by Sandy Mandelberger, North American Editor
Although my "beat" for CINEUROPA is to report on European films in the North American market, I have the distinct pleasure of working this year with the ERA NEW HORIZONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL in Poland, which begins next week an ambitious two week program of film premieres, special hommages and a kaleidoscope of visual and music events. So, as a bit of a departure from my usual reportage, I will be bringing information on the excitement that will take place in Wroclaw, Poland starting Thursday, 23 July. The Festival is showcasing many important European films and also is honoring several recognized European auteurs.
THE WHITE RIBBON, the celebrated Austrian film by auteur Michael Haneke, which recently won the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, will open the 9th edition of the ERA NEW HORIZONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, to be held in the city of Wroclaw, Poland from 23 July to 2 August. The film, which also won the prestigious FIPRESCI International Critics Prize in Cannes, is set in a small town in northern Germany just before World War I, and refers to the origins of the totalitarian systems that would soon engulf Europe a decade later. The film will be making its Eastern European Premiere at the Festival.
The ERA NEW HORIZONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL is fast becoming one of the most intriguing film events on the film festival circuit, with a mission of presenting original works which reach beyond the borders of conventional cinema. The Festival’s goal is to present uncompromising, creative and extraordinary films from all over the world, made by artists who search for a new film language and original forms, who address issues missing from mainstream cinema.
The Festival is the largest in Poland, attracting nearly 130,000 spectators last year. For its ninth edition this year, the Festival will present over 500 films from 45 countries, including 250 feature titles. Most will be Eastern European or Polish premieres, bringing over 600 screenings to Festival audiences and visiting industry guests. In addition to the Opening Night Gala screening of THE WHITE RIBBON on 23 July, the Festival will also present the premiere of the new Thai film NYMPH (Nang mai), which screened to great acclaim at this year’s Un Certain Regard section of the Cannes Film Festival.
The film, which is making its Eastern European Premiere at the Festival, is the latest masterwork from Pen-ek Ratanaruang, one of the leading representatives of the new wave in Thai cinema. A ghost story in the great tradition of Edgar Allan Poe, the film tells the fantasy tale of an urban husband and wife who travel to the jungle and learn just how precious their relationship is. The film will receive its North American Premiere at the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival in September.
Over 11 days, the Festival will host nearly 500 international guests, including prestigious directors, producers, writers and film critics. Films in competition, country focuses, director retrospectives and an industry co-production market will highlight the Festival’s ambitious platform (more on these in upcoming press releases). Establishing itself as a “film festival for the 21st century”, the ERA NEW HORIZONS INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL is becoming a key stop on the international film festival circuit for film lovers and industry executives. For more information on this year’s program, visit the official Festival website: http://www.enh.pl/
More warblings from Wroclaw in future blog posts.....stay tuned.