Finally, a real festival, not a virtual one, yet, nobody forgets Covid 19. We receive the usual gift bag from the festival, except that this time, it contains the now indispensable hand sanitizer and mask with the Festival's logo: a golden chestnut leaf. Zofia, the NETPAC Jury assistant, tells me upon arrival that today is the last day that people are allowed to go outdoors without a mask, and that, starting from tomorrow, it has to be worn at all times. I take it off and breathe a sigh of relief for a few hours. At the hotel, there is no daily cleaning owing to Corona. Here, people respect the procedures everywhere. In the cinema, the permitted number of attendees has been reduced to only 25 percent of the hall's capacity. Two seats must be left between each viewer. The closing ceremony was brief and prizes were distributed in the absence of most of the winners. Some of them gave their speech in a live broadcast on the screen.
WFF differs from other festivals in its programme, just as Warsaw differs from other cities, as the director Mr. Stefan Laudyn said. Selecting the films, they always keep the audience in mind - native Varsovians, those working or studying in Warsaw, and those in town for a short while, only for the Festival, for instance. The festival’s aim is to show a film before it wins an Oscar, to introduce a director to Warsaw audiences before he or she wins an award at the Cannes festival. It doesn’t chase filmmakers who are already famous Some of the most amazing directors, like Michael Haneke, Cristian Mungiu, Paweł Pawlikowski, Ari Folman, Ashgar Farhadi, Lenny Abrahamson and hundreds of others, had been guests of the WFF before they reached the top.
WIFF has several Sections and awards:
- COMPETITIVE SECTIONS
- International Competition (from all over the world. World, international and European Premieres).
- 1-2 Competition (For first and second feature films by directors from all over the world).
- Free Spirit Competition (For independent, innovative, rebellious feature fiction and documentary films from all over the world).
- Documentary Competition
- Short Films Competition
- Non-Competitive Sections
- Special Screenings
- Classics from Poland
- Family Cinema Weekend
- The Best Short Films from Poland 2018
NETPAC JURY 12 films were in our competition, they were chosen from the International Free Spirit and 1-2 Sections.
- 18 Kilohertz by Farkhat Sharipov/ Khazakhstan
- Re Tang / Hot Soup by Ming Zhang/ China
- Asada-ke! / The Asadas by Ryota Nakano/ Japan
- Kudakechiru Tokoro O Misete Ageru / My Blood and Bones in a Flowing Galaxy by Sabo/Japan
- Asia by Ruthy Pribar/ Israel
- Ko Baek / Go Back by Eun-Young Seo/ South Korea
- Bu Zhi Bu Xiu / The Best Is Yet to Come by Jing Wang/ China
- Gorbeh Siah / The Black Cat by Karim Mohammad-Amini/ Iran
- BYE! MR. WANG by Dazhi Wang/ China
- Get the Hell Out by I-Fan Wang /Taiwan
- Zhanym, ty ne poverish / Sweetie, You Won't Believe It by Ernar Nurgaliev/ Kazakhstan
- True North by Eiji Han Shimizu/ Japan
Netpac Winner was: Asada-ke! / The Asadas by Ryota Nakano/ Japan
The citation given by the jury:
“A deeply touching and amusing film, full of hope needed in current darker times. A sorrow and joyful portrayal of an ordinary creative family, where everyone has a big heart and never gives up their simple dreams.”
Description: Masashi was given his first camera by his father. He has always loved taking pictures. He starts to take pictures of his family – his parents and brother. These are unique family photos. The family members all cosplay as firefighters, racers, heroes, and big eating championship competitors. Each of the themes of these photos is either a profession that Masashi wanted to work in or something he wanted to do. He starts receiving requests from families all over Japan to take their family photos. When a terrible earthquake strikes eastern Japan in 2011, Masashi stops taking photos. He wonders what a family is and what he can do as a photographer. He becomes a volunteer and searches ruins and mud for damaged family photo albums with pictures of those who suffered in the disaster. He washes the photos and returns them to the family members who survived. With the pictures, he brings remembrance of those who died. He starts believing in the power of photos… A moving film, inspired by true events, from one of Japan’s most famous directors.
-- Report by Nada Azhari Gillon (France), Jury Chairperson
-- Edited by Latika Padgaonkar