of their film having its premiere there. We had faith in the success of Aleksandra Terpińska’s film from the outset and we firmly believe that Cannes is the perfect springboard for her".

    The film was made on the basis of Aleksandra Terpińska’s winning entry to the Blind Chance thirty-minute screenplay competition held by Telewizja Kino Polska (Polish Cinema TV), the Polish Audiovisual Producers’ Chamber of Commerce, Munk Studio-PFA and TOR Film Production in 2016 to mark Kieślowski Year. Munk Studio-PFA is the producer of the film and the other organisers of the competition are the co-producers, along with MX35 and Dreamsound. Ewa Jastrzębska, Production Director for Munk Studio, notes that "The Best Fireworks Ever caught my interest at the screenplay stage. But with such a tight timescale and such a modest budget, I did wonder whether a team of young filmmakers would succeed in accomplishing all the concepts and scenes. And, believe me, they weren’t easy. Nonetheless, the entire team has proved that, even with tight time limits and a small, fixed budget, it’s possible to make the film you want to make and without departing from the screenplay or going for the easy way out, either".

    Distribution of the film is being handled by New Europe Film Sales, the company responsible for representing this year’s winner of the Oscar for Best Live Action Short Film, Sing, and works by Ruben Ostlund and Magnus van Horn, amongst others.


    24.05, 14.30 Miramar
    24.05, 20.00 Miramar
    26.05, 18.30 Alexandre III

    Aleksandra Terpińska

    A director and screenwriter of short films, commercials and music videos, Aleksandra Terpińska studied directing at the University of Silesia in Katowice and psychology in Wrocław. In addition to The Best Fireworks Ever, she has three earlier short features to her name, All Soul’s Day (aka Halloween; 2012), Chicken (2013) and America (2015), as well as a mid-length documentary, Czech Swan (2015).

    America is currently touring the international festival circuit and has won sixteen awards to date, including the Golden Horseman given by the Youth Jury in the International Competition at Filmfest Dresden (2016), the Best Short Fiction Film at the Sehsüchte International Short Film Festival (Potsdam; 2016), the Grand Award at the Early Bird Student International Student Film Festival (Sofia; 2016), the Flaming Faun Tribute Award for the ‘up to 40 minutes’ category at the shnit [sic] International Shortfilmfestival (Berne; 2016) and the Golden Tadpole in the Student Etudes Competition at the Camerimage International Film Festival (Bydgoszcz; 2015).

    All Soul’s Day (aka Halloween) has been screened at more than a hundred festivals, including San Sebastian, Palm Springs, Los Angeles, Edinburgh and Clermont-Ferrand, winning a total of sixteen awards, with the Grand Prix at the International Short Film Festival in Drama (2013), the Main Prize in the Short Feature Competition at FilmFestival Cottbus (2013) and the Polish Film Institute and Mastershot Award for cinematographer Bartosz Bieniek at the Camerimage International Film Festival (2012) numbering amongst them.

    Press release