Over the course of 11 days, from 25 July through 4 August, at more than 600 screenings, viewers will see 223 full-length films from 54 countries, 142 of which will be making their Polish premiere. In addition to New Horizons Cinema, festival screenings will also take place, for the second time, at the Lower Silesian Film Centre. Screenings will also return to Wrocław’s Market Square.
The 19th New Horizons International Film Festival will open on 25 July with the Polish premiere of Portrait of a Lady on Fire, an award winner at the Cannes Festival for best screenplay. The organizers of New Horizons called it the biggest discovery among the titles presented in this year’s Cannes competition. Céline Sciamma, the film’s director, and Adèle Haenel, who played the lead role, will take part in the New Horizons opening gala. Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood will be shown to close the festival. The Wrocław screenings of Quentin Tarantino’s latest work will be among the first in Europe.
The mBank Gala Screenings section will include several award winners from Cannes, such as Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite (Palme diOr), the Dardenne brothers’ Young Ahmed (best director), and Pedro Almodóvar’s Pain and Glory (best actor award for Antonio Banderas), as well as Marco Bellocchio’s acclaimed The Traitor. The program also includes Xavier Dolan’s Matthias & Maxime, which is being screened for the first time anywhere in the world since its Cannes premiere. One of the big events at this year’s festival will be the world premiere of Xawery Żuławski’s Bird Talk, based on a screenplay written by the director’s father, Andrzej Żuławski. Another Polish feature will be the pre-premiere screening of Agnieszka Holland’s Mr. Jones, which took part in the competition at the Berlinale. The director will be a festival guest.
The Masters section will feature the latest films by outstanding directors, including Julian Schnabel’s At Eternity’s Gate, Carlos Reygadas’ Our Time, Isaki Lacuesta’s Between Two Waters (Golden Shell winner in San Sebastián), Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles’ Bacurau (Jury Award at Cannes), Jessica Hausner’s Little Joe (acting award at Cannes) and Abel Ferrara’s Tommaso.
Bold, uncompromising films by artists seeking new forms of expression—these are the hallmarks of the New Horizons International Film Competition. This year, 12 productions from all around the world will compete for the Grand Prix.
The winner will be selected by a jury consisting of Isabella Eklöf (Grand Prix winner of the 18th New Horizons for Holiday), Johann Lurf (visual artist and director, maker of ★), Rasha Salti (Lebanese curator, programmer and screenwriter), Agnieszka Smoczyńska (director of The Lure and Fugue) and Kim Yutani (program director of the Sundance Festival).
The subjects of retrospectives during this year’s edition of the festival will include Catalan director and visionary Albert Serra, an award winner at Cannes this year for Liberté and the director of the brilliant The Death of Louis XIV; one of the most important directors in contemporary French cinema, Olivier Assayas, known for, among other works, Irma Vep and Clouds of Sils Maria, an independent filmmaker impossible to pigeon-hole as either mainstream or arthouse; Albertina Carri, provocateur and experimental filmmaker, one of the most important representatives of contemporary Argentinian cinema; and Shūji Terayama, an avant-garde Japanese theater and film director, theater reformer, poet, screenwriter, photographer, scandalmonger and revolutionary, an award winner at Cannes for his famous Pastoral Hide and Seek. Assayas, Serra and Carri will be festival guests.
The festival programmers paid special attention this year to contemporary film portraits of all things related to the human body. The result is the section The Body I Live In. It is indeed the body that is the primary field of today’s cultural battles: repressed and refusing to give in to the dictatorship of norms, formatted and rebelling against canons—seeking liberty and free expression, often in defiance of public morality. This topic also made its way into another section: This year’s edition of Midnight Madness, titled Wet Dreams, presents forgotten, often forbidden erotic films from the 1970s. The subject of Third Eye will be portraits of witches: both witches of old and contemporary women seeking spirituality in a secularized world. Once again, Visual Front focuses on the shared terrain where cinema and art intersect.
As in previous years, we have a festival section prepared in collaboration with Ale kino+ that includes hit films from festivals all around the world, such as Kantemir Balagov’s Beanpole and Quentin Dupieux’s insane Deerskin. Once again, Oslo/Reykjavik 2—a section created thanks to contributions from Norway and the European Union—features contemporary Norwegian and Icelandic films, headlined this year by Hlynur Pálmason’s A White, White Day. The program also includes a section titled New Argentinian Cinema. Viewers will also have an opportunity to see Béla Tarr’s famous Satan’s Tango to mark the 25th anniversary of its premiere.
The BWA Wrocław gallery studio will present an exhibition called Inner Life, which is related to the festival section The Body I Live In. The main theme of the exhibition will be pregnancy and its physical, emotional and philosophical dimensions. The OP ENHEIM gallery will feature a multimedia installation by Albert Serra called Roi Soleil. Throughout the festival, Kasia Kmita will be creating live a special cut-out installation inspired by New Horizons (exhibition at the TIFF Center, organized by the Krupa Gallery).
In addition to film screenings, the program also includes theater performances: Magnolia at Wrocławski Teatr Współczesny and Chroma: Księga kolorów at Teatr Muzyczny Capitol. Like every year, there will be a Festival Club at Arsenal, which will include a gastronomy zone and an area to relax to the beats of top DJs.