Fear Of Falling
Play Poland has the support of cultural institutions including Polish Art Europe, a non-profit organisation which promotes Polish culture and art. “Contemporary Polish cinema is an interesting phenomenon. Films created by directors, cameramen and composers who received numerous awards worldwide revolve around fascinating histories perceived from the point of view of a resident of the country after a political transformation who tries to account for his legacy. This does not have to be a socially or historically committed cinema.
This is frequently an author’s intimate film in which a director talks about his own experience,” says Bartosz Konopka, director of Fear Of Falling. He expects Polish films to win the approval of Western viewers “because Polish cinema is full of humanism. An apocalyptic and melancholic trend as well as a doubt in a human being prevail in films shot in other countries. We still have hope. We reflect on the human condition and still believe in a human being.”
Highlights of the festival include Waldemar Krzystek's 80 Million. Set in Lower Silesia just before the proclamation of martial law in Poland, it revolves around young Solidarity activists who organise a daring 80 million zloty bank raid aimed at recovering union funds before the account is blocked. As they are pursued by the secret police clergymen and black-market money changers also become involved, with each of these groups having an ace up its sleeve. Meanwhile, Małgorzata Szumowska’s controversial Sponsoring, starring Juliet Binoche, tells the story of girls who become involved in sex work to attain a higher standard of living. The director avoids judging the main characters, leaving it open to the viewers as to whether 'sponsoring' is a form of prostitution, a feminist act or just a way of making a living in tough times.
Fans of more personal cinema will enjoy Fear Of Falling. Director Konopka, known for his focus on intimate and family relations, developd this film because he needed to cope with the death of his own father. It follows a man with a successful career as a TV presenter and a happy private life who suddenly learns about his father’s serious problems. Can we deal with the fear of being close to other person? According to konopka, Fear Of Falling is a story about searching for love.
Viewers can also expect the showings of the most interesting shorts created by, among others Andrzej Wajda’s Film School. The Play Poland festival will also host meetings with Polish filmmakers.
The exhibition of the Polish posters for American films ‘Poster of imagination’ will showa clash of two cultures: grey Polish socialism and glamour of Hollywood. The political situation and limited access to the distributors’ materials forced the artists to create posters relying only on their own imagination and perception of the world behind the Iron Curtain. This resulted in original style of the posters, which are characterised by a non-usage of photographs. They are metaphorical and pictorial. The exhibition covers around 20 posters of such artists as Maciej Zbikowski, Edward Lutczyn, Henryk Sawka, Marek Płoza-Doliński, Krzysztof Lenk. The posters were made for productions by famous directors including Steven Spielberg, Alfred Hitchcock, Clint Eastwood and Francis Coppola.
Screenings of features, shorts, documentaries and animated films will take place in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Birmingham, Belfast, Sunderland, Newcastle and London. You can read more about the festival here. For full details of the programme and dates visit the official site.