Polish presence at the festival in Shanghai

Five films co-financed by the Polish Film Institute will take part in the Shanghai International Film Festival. They are: „We’ll be fine” by Sylwester Jakimow (Spectrum: Alternatives), „I never Cry” by Piotr Domalewski, „Never Gonna Snow Again” by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert, and „Thou Shalt Not Hate” by Mauro Mancini (Viva la Festival) , „I’m here” by Julia Orlik (Short). The 24th edition of the festival will be held on June 11-20 this year.

The Shanghai International Film Festival was established in 1993. It is the only Chinese festival counted among the events accredited by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations (FIAPF) and one of the largest film events in Asia. Its mission is to support the development of world cinematography and discover young directors who have been awarded the Asian New Talent Award since 2004. The festival consists of four parts: the competition for the Golden Cup, film screenings, market and the forum. In turn, the Panorama section presents screenings of the best films at the festival.

Viva la Festival

Three Polish productions are among the 40 titles of the Viva la Festival section. The first is the film „I never cry” by Piotr Domalewski. It is a Polish-Irish co-production that had its world premiere at the 68th San Sebastian International Film Festival. Previously, the film was shown as part of the Marche du Film in Cannes, as well as in the Works in Progress program in Karlovy Vary. Its cast includes, among others Zofia Stafiej, Kinga Preis, Arkadiusz Jakubik, Tomasz Dedek, Andrzej Kłak and Tomasz Ziętek, as well as Nigel O’Neill, Shane Casey and David Pearse.

Ola is a rebellious teenager who dreams of her own car and greater independence in life. Unexpected and tragic news from Ireland, where her father has been working for years, make her set off on a long journey alone. Fate has a challenge for her – on behalf of the family she is to bring the body of the deceased to Poland.

The second film is „Never Gonna Snow Again” by Małgorzata Szumowska and Michał Englert. It was a Polish candidate for an Oscar in the Best International Full-Length Film category. The image had its world premiere at the Main Competition of the Venice festival, and was also presented at the TIFF Industry in Toronto market show. The film by the Szumowska-Englert duo was based on their joint script. Its cast includes: Alec Utgoff and Maja Ostaszewska, Agata Kulesza, Weronika Rosati, Katarzyna Figura, Andrzej Chyra, Łukasz Simlat and Krzysztof Czeczot.

One foggy morning, an attractive man from a true, exotic east shows up in the city. Żenia, because that is his name, has a gift. His hands heal and his eyes look into the souls of single women. A man works as a masseur in a wealthy neighborhood near the city. Working for people separated by a wall from the „worse” world, she learns about their stories and personal dramas. Soon Zenia’s remarkable abilities will change the lives of each of them.

The third production in this section is an Italian-Polish film entitled „Thou Shalt Not Hate” by Mauro Mancini, who, together with Davide Lisino, also wrote the script. The cast includes: Alessandro Gassmann, Sara Serraiocco, Luka Zunic, Lorenzo Buonora and Lorenzo Acquaviva, Gabriele Sangrigoli, Paolo Giovannucci, Sheel Cosmet and Mauritium Zacchocka. The film was previously shown, among others as part of the International Criticism Week (Settimana Internazionale della Critica).

Simone is a wealthy surgeon living in Italy. He is the son of a Jew who survived the Holocaust, and due to his difficult relationship with his father, he tries to cut himself off completely from the past. One day he witnesses an accident. When she discovers a tattooed swastika on the victim’s chest, he decides not to help. Over time, he begins to feel remorse and tries to get closer to the deceased’s family at all costs.

Spectrum: Alternatives

Among the 29 productions in the Spectrum Alternatives section, there is the film „We’ll be fine” by Sylwester Jakimow, who together with Anna Jadowska also created the script. The cast included: Dobromir Dymecki, Sebastian Pawlak, Albert Osik, Dorota Pomykała and Andrzej Konopka. The Polish premiere will take place at the Młodzi i Film Film Debuts Festival in Koszalin.

The protagonists of the film are three friends in their thirties: Albert, Marcin and Jacek, childhood friends, outsiders who still live with their parents in the same block on the outskirts of the city. For years, they have a specific friendship, although it does not always push their lives forward.

Short Films

The Short Films section includes the Polish production of Julia Orlik’s „I’m here”. A student of the Film School in Łódź, she is both the author of the script and the animation director. The picture won an award at the Kaboom Animation Festival in the Netherlands, as well as the Grand Prix at the following festivals: PÖFF Shorts in Estonia, the Polish Etiuda & Anima, and the 1st Prize in the French Nice Short Film Festival and the Golden Pigeon statuette at the German DOK Leipzig. In addition, the animation was awarded a special mention at the Krakow Film Festival and the Stuttgart festival, as well as the Audience Award at the ANIMATOR festival in Poznań.

An elderly man looks after his paralyzed wife. Despite her old age and her own health problems, she tries her best to alleviate her suffering, which is getting stronger and stronger every day. He is helped by his daughter, who tries to reconcile care with work in the hospital and her family life. Each of them has different views on what care should be like, which leads to many arguments.

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