8 days, over 200 films, 55 premieres and 63 thousand viewers, outstanding artists from all around the world and exceptional awards – these are the facts and figures with which this year’s edition of Transatlantyk Festival in Łódź ended on Friday, 21 July.
Cinema halls filled to capacity during Dunkirk, Die göttliche Ordnung, The Party, Tiere, Whitney: Can I Be Me. Bed Cinema attended by crowds. Outstanding artists from all around the world at our fingertips. The best Polish chefs pampering our palates during Culinary Cinema, programmed together with Berlinale. Talented young composers in unique Film Music Competition and Instant Composition Contest. The programme of the 7th edition of the Festival, with Power of Woman as the main theme, has inspired, taught and encouraged discussion.
This year’s Transatlantyk film programme included several hundred screenings in Multikino Silver Screen, Museum of Cinematography, Bed Cinema and also as open-air showings organized with the Polówka festival. As the first in Poland, we presented: Montparnasse Bienvenue, awarded in Cannes, Brisgby Bear – one of the most significant premieres of the Sundance festival, and Insyriated by Philippe van Leeuwe – winner of the Panorama Audience Award and Europa Cinemas Label of the Berlin Film Festival. As many as 55 titles had their Polish premieres during the festival.
Two eminent artists, our special guests, have been honored with exceptional awards during Transatlantyk Festival: American actor Edward Norton and Argentinian director Lucrecia Martel. During the Closing Ceremony, Edward Norton was presented Transatlantyk Glocal Hero Award, granted to exceptional individuals whose local and global actions shape the modern world. American actor is the fifth laureate of this special award in the festival history. Previous laureates of Transatlantyk Glocal Hero Award include Danish scientist Bjørn Lomborg, theoretician and culture critic, professor Gayatri Chakravorty Spivak, Elżbieta and Krzysztof Penderecki and Yoko Ono.
On Thursday, 20 July, before the showing of The Headless Woman, the film’s director Lucrecia Martel received the prestigious jubilee FIPRESCI 92 award, granted by the International Federation of Film Critics from General Secretary’s hands Klaus Eder. This award celebrates over ten decades of the Federation, highlighting the role and significance of movie criticism. FIPRESCI came into being in 1925, and now it’s one of the most reputable and the most prestigious organization consociating movie critics from around the world. The jubilee FIPRESCI award presented during Transatlantyk Festival was granted for the first time in Poland.
Transatlantyk Distribution Award of PLN 40 000 was granted by the Festival Audience to Aurore by Blandine Lenoir, whereas Young Film Critics Award granted by the winners of the contest organized as a part of the Camera, Action! Festival of Film Critics for the best directing debut was presented to Hubert Charuel’s Bloody Milk. The winner of the second edition of the Polish Short Film Competition and an award amounting to PLN 10 000 PLN was Julia Orlik and her animated Banquet.
As usual, the audience loved our Cinema in Bed (ranked by BuzzFeed as one of the 10 Amazing Worldwide Cinemas To Visit In Your Life), which this tie was set up in Schiller’s Passage– all the tickets were sold out. Of course, Culinary Cinema, was a must, too. Its programme was prepared in collaboration with Berlinale, and the wonderful dinners to accompany five film screenings were prepared by six eminent Polish chefs: Wojciech Modest Amaro, Robert Skubisz, Katarzyna Daniłowicz, Tomasz Purol, Mariusz Pieterwas and Sebastian Krauzowicz. Moreover, for the very first time we invited the audience to the open-air Transatlantyk Kitchen, where you could taste some meals served by festival’s Chefs.
This year’s retrospective Close-up sections focused on Lucrecia Martel and Edward Norton, who met the audience during special Master Classes, as well as Barbara Sass, after whose films many meetings with their lead actresses were organized: Magdalena Cielecka, Dorota Stalińska and Izabela Drobotowicz-Orkisz.
Another section that was very popular with the audience, even though it was presented for the first time during the Festival, was Stories of Cinema: How the Masters Began, focused on outstanding directing debuts. On the other hand, those who love the kind of cinema that refuses to accept any standard labels frequented the evening screenings of B-Class Cinema and Madness.
Of course, we did not forget about the youngest audience and carefully selected the films which were presented in the Cinema for Kids / Rascals’ Film Gang section.
Outdoor screenings (part of them under the banner of Girl Power!) were organized together with the Łódź-based Polówka festival. The unique Jazz in Poland documentary film was presented in cooperation with the National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute, while the screenings of Abu: Father, Belinda and Chaveli were the results of collaboration with the Man in Danger Media Festival. During Transatlantyk Festival, we celebrated the 10th anniversary of establishing Łódź Film Fund by presenting a series of Polish films co-produced by Łódź Film Commission.
