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I UNDERSTAND
English Section

Warsaw Film Festival kicks off

08.10.2021 14:00
A total of nearly 170 movies from around the world will be screened during the annual Warsaw Film Festival, which opens in the Polish capital on Friday.
Image:
Image: Warsaw Film Festival

The festival's director, Stefan Laudyn, has told PAP that the films screened this year will address issues such as “refugees, family problems, and the history of freedom.”

Laudyn added that this year the organizers had received about 4,500 submissions from nearly 100 countries.

“This is probably our all-time record," he said. "It just so happened that, due to the pandemic, productions from two or three years have accumulated.”

The festival will officially open with the screening of Captain Volkonogov Escaped by Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov. It will close with Women Do Cry, a Bulgarian drama directed and written by Vesela Kazakova and Mina Mileva.

Laudyn said: Captain Volkonogov Escaped premiered this year in the main competition at the Venice Film Festival. The film tells the story of an NKVD captain. The year is 1938, Leningrad, Soviet Union. A very sad time of Stalin's purges, and the protagonist is experiencing moral dilemmas. And at the end we have the most feminine film of this year's festival."

The Warsaw Film Festival’s International Competition will this year feature 15 titles, including Oleh Sentsov's Rhino, which premiered this year at the Venice Film Festival. The film tells the story of a young man caught up in the criminal world who wants to radically change his life.

Last year, Sentsov’s feature received a grant of PLN 1 million (around EUR 230,000) from the Polish Film Institute.

Work on the film started in 2013 but came to a halt after Sentsov was arrested in Crimea in 2014.

He was subsequently sentenced by a Russian court to 20 years in prison on charges of “plotting acts of terrorism.”

The Ukrainian director denied the accusations and said that the charges against him were trumped-up for political reasons.

He was released in September 2019.

The Warsaw Film Festival runs until October 17 and is being held for the 37th time.

For details of screenings, go to wff.pl.

(jh/gs)

Source: PAP