Warsaw Film Fest 2021

Warsaw Film Fest 2021

OPENING FILM

Captain Volkonogov Escaped/ Kapitan Volkonogov Bezhal, dir. Natasha Merkulova, Aleksey Chupov, Russia, Estonia, France, 126 minutes

A visually remarkable and very original story about a pre-death repentance marathon for a captain of the Soviet Security Service (NKVD), Fedor Volkonogov, set against the backdrop of political persecutions in the Soviet Union in 1938.

 

CLOSING FILM

Women Do Cry, dir.. Vesela Kazakova, Mina Mileva, Bulgaria, France, 107 min.

A film that celebrates female solidarity and self-expression, at a time when violent protests and gender debates are tearing Bulgaria apart. A story based on real events, from the makers of „Cat in the Wall” (FIPRESCI Prize at the 35th WFF).

 

INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

The International Competition is the showcase of the Warsaw Film Festival. The main prize, the Warsaw Grand Prix, funded by the President of Warsaw, amounts to 100,000 PLN.

 

JURY OF THE INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

 

Sitora Alieva, festival director, Russia

Magda Kowalczyk, cinematographer, Poland / Great Britain

Tammy Tai, producer, China / Switzerland / Germany
Peter Rommel, producer, Germany
Igor Soukmanov, festival director, Belarus

FILMS IN THE INTERNATIONAL COMPETITION

 

1. The Albanian Virgin/ Virgjëresha Shqiptare, dir. Bujar Alimani, Germany, Belgium, Albania, Kosovo, 123 min. – World Premiere

A poignant love story set in dark times shaped by pressure from old traditions. A deeply human tale about freedom, which is the greatest good even if the price is loneliness.

 

2. Brigitte Bardot Forever, dir. Lech Majewski, Poland, 121 min. — World Premiere

Maestro Majewski’s latest film, based on his novel „Pilgrimage to the Tomb of Brigitte Bardot the Wonderful”, in which he settles accounts with his youth, childhood, and all that Poland meant to him.

 

3. Miracle/ Miracol, dir. Bogdan George Apetri, Romania, Czech Republic, Latvia, 118 min. — Polish Premiere

A young nun sneaks out of her convent to attend to an urgent matter and never returns. The police investigation takes an unexpected turn. Perhaps there has been an actual miracle.

 

4. “Slovo” House. Unfinished Novel/ Будинок “Слово“. Нескінчений роман, dir. Taras Tomenko, Ukraine, 120 min. — World Premiere

„Slovo” House is a story about a generation of Ukrainian artists persecuted by the totalitarian system, unfolding against the backdrop of one of the largest genocides of the 20th century: the Holodomor, which caused the death of almost 7 million people.

 

5. Cinephilia/ Sinefilija,  dir.. Algimantas Puipa, Lithuania, 110 min. – World Premiere

With gentle irony, Cinephilia unmasks the illusion of film. Characters migrate through the worlds of reality and fantasy, in circumstances that paradoxically have no questions or answers. A dark comedy that tells nine related stories in which the fates of the characters intertwine.

 

6. The Drover’s Wife: The Legend of Molly Johnson, dir. Leah Purcell, Australia, 108 min. — Eastern European Premiere

A searing Australian Western with love, family, survival, truth and racism at its heart, it asks: how far do you go to protect the ones you love?

 

7. Miss Osaka, dir.. Daniel Dencik, France, Japan, 90 min. — World Premiere

Who would you like to be if you could be anyone? Ines is offered an unexpected chance to find out, and she takes it. A business card bearing the name of a hostess club, Miss Osaka, leads her into the neon-lit depths of a labyrinthine parallel world.

 

8. No Problem, dir. Jiachen Jiang, China. 109 min. — World Premiere

Father versus daughter, north versus south, a family conflict reveals a deeply rooted conflict between different systems of values in this contemporary Chinese comedy.

 

9. Rhino/ Nosorih, dir. Oleg Sentsov, Ukraine, Poland, Germany, 101 min. — Eastern European Premiere

Starting out as a petty thief, a young man nicknamed „Rhino” quickly works his way up the criminal hierarchy in 1990s Ukraine. Rhino has only known power and cruelty, but with nothing left to lose, could he finally find a chance at redemption?

 

10. Ring Wanderi dir. Masakazu Kaneko, Japan, 104 min. — World Premiere

Director’s statement: „In 2020, the main character, Sosuke, looking for the extinct Japanese wolf, finds an animal’s skull under the ground of Tokyo. With this skull, he travels through time into Tokyo past world of the people who passed on and he experiences the value of life. I hope the story will give you a chance to stop to contemplate the memories and all those that lived in the past, even for a short time”.

 

11. Kerr, dir. Tayfun Pirselimoglu, Turkey, Greece, France. 101 min. — International Premiere

A man who witnesses a murder becomes the accused for another crime. An allegorical, contemporary story about a situation from which there is no escape. Adapted from Tayfun Pirselimoglu”s novel of the same title.

 

12. Saloum, dir. Jean Luc Herbulot, Senegal, 84 min. — European Premiere

Three mercenaries end up in the Sine-Saloum Delta in Senegal. A thriller with a brilliantly woven supernatural thread compellingly invoking African-Caribbean folklore and mysticism.

 

13. The Other Tom/ El otro Tom, dir. Rodrigo Plá, Laura Santullo, Mexico. 111 min. — Eastern European Premiere

A poignant take on the contemporary theme of the excessive use of psychiatric medicines in childhood and oppressive welfare policies. The latest film from award-winning Mexican director premiered at the Venice festival.

 

14. Toubab, dir. Florian Dietrich, Germany, 101 min. — International Premiere

Babtou originates from Senegal, but he was born in Germany. After two years spent in a German prison, he gets into trouble again. An enlightening comedy about how far you can go to avoid being deported.

 

15. YT/ ЫТ, dir. Dmitry Davydov, Stepan Burnashev, Russia, 102 min. — World Premiere

A crazy anthology consisting of seven funny, dramatic and complex stories about the relationships of families, neighbors, relatives, and friends.