Netia Off Camera 2018
Friday, April 27, 2018 - Sunday, May 6, 2018
Independent cinema is highly diverse, discerning and open to myriad interpretations. The 11th Netia Off Camera festival presents countless cinematic stories from around the globe and explores brand new territories!
One of the aims of the festival is to support young, talented film directors from around the globe at the threshold of their careers, hence the main competition is entitled Making Way. This year’s competition for the Kraków Film Award, worth a cool $100,000, has received ten entries. For the first time in the festival’s history, the shortlist includes two Polish films: Tower. A Bright Day by Jagoda Szelc and Silent Night by Piotr Domalewski. The films will be assessed by an international jury, with the winners revealed on 5 May.
The Polish Feature Film Competition features the hottest releases from last year, including Małgorzata Szumowska’s Mug awarded the Silver Bear at this year’s Berlinale and Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze’s Birds Are Singing in Kigali, exploring trauma, forgiveness and the healing power of nature. The programme also includes Urszula Antoniak’s Beyond Words starring the outstanding Jakub Gierszał, Bodo Kox’s wild dystopian comedy The Man With the Magic Box, and Maciej Sobieszczański’s moving debut The Reconciliation telling the story of a love triangle set against post-war turmoil in a labour camp in Silesia.
Panorama world cinema
What will be the biggest surprise during this year’s packed Panorama section? Allure, Carlos and Jason Sanchez’s directorial debut, takes a story of immaturity, domination and envy and elevates it to a pedigree thriller. Warwick Thornton’s Western Sweet Country, set in 1920s Australia and starring the indigenous actor Hamilton Morris and the New Zealander Sam Neill, is a painful lesson on the brutal fate suffered by the Aboriginal population. Another directorial debut comes from Léonor Serraille: Montparnasse Bienvenue is a sparkling, witty portrayal of a young woman, made entirely by women but perfect for everyone.
One of this year’s five new sections, Fit As A Fiddle?, explores competition on and off playing fields, rings and courts and how it reflects political, social and cultural problems. We will discover moving histories of boxers Chuck Wepner (Chuck, dir. Philippe Falardeau) and Billy Moore (A Prayer Before Dawn, dir. Jean-Stéphane Sauvaire). The incredible fight scenes and acting in both films will make every hit sting! The section also includes Maya Zinshtein’s Forever Pure revealing the dark, racist, hateful undercurrent of the Beitar Jerusalem football club.
V for vendetta
The section Oh, Sweet Revenge explores the intricacies of vendetta on film. “We want to show how cinematic representations can rewrite and refresh the conventions of revenge movies,” says Grzegorz Stępniak, author of the festival programme. Jordana Spiro’s Night Comes On intertwines the urge for revenge and reconciliation with a troubled past, Natalia Leite’s M.F.A. puts an artful twist on a feminist manifesto, while the tense, dazzling directorial debut by screenwriter Taylor Sheridan Wind River sheds light on the pervasive intolerance and violence against women and indigenous peoples of America.
Artists and labourers
The high and low points of the profession (or perhaps calling?) which has been inspiring filmmakers for decades are explored in the section Occupation: Artist? “John Coltrane could board a rocket and fly wherever he wanted.” Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary (dir. John Scheinfeld) presents the experiences and challenges of the musician’s life and work. Kate Novack’s The Gospel According to André is a portrayal of the co-founder and former editor-at-large of Vogue, André Leon Talley.
The section Working Class Hero features the mockumentary So Help Me God – a feature-length episode of the Belgian TV series Strip Tease. Peter Mackie Burns’ Daphne, starring Emily Beecham, reveals a dark side of the protagonist’s busy professional and private life.
The world of youthful infatuation, wildly fluctuating emotions and overwhelming problems is a favourite of filmmakers seeking to explore complex and uncomfortable topics. The section Teenage Dramas features Trudie Styler’s directorial debut Freak Show, Pascal Plante’s teenage love story Les faux tatouages, a modern take on Pippi Långstrump (Pin Cushion, dir. Deborah Haywood) and Lisa Brühlmann’s story of growing pains Blue My Mind.
Netia Off Camera once again hosts screenings as part of the Canal+ Serial Con section exploring independent television. Participants will be able to meet their favourite actors and discover the latest trends in TV dramas during discussion panels.
Organisers are also hosting day- and night-time outdoor film screenings. Where? At the Szczepański Square, the Vistula Boulevards and even on rooftops of tenement houses. Independent cinema is introduced by artists themselves at the festival village, far from the madding crowds, paparazzi cameras and red carpets.
And let’s not forget the Off Stage, hosting musicians including Jeremy Gara, the duo Lazy Habits, Roo Panes, Mark McGowan, Home$lice and Carnival Youth all the way from Latvia. Events will be held at ZetPeTe club until 4 May.
Ten festival days, 250 film screenings and tens of thousands of viewers – the numbers speak for themselves. Let’s make the most of the celebration of independent cinema from all over the globe!
(Justyna Skalska, "Karnet" magazine)
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