Festival film screenings on Wrocław's historic Market Square attract hundreds of viewers every year and there will be no shortage of outdoor showings at the 12th T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival. One of the main attractions this year will be the digitally restored, legendary silent film Mania. The History Of A Cigarette Factory Worker, which had its original release in 1918 and features the Polish-born star of German and Hollywood cinema, Pola Negri. Produced in Berlin by Eugen Illés, the film was one of the breakout successes for Negri - real name Barbara Apolonia Chałupiec - who went on to become one of the favored actresses of legendary filmmaker Ernst Lubitsch. Mania was long considered a lost treasure until a surviving reel turned up in a private Czech collection. Poland's National Film Archive has since restored the print.
The film will screen on Wrocław's Market Square on 26 July 2012 at 10 pm backed by a live score performed by Wrocław's 'Leopoldinum' Chamber Orchestra under the direction of Jerzy Maksymiuk, who wrote the music for the newly restored film. Entry to all outdoor film screenings on the Square will be free for the duration of the festival. The event is organized in collaboration with the National Film Archive.
The film was for many years considered lost beyond recovery. In 2006, the National Film Archive acquired a copy located among the holdings of a private Czech collector. The film underwent a thorough restoration process as part of a project entitled 'Conservation and digitalisation of pre-war feature films at the National Film Archive in Warsaw', funded in part by the European Regional Development Fund within the 'Infrastructure and Environment' Operational Program, under Priority 11, 'Culture and cultural heritage'. Thanks to all the efforts of the National Film Archive, Mania has now come back to life.
Pola Negri (born Barbara Apolonia Chałupiec) was born on 3 January 1897, in the Polish town of Lipno. She passed away on 1 August 1987, in San Antonio, Texas. Negri was a major silent film star. She attained legendary status and was acclaimed as a world-class actress. Her exotic beauty, charisma, rich repertoire of expression and skillful pantomime etched her roles onto the imaginations of a generation of cinemagoers, for who she became a screen goddess. She perfected the femme fatale and vamp characters on her way to becoming a symbol of an era in film before the industry's exponentially dynamic expansion in the following decades. She was one of the first major female stars of the cinema and the first European woman to conquer Hollywood.
Mania. The History Of A Cigarette Factory Worker
director: Eugen Illés
screenplay: Hans Brennert
cinematography: Eugen Illés
production: Projektions-AG Union, Niemcy, 1918
release date in Berlin: 8.11.1918
cast: Pola Negri (Mania Walkowska), Werner Hollmann (Morelli), Arthur Schroder (Hans van der Hof), Ernst Wendt (Heinz Alex)