On the 17th of September begins the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia, the most important event in Polish film industry. Three films distributed by NEXT FILM have been included in the festival line-up. “Kamerdyner” [“The Butler”] directed by Filip Bajon is a Main Competition contender for the Grand Prix, Golden Lions. “53 Wars” directed by Ewa Bukowska and “Another Day of Life” directed by Damian Nenow and Raúl de la Fuente will be amongst the contenders for the Golden Claw awarded in the Different Perspective section. This year’s 43rd edition of the festival will be held from the 17th to the 22nd of September. Sixteen productions have been selected for Main Competition, eight for the Different Perspective section.
Inspired by true events, “Kamerdyner” [“The Butler”] is an epic tale of the tangled fates of Poles, Kashubians and Germans set against the dramatic events of the first half of the 20th century. The film boasts an impressive cast that includes: Janusz Gajos, Sebastian Fabijański, Marianna Zydek, Adam Woronowicz, Anna Radwan, Borys Szyc, Łukasz Simlat, Daniel Olbrychski, Kamilla Baar-Kochańska, Marcel Sabat, Diana Zamojska, and Sławomir Orzechowski.
The film was directed by Filip Bajon, who says: ‘forbidden love, beautiful landscapes, great mansions, complicated people and their fortunes set against remarkable historic events – you will see all of that on screen’.
“Kamerdyner” [“The Butler”] tells the story of Mateusz Krol (Sebastian Fabijański), a Kashubian boy, who, after the death of his mother, is taken in by a Prussian aristocrat, Gerda von Krauss (Anna Radwan). He grows up in a palace. Marita (Marianna Zydek), the daughter of the von Krausses, is his age. The two young people fall in love. The boy’s godfather, Kashubian patriot Bazyli Miotke (Janusz Gajos), takes part in the Peace Conference at Versailles where he fights for the place of Kashubia on the map of Poland. Later on he becomes one of the men who build the symbol of Poland’s economic success: Gdynia. The Treaty of Versailles that proclaims Poland an independent country also causes the von Krauss family to lose their estate and influence. Everyone feels that the world as they’ve known it is about to change in the most drastic way. In time, the animosity and mutual hatred between the Kashubians, Poles and Germans who live side by side deepens. The Second World War begins. In the forests of Piaśnica the Nazis perpetrate mass murder on civilians – the first genocide of WW2.
“Kamerdyner” [“The Butler”] premieres on the 21st of September. Just before that, on the 5th of September, released is a book based on the script. The book was written by Mirosław Piepka, Michał Pruski, Marek Klat and Paweł Kraśnicki.
“53 Wars” directed by Ewa Bukowska and starring Magdalena Popławska and Michał Żurawski premiered internationally at the 53rd International Film Festival in Karlovy Vary, in the East of the West Competition The film was also presented at the Koszalin Debut Film Festival, “Młodzi i Film” [Youth and Film], where Magdalena Popławska was awarded a Jantar for Best Female Role and Ewa Bukowska received the Best Film award from the festival’s Youth Jury. The film is set to premiere in cinemas nationwide on the 19th of October.
The film is inspired by true events. Anka and Witek are a loving married couple. He is a war correspondent, who spends the better part of the year at the heart of military conflicts. She spends her days waiting for him to come home Anka tries to lead a normal life, but in time her fears for Witek start to infect her life like a poison. After he leaves for yet another war zone, she starts preparing for the worst.
Besides Magdalena Popławska and Michał Żurawski the cast also includes Kinga Preis, Dorota Kolak and Krzysztof Stroiński. The film’s director of photography, Tomasz Naumiuk, has won two awards at the “Młodzi i Film” [Youth and Film] Festival in Koszalin (for “Amok” and “Disco Polo”). “53 Wars” edited by Agnieszka Glińska. The film was produced by Munk Studio-SFP. The script was based upon Grażyna Jagielska’s autobiographical novel “Miłość z kamienia Życie z korespondentem wojennym” [Love made of stone. Living with a war correspondent].
Magdalena Popławska also stars in the official music video for the film’s promotional song “Superstar” performed by Natalia Fiedorczuk.
“Another Day of Life” directed by Damian Nenow and Raúl de la Fuente and based on a book by Ryszard Kapuściński will premiere in cinemas nationwide on the 2nd of November. The film is a co-production of five countries and a unique combination of animated and documentary feature. The Polish language version of the film will have its first-ever screening during the festival in Gdynia, and the dubbing cast will include Marcin Dorociński, Olga Bołądź, Arkadiusz Jakubik and Tomasz Ziętek. Polish teaser is available on-line.
“Another Day of Life” is a gripping story of a three-month-long journey that renowned Polish reporter Ryszard Kapuściński took across Angola, a country ravaged by a war and chaos in which the front lines constantly shifted like a kaleidoscope. Just like the readers of the literary original, the audience begins their journey with Kapuściński in 1975 Luanda, the capital of Angola. The country is in the midst of decolonization efforts launched after the success of the Carnation Revolution. Portuguese nationals are hurriedly fleeing the glamorous districts of Luanda. They are terrified by the possibility of an attack on the capital. They’re busy packing their belonging into wooden crates. In Luanda shops are closing down, law enforcement is disappearing from the streets, heaps of garbage are growing. Kapuściński keeps sending daily dispatches to the Polish Press Agency. Finally he embarks on a lethally dangerous journey into the heart of the country. After barely saving his neck he realizes that the events he is witnessing will necessitate him to become something more than a passive observer. Is a reporter justified in withholding a sensational discovery for the greater cause?
“Another Day of Life” had its world premiere at the Cannes Film Festival, where it met with enthusiastic reception. The Nenov – de la Fuente film also received standing ovation at the Annecy International Animated Film Festival and a honourable mention at the Biografilm Festival. The Polish festival premiere will take place during the Nowe Horyzonty [New Horizons] International Film Festival in Wrocław. The film is also set to compete for the Audience Award at the International Film Festival in San Sebastian.