Established in 1985, the Warsaw Film Festival (WFF) was recognised by the International Federation of Film Producers Associations as an international film festival, next to Cannes, Venice, Berlin and many others. It will feature nearly 170 films from all around the world. The event will last until Sunday, October 17th.
This year, the organisers received about 4.500 applications from almost a hundred countries. “This is probably our all-time record. It just so happened that due to the pandemic, productions from two or three years have accumulated. In addition, there were post-production delays and situations such as the case of the Bond movie, which waited a year and a half for its premiere,” the director of the Warsaw Film Festival, Stefan Laudyn said in an interview with the Polish Press Agency”.
Laudyn pointed out that what distinguishes WFF from other events of this type - apart from the number of premieres - is the close distance between guests and viewers. “At our festival, we avoid situations like red carpets. Each viewer can meet the guests, talk and ask a question after the screening. It's not always possible at festivals like Cannes,” he emphasised.
The festival will be officially inaugurated by the screening of “Captain Volkonogov escaped” by Natasha Merkulova and Aleksey Chupov, co-produced in Russia, Estonia and France. The last movie screened during the festival will be the Bulgarian-French co-production of “Women Cry” by Vesela Kazakova and Mina Mileva.
The productions presented at the festival will compete in several categories, like the most prestigious International competition, featuring 15 movies including the "Rhinoceros" by Oleg Sentsov, presented also in Venice. The movie tells a story about a young man entangled in the criminal world, who wants to radically change his life. “This is a great thing for us, because the Polish film community tried to free Sentsov. Let me remind you that Oleg was kidnapped from Crimea in 2014, deported to Russia and sentenced there to many years' imprisonment,” the festival director stressed.
The Warsaw Film Festival will also be accompanied by industry events including Q&A sessions with filmmakers.