Another event which took place during the festival was the Saturday with Avant-garde – a review of the most important experimental cinema films. It was organised on Saturday, 14 July, at OFF Piotrkowska, as a part of the Year of Avant-Garde, currently celebrated in Poland. Many viewers took part in the screenings of films created with the help of virtual reality - Timespaces VR, presented in EC1. The audience was also invited to participate in the new edition of Breakfasts with Transatlantyk, which took place in the Bawełna restaurant, with American Honey by Andrei Arnold “served” to the viewers together with a thematically inspired breakfast.
This year’s Transatlantyk was an opportunity to meet tens of eminent culture and art personalities from all over the world. During Master Classes, where special guests share their professional experience with the audience, we met among others Lucrecia Martel – director (the most important representative of Argentina’s New Wave, whose works have been presented at festivals in Berlin and Cannes), Michael Seresin – cinematographer (regular Alan Parker’s DOP, e.g. in Angel Heart, Birdy) and Anne-Sophie Bion – editor (nominated for Oscar for The Artist).
Edward Norton’s visit (known from among others “Fight Club”, “American History X”) attracted a huge audience. His Master Class in the Łódź Opera House was attended by over a thousand people. The meeting was hosted by film expert and critic Michał Oleszczyk.
Those who attended the meetings could get to know, among others, Philippe Mora , Trevor Graham (Monsieur Mayonnaise), Andrzej Seweryn, Jan P. Matuszyński (The Last Family) , Janusz Majewski, Wojciech Karolak, Krzysztof Sadowski (Jazz In Poland) , Magdalena Cielecka (The Temptation) , Dorota Stalińska (Krzyk) or Greg Zgliński (Animals). The auditory was full during the meeting of Grażyna Torbicka and Klaus Eder (General Secretary of FIPRESCI), devoted to the future of film criticism in the world.
The four Minority Reports meetings were an opportunity to talk to women co-creating the movies presented: Dorota Roqueplo and Urszula Grabowska (Memories of Summer), Kinga Baczyńska (Marie Curie), Olga Żukowicz, Paulina Korwin-Kochanowska and Katarzyna Szczerba (Forest, 4 AM) and Ewa Brodzka (Afterimage).
The hot topics in Poland and around the world were also dicussed during the Polityka’s and TOK FM Radio debates hosted by Rafał Woś and Patrycja Wanat. Moreover, lectures of SWPS University of Social Sciences and Humanities were held every day, during the Cinema in Bed.
Transatlantyk began with Great Women’s Reading, a performance combining music and literature and featuring music by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek performed by Hollyłódzka Orkiestra Filmowa under Monika Wolińska, Vivid Singers choir and soprano singer Joanna Jakubas. Nine exceptional women took part in the show – actresses Katarzyna Herman, Justyna Wasilewska, Zofia Wichłacz and Agnieszka Żulewska, director Joanna Kos-Krauze, writers Katarzyna Bonda and Sylwia Chutnik, designer Joanna Klimas and the director of the performance – Maria Sadowska. They read excerpts by famous writers, among others Simone Beavuoir, Doris Lessing and Patti Smith. Kwadrofonik band was the music star of the Closing Gala.
During the festival, two international composition contests were also held: Transatlantyk Film Music Competition™ (FMC) and Transatlantyk Instant Composition Contest™ (TICC). The winner of FMC was Ruslan Perezhilo (Latvia), and the prize in TICC was granted to Jakub Czarski from Poland. The total value of awards in both contests was over PLN 82 000. A joint prize of Transatlantyk and Authors' Association ZAiKS for the best Polish FMC finalist was also awarded during the Gala – PLN 20 000 was presented to Polish musician Antoni Wojnar. The jury in the ICC contest included, among others, Michael P. Aust (director of the international film festival in Braunschweig and the international film music festival Soundtrack Cologne held in Cologne), Matthijs Kieboom (composer, winner of ICC in 2011), Piotr Metz (famous music journalist) and Jan A.P. Kaczmarek. The jury in the FMC contest was composed of: Anne-Sophie Bion , Jean-Michel Bernard ,Wiesław Komasa (prominent Polish film and theatre actor), Michael Seresin and Jan A.P.Kaczmarek.
The auditory was full at the concert of exceptional film music composer Jean-Michel Bernard (author of music for Michael Gondry’s films, including The Science of Sleep or Be Kind Rewind as well as pieces for Hugo by Martin Scorsese) on 20 July in Teatr Nowy im. K. Dejmka w Łodzi.
The star of Talking Piano, a meeting where composers tell the audience about their professional path, was the Director of Transatlantyk, winner of the Academy Award for the Best Original Score for his music to Finding Neverland – Jan A.P. Kaczmarek. The interview hosted by British journalist Tim Burden featured fragments of compositions by Jan A.P. Kaczmarek performed live by the author himself.
This year, we held the first Ice-Breaker workshops, this time focused on film distribution. Workshop participants talked about traditional and non-traditional methods used in film distribution, took a closer look at legal issues regarding various forms of distribution, learnt about new solutions and new directions in distribution. Our weak strong points, workshop for women-filmmakers, proved to be very popular, too.
We’d like to thank everybody who participated in this year’s edition of Transatlantyk Festival. We’re looking forward to see you next year!