One is the new beginning, three – optimism and enthusiasm, but the thirteenth edition of Żubroffka is so much more!
The 13th edition of International Short Film Festival ŻUBROFFKA will be held on 5-9 December in Białystok and Podlasie. For many years, ŻUBROFFKA has been building a cultural bridge between the East and the West, the North and the South – the event is a meeting place of energies from all over the world.
Full of apprehension, but also with hope, we enter the 13th edition of our festival. The current situation in the world, the climatic, migration and economic crises, led us to adopting a broader view of the global condition, including our festival. We are also bothered by ŻUBROFFKA’s financial situation, which – despite its increasing scope and range – is heavily underfunded in comparison with other such events in Białystok and Podlasie, or in our part of Europe in general. Yet we will surely do our best to make this edition of our event exceptional, rather than unlucky!
In Podlasie we believe in the cleansing and healing powers of nature, which is why we let it take over both our European bison (created by the artistic duo of Kijek / Adamski) and the whole festival itself. Ala Nunu Leszyńska beautifully visualised it for us, while Izabela Sroka – on the basis of Ala’s design – created the new ŻUBROFFKA artwork!
The poster shows a cold dawn, turning pink, when nature voraciously claims what is hers, resulting in the monumental European bison being absorbed and deconstructed!
This year, the selectors chose 109 most interesting films (out of the total of over 2000!) in eight competitions. We also prepared special screenings of short film productions from all over the world. During five days, the viewers will see a total of over 250 short films!
The International Jury consisting of: Lukas V. Rinner (Austria born awarded Argentinian director); Hana Jušić (Croatian director of feature and documentary films awarded at film festivals organized all over the world; her full-length debut “Quit Staring at My Plate” is Croatia’s official candidate for Oscar 2018); Jacqueline Lentzou (Greek director, her short film entitled “Hector Malot – The Last Day Of The Year” was awarded, among others, the Critics’ Week Award at this year’s Cannes Festival); Monika Pawluczuk (Białystok-born director of documentaries, “Koniec świata” and “Kiedy będę ptakiem”, which received awards all over the world) and Marc James Roels (RSA-born Belgian animator, creator of the global award-winning animations “Oh Willy…” and “This Magnificent Cake!”) – will evaluate films in two national (Students, Independent) and two international (Eastward Window and Whole Wide World) competitions.
In addition to the Festival Grand Prix and prizes and distinctions in each of the competitions, the Jury will also award special prizes for the best: Animation, Documentary, Plot, Cinematography and Music.
The films in the Polish Amateurs competition will be evaluated by the Young Jury consisting of Białystok’s secondary school and university students, who will be working under the supervision of the film critic, journalist and film expert, Adam Kruk.
The other three competitions are open for artists from Poland and abroad. So, films in the On The Edge experiment and video-art competition will be evaluated by a jury consisting of: Joanna Rytel (Swedish artists awarded at Berlinale with Teddy Awards); Andrei Tănăsescu (programmer and curator of Toronto IFF and Bucharest International Experimental FF, functioning between Canada and Romania) and Petra Sedláková (editor of the internet film magazine “Kinečko”, producer and coordinator of the experimental competition Other Visions SK). Films in the Kids competition will be evaluated by ŻUBROFFKA’s youngest audience, while those in the Music Video competition – by adult viewers. Traditionally, the festival audience will also award its own prize, The Wild Bison Award, sponsored by DrTusz.
In addition, an agent of the New Europe Film Sales will fund the New Europe Talent Award, i.e. a trip to a film festival in Berlin for the most promising filmmaker from Central and Eastern Europe, whose film will be screened at the compettion.
Opening ŻUBROFFKA with a spectacular mix of film and music has become our festival’s tradition. This year, the legendary British producer Forest Swords will play live to the poetic horror by Jean Epstein and Luis Buñuel entitled “The Fall of the House of Usher”!
The Brit, famous for his modern sound, who combines in his art a love both for musical antiquity and its future, will face a picture that is regarded as a key work of avant-garde film impressionism. The oneiric atmosphere of the film inspired by the novella by Edgar Allan Poe will be enhanced not only by the unique rhythm of the edit or the trick photography, deforming the shapes and dimensions of reality, but also the live music generated by the artist!
This year, during the special film screenings that will take place in 21 locations in Białystok and Podlasie, we will present, among others, a set of globally awarded animated documentaries; midnight shorts, inspired by cult cinema and hugely popular among adult audiences; SF films from the Italian Festival della Fantascienza di Trieste, as well as special selections, dedicated to the 13th edition of ŻUBROFFKA: Unlucky 13, devoted to bad luck, and Under the Young Eye: Lucky 13, a set of optimistic documentaries about luck. The Urban View, a set of films focussed on architecture, urban planning and design, will also surely attract its devotees, while those hungry for other delicacies, in addition to film art, will be delighted by the prospect of our traditional festival breakfasts, this time Hungarian and Latino!
ŻUBROFFKA, however, are not only films, but also energetic concerts, meetings with artists, exhibitions, discussion panels and workshops.
During the club evenings in Fama, the hot atmosphere will be provided by: Meisterjaan – the eccentric Estonian who uses Jew’s harp and electronics as the main sources of sounds in his music, creating an ethno/techno mixture; Rozzma – a representative of the Cairo rave bass scene; Pedro – the leading representative of the Lisbon electronic revolution, connected with the legendary Enchufada label (e.g. Buraka Som Sistema, Branko); The Busy Twist – a London-based artist who raises the temperature on dancefloors throughout the world with his unique mixture of afro tropical and bass dance music; Błażej Malinowski live – one of the key Polish techno artists; Georgian DJ Zitto, a Bassiani club resident, the techno temple in Tbilisi, as well as Dtekk, well-known in Białystok, a Renaissance man of the Polish electronic music scene: DJ, promotor and cultural activist!
The workshops and the works that will be created in their course are our festival’s trademark! As part of this year’s edition of the festival, we offer the youngest ones animation workshops, “Ghosts”, during which – under the watchful eye of Sylwia Szkiłądź – they will be animating celluloid and paper figures and create ghost stories. The Swiss animator Michaela Müller will teach teenagers paint on glass animation, while Grzegorz Brzozowski and Magda Kowalczyk will conduct documentary film workshops for seniors entitled “Houseguest”. In addition, encouraged by the huge success of last year’s radio journalism workshops, we have planned their second edition, conducted by Ryszard Jaźwiński himself, from Polish Radio Three!
Three discussion panels will be organized during the Festival: Different Shades of Patriotism, during which the issue of patriotism will be viewed from a certain distance, tongue in cheek; Eastern pleasure – a visa-free film journey to the East, to get to know its characteristic and unique rituals, and Festival Jungle, a spontaneous and expressive meeting of representatives of film festivals, the film industry and artists. A continuation of the therapeutic guide called Who Needs the Cinema, which consists of sincere discussions about the light and dark side of the profession of filmmaker, conducted by Kornel Miglus from the Polish Institute in Berlin, looks particularly promising.
As part of ŻUBROFFKA we will also hold two exhibitions. The first one is devoted to photography by Michał Siarek Alexander, telling the story about the relationship between politics, history and culture within the construct of the national mythology in the Republic of Macedonia (foyer of Forum cinema); the other one is organized