fot. kadr z filmu

The long-awaited festival of independent cinema is once again being held in Cracow. As usual, it fills the city with positive energy, inspiring people and carefully selected films. It’s time to start the cinematic May Days with the 12th edition of the Mastercard OFF CAMERA! What have the organizer got in store for the viewers this time?

Over 400 guests from the entire world, 250 screenings in Cracow’s studio cinemas, on rooftops, open-air locations, and on a boat – all that transforms Cracow into one big cinema for 10 days. A cinema which doesn’t close indoors but goes out to its viewers.

Competitions have become the trademark of the event. ‘Our Festival means prizes. We are extremely proud the National Associated of Audiovisual Producers will award prizes for people who appear in the final credits and stand behind the camera.’ – said Alicja Myśliwiec. Films will compete for the Audience Prize and the International Film Critics Association FIPRESCI Award.

On top of that, 10 films will compete in the Polish Feature Film Competition for the Kulczyk Foundation Award worth PLN 300,000. ‘We judge films which we hold to be most interesting, not only with regards to what’s going on in Polish cinema. These films are universal and easily find their way not only to the Polish, but also international market.’ – said Anna Trzebiatowska. This year the winner will be selected by the jury consisting of: Laura Rosenthal (casting direct), Kim Yutani (Program Director of Sundance Film Festival), Jonathan Romney (film critic), and Marcia Gay Harden (actress) as the Head of Jury.

The jury members of ‘Trail Blazers’ Competition were presented. The idea of the competition is to support film makers from all around the world and enable them to progress further after their debut as the prize is worth USD 100,000. The films will be judged by an international jury consisting of: Anna B. Sheppard (costume designer), Roger Michell (director), Ellen Kuras (director and photography director). The jury will be presided by Allan Starski – Academy Award winner and Poland’s most established scenography designer.

New additions to the film sections this year were presented: ‘Where have the men gone?’ (many faces of modern masculinity); Us vs them (the society’s divide into groups and the pigeon-holing that follows); ‘Roses are red, violets are blue’ (longing for love or a rather non-usual approach to romantic comedies); ‘Cops and robbers’ (how the image of police officers and gangsters evolved over time); ‘Reality? No thanks’ (how strongly does cinema create and better alternative reality).

The special event of this year’s edition will be the 50th anniversary of Andrzej Seweryn’s artistic work. To celebrate the occasion, a special screening of ‘The Last Family’ followed by the actor’s meeting with the audience hosted by Piotr Kraśko will be held.

‘This year is truly special for us as we have joined the family of such festivals as those in Berlin, Cannes or Sarajevo.’ – said Simon Miszczak who expressed his gratitude for the trust of Master - the new titular patron and sponsor of the Raising star award for young debuting actors. Thanks to Mastercard festivalgoers can benefit from special discounts in Off Spots – cafes, restaurants and other inspiring places befriended with the Festival.

The Festival Town at the Szczepanski Square will surely be a vibrant place. Just like last year, the cinema’s greats will be interviewed there by Oliwier Janiak.

For those interested in the film industry from a practical side, the Pro Industry section will be held during which you will be able to gain insights on film production from experienced professionals.

Workshops are also planned. Those longing for music will not be left waiting: every festival day will end at the Off Scene in Zet Pe Te with performances of Polish and international independent musicians.

Picture author
Edyta Dufaj