The fifteenth edition of Mastercard OFF Camera has begun. The party was full of emotions

  • The fifteenth edition of the Mastercard OFF Camera Festival has begun in Krakow. The Independent Film Festival runs until May 8
  • Ukrainian dialects were present during yesterday’s opening ceremony at Kijów Cinema. Marcin Prokop, Kristina Zatovic-Wida and Magorzata Szomowska alluded to the situation in the country of our eastern neighbors
  • There were emotions, too. Krystyna Zachwatowicz-Wajda has officially announced that the Andrzej Wajda Krakow Film Award will be awarded for the first time this year.
  • The European premiere of Małgorzata Szumowska’s latest film “Infinite Storm” was also held during the ceremony. The manager was present at the party
  • You can find more similar reviews on Onet homepage

The Independent Film Festival in Krakow has started again. For the fifteenth time, fans of good films met in Kijów Cinema at the opening of the Mastercard OFF Camera Festival. Although the occasion was a happy one, Marcin Prokop, who hosted the opening ceremony, reminded us that not everyone has a reason to celebrate.

– You remember from previous editions that I tried to stir up a storm of laughter and applause with a more or less skillful joke – said Prokop from the stage. – Today I’m not the only one not laughing. I am in Kyiv not only physically, but also with my heart. Across our eastern frontier, cruel, brutal and terrible things are happening. Instead of a ridiculous joke, I will tell a story: in the sixties, two unusual places were created. Kino Kijów in Kraków and Kino Kraków in Kyiv – In a world separated by an iron curtain, it has become a place of escape and dreams of a better world. Today, for us, the cinema is also a place of a different reality, but hundreds of kilometers away, people run to it to hide from bombs.

Prokop confirmed that he did not want a “dreary mood” to dominate the festival, but stressed that otherwise he would not be able to start the concert. There is a time when a clown hat is worn, but there is also a time when a clown rings a bell.

Marcin Prokop at the Opening Ceremony of Mastercard OFF CameraMarcin Prokop during the Opening Ceremony of Mastercard OFF Camera – Grabowski / AKPA

After the host’s speech, people associated with the festival appeared on the stage in various ways. Magdalena Duxa-Tverberg, Office Director of the Krakow Festival, Szimon Misczak, Director of OFF Camera Festival, and event sponsors spoke about 15 years of celebrating independent cinema. A long list of festival guests was also invited: Tim Roth, Benedict Cumberbatch, Agnieszka Holland (The director prepared a special video with wishes for the 15th birthday of OFF Camera), Roman Polański or Andrzej Wajda.

One of the party’s most touching moments was associated with the latter character. At one point, Magdalena Sroka, Creative Director of OFF Camera Festival, Krakow Vice President Andrzej Kulig, and Krystyna Zachwatowicz-Wajda appeared on stage. They informed the viewers that on the initiative of the President of Krakow, Jacek Majchrowski, and with the consent of the director’s widow, The main prize of the festival will be the Krakow Film Prize for Andrzej Wade.

– With great joy and gratitude, I accepted the decision of the President of Krakow and the OFF Camera Festival Foundation – said Krystyna Zachwatowicz-Wajda. – I am sure Andrzej would be glad that his city, Krakow, was celebrated in this way.

Interior designer, art historian and widow of Andrzej Wajda stated that the director had always supported and expresses a free Ukraine. I read from a copy of the manuscript the letter they jointly sent to the Embassy of Ukraine in 2016, on August 24, Independence Day there..

– On your holiday, we wish you a democratic and independent freedom, close to Europe and Ukraine. We are with you not only in the moments of your victories, but also in those difficult times in which we know so well our failures. perseverance! Before you, dear friends, victory, read Zachwatowicz-Wajda. She added:- We did not expect then how tragic we would live: the brutal war once again waged by Stalinist Russia against Ukraine.. Andrei will wholeheartedly support the decision to help filmmakers in Ukraine.

Zachwatowicz-Wajda was given a standing ovation.

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Also, traditionally, a movie was shown after the ceremony – this time viewers had the opportunity to take part in the European premiere of “Infinite Storm” starring Naomi Watts. Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert is a story based on facts about Pam Bales who, while trekking in the White Mountains, meets someone who is not ready for a trip to such a dangerous place. The woman faces a dilemma: if you let him die, but if you try to help him, she may die herself.

Viewers were invited by Szumowska and Englert. The director confirmed her relationship with Krakow and said that she was pleased to be able to screen her new film in this city for the first time in Europe. – This is the first film, mine and Michał, in which we go out into the open – I admitted. – This difficult time in the world has shown me that I want to be here. Our next movie will be Polish.

Trudi Styler, Magorzata Zumowska, Michau EnglertTrudy Styler, Małgorzata Szumowska, Michał Englert – Grabowski / AKPA

Szumowska also thanked Trudy Styler, with whom she worked on “Infinite Storm” as a producer. Styler, who was a jury member of the 15th Polish Mastercard Off Camera competition for feature films this year, was also present at the ceremony and said a few words.

– I am proud of our work, it was a great pleasure to work with Małgosia and Michał. We had to deal with the unbridled nature of Slovenia, as well as with cases of COVID-19. In America, our film has already been shown in 16 thousand. cinemas, and today we will be showing it for the first time in Europe – said Styler, actress, film producer, director and activist, and especially Sting’s wife.

The Off the Camera Festival will run until May 8th. On May 7, we will learn about the winners of the festival competitions: the main competition “Making the Road” and the Polish Feature Film Competition. More information can be found on the festival’s official website.

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