The 17th edition of the International T-Mobile New Horizons Film Festival will be held from 3–13 August 2017 in Wrocław.
One of the key features in the programme is a retrospective of Jacques Rivette (died in January 2016), who is considered to be one of the masters of the French Nouvelle Vague, a realist and a visionary, a legendary auteur and a radical and truly spectacular artist. For many years, Rivette was one of the leading film critics at “Cahiers du Cinéma” (also Editor-in-Chief). He is also believed to have directed the first Nouvelle Vague film ever (a short film called Le Coup du Berger in 1956). The retrospective brings a dozen or so titles from the master, most of which have never been featured in Poland, including a monumental experiment, a thirteen-hour long legendary Out 1 (1971);a Locarno-awarded surrealistic fantasy called Céline et Julie Vont en Bateau, or Phantom Ladies Over Paris(1974); an over four-hour long melodrama L’Amour Fou (1969); Secret Défense (1998), featuring a celebrated Polish actor, Jerzy Radziwiłowicz; and Cannes-awarded La Belle Noiseuse (1991), starring an unforgettable trio, namely Michel Piccoli, Jane Birkin and Emmanuelle Bèart. The overview will be complemented with a documentary by Serge Daney and this year’s festival guest Claire Denis (Jacques Rivette, Le Veilleur, 1990), or recently remastered short films by Rivette from the 1940s and 1950s.
A separate retrospective will also be devoted to Fred Kelemen, an intriguing German director and Béla Tarr’s long-standing collaborator. Fred Kelemen is known as a master of long takes, chiaroscuro, metaphorical frames and emotional message. Most of his works were recorded on film tape. The overview brings all of his attempts as director, including Locarno-awarded Frost (1997), Toronto-awarded Abendland (1999) and his latest Sarajevo Songs of Woe (2016). The section is complemented with his most successful attempts as director of photography, including Béla Tarr’s projects. The artist is expected to put in an appearance at this year’s festival.
The 17th edition of the International T-Mobile New Horizons Film Festival also brings an overview of Israeli cinema. The programme offers a dozen or so films from 2014–2017, both feature films and documentaries, as well as experimental works combining film-making with visual arts. Israeli artists are now at the forefront of the cinema, with their vivid, rapidly developing and compelling story-telling, engagé attitudes and a relentless drive to confront reality. Both Israeli cinema and the society it originates from are diverse and in the process of seeking new identities. They have been called a new Isreali wave of late, and they are now all the rage at international festivals. This year’s edition of the festival will put their powers to the test. The programme brings a widely discussed and Locarno-featured film called People That Are Not Me by Hadas Ben Aroya, a young female director from Tel Aviv.
For the first time, the T-Mobile New Horizons IFF was launched in 2001. It was an event aimed at presenting independent artistic cinema – at that time, represented in Poland rather poorly – which sought for new ways of expression and breaking the frontiers set by conventional filmmakers.
This is a festival of cinema visionaries, adamant artists, brave enough to follow their own path against the trends and to talk about the most important matters, using their own, unique language. From hundreds of films screened every year at international festivals, as well as these sent for selection, we have chosen the ones that – due to their unusual form and the power of expression – defend themselves from being forgotten. These films evoke extreme reactions, bring up emotions, start vigorous discussions, and provoke raptures and protests. Yet, it is this kind of works that set the trends of the international cinema. The “Main Competition” is the concept of the “new horizon” come into being.
Each year, the festival hosts several dozens of film directors from all over the world – from debutants to undisputed film masters. We already had the honor of hosting: Abdellatif Kechiche, Agnès Varda, Nanni Moretti, Terry Gilliam, Peter Greenaway, Béla Tarr, Bruno Dumont, Carlos Reygadas, Aleksander Sokurow, Abel Ferrara, Kim Ki-duk, Tsai Ming-liang, Naomi Kawase, Carlos Saura, Claire Denis, Dušan Makavejev, Asghar Farhadi, Jean-Pierre and Luc Dardenne, Andrei Konchalovsky, Leos Carax, as well as Stephen and Timothy Quay.
One of the key components of the festival’s mission is to present the achievements of the cinema masters and discover the works of those artists, who are less known, yet their work is of a tremendous importance for the creators of the festival. We have already presented the retrospectives of: Pier Paolo Pasolini, Philippe Garrel, Šarūnas Bartas, Derek Jarman, Shinya Tsukamoto, Yasujirō Ozu, Michelangelo Antonioni, Béla Tarr, Takashi Miike, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Sergei Parajanov, Federico Fellini, Hal Hartley, Theo Angelopoulos, Andrzej Żuławski, Guy Maddin, Tsai Ming-liang, Jean Luc-Godard, Wojciech Jerzy Has, the Quay brothers, Laura Mulvey, Anja Breien, Werner Nekes, Carlos Reygadas, Ulrich Seidl, Ingmar Bergman, and Dušan Makavejev. The year 2017 will see the reviews of the works of the late Jacques Rivette – a visionary and the co-creator of the New Wave, and of the films by Fred Kelemen – a brilliant camera operator and director, an associate of Béla Tarr.
The festival also gives an opportunity to take a closer look at the most interesting places on the cinematic map of the world and to discover films which are difficult to be found in regular distribution. Lately, we have screened the works from New Zealand, Australia, Canada, Turkey, Greece, Sweden, Mexico, Lithuania, and Norway. The 2017 edition of the festival will showcase the latest films from Israel. The program also covers films from the very edge of cinema and visual arts, exhibitions, and concerts.
The highlight events of the 2016 edition of the festival included the displays of the operatic film “River of Fundament” by Matthew Barney, and the staging of the opera “Lost Highway” (directed by Natalia Korczakowska) based on the film by David Lynch.
The New Horizons festival has gradually become the most visited event of such type in Poland, one of the most popular in this part of Europe (with over 100,000 spectators each year), and – owing to the outstanding development of events such as the Polish Days or the New Horizons Studio – an important meeting place for international filmmakers.
The festival is held in Wrocław – the city with great film traditions. The most acclaimed Polish films were made here: Ashes and Diamonds by Andrzej Wajda, Knife in the Water by Roman Polański, The Saragossa Manuscript by Wojciech Jerzy Has, or A Lonely Woman by Agnieszka Holland. The New Horizons Cinema – a complex with 9 auditoria (with 2,500 seats) where artistic cinema is screened 365 days in a year – is the heart of the festival. This is the largest arthouse theater in Europe.
The festival is held by the New Horizons Association that was founded in 2003. The association’s other main projects are American Film Festival in Wroclaw(www.americanfilmfestival.pl) and Kids Film Festival (www.kinodzieci.pl). The New Horizons Association is also a film distributor and the owner of New Horizons of Film Education (www.nhef.pl), which is the largest film education project in Poland.
Visit Wrocław – the capital of uncompromising cinema.
Published by: Michał Boruta