The sixth edition of the Off Plus Camera International Festival of Independent Cinema will be opened on Friday, April 12 by Academy Award-winning cinéaste Costa-Gavras. The Greek-born filmmaker will present Krakow audiences with his latest political thriller, Le Capital (2012), which is about the machiavellian rise of the CEO of a major Parisian bank.
The ongoing financial crisis and its accompanying social instability as reflected by world cinema will be presented in the Faces of the Crises strand of the festival through a selection of documentaries and features, including Ektoras Lygizos’ Boy Eating the Bird’s Food (2012), which allows audiences to sample the current flavour of the Greek ‘Weird Wave.’
The organisers of the OPC festival have given a free hand to selectors from other major film festivals when it comes to the programme. The American ‘indies’ presented in the From the Gut strand were chosen by Trevor Groth, Programming Director of the Sundance Festival, and Mike Plante, director of programming for the CineVegas Film Festival.
The string of films under the heading Black American Cinema was selected by US film critic Odie Henderson. Explaining the process of selection, he said: “These nine films do not completely define the Black experience in America, no series of films could classify any group. They are merely snapshots of reality and fantasy designed to tickle, taunt, sadden, shock, anger, amuse, arouse, relax and provoke.” The list he came up with includes: Claudine (1974), Shaft (1971), Boys N the Hood (1991), and Devil in a Blue Dress (1995).
In the Polish feature film section, in which movies compete for the Polish Film Noble award and 100,000 zł in prize money, the list includes some of the finest moments in contemporary Polish cinema: Sławomir Fabicki’s Miłość (Loving), Jacek Borcuch’s Nieulotne (Lasting) and Bodo Kox’s feature debut Dziewczyna z szafy (Girl out of the closet).
In the International Dramatic Competition, called Making Way, the selected features will compete for the festival’s top honour and the main prize of $100,000, which is judged by an international jury led, as usual, by a top-flight Polish filmmaker. In the chair this year is multidisciplinary artist and director Lech Majewski.
Other strands in the festival include: Catching Up, a selection of acclaimed international features that have not gone on general release in Poland; Dark Stars Rising, a round-up of cult cinema from the margins of the mainstream; Discoveries, the work of young and rising directors; and New Italian Cinema.
This year’s OPC agenda has been spiced with a crop of music gigs to be held at the B4 club (ul. Bracka 4) as part of the Off Stage special programme. The musical selection includes performances by English songwriter Jono McCleery, signed to Ninja Tune, Dutch act Teddy Jr. and local heroes of electronic music, Fair Weather Friends.
Humming along in the background will be the Małopolska for Filmmakers project – a joint effort by the Krakow Film Commission and the OPC festival organisers. The initiative consists of a series of ‘study tours’ taking place during the festival. The trips are intended to introduce the most attractive movie locations in the region to the many visiting film industry bigwigs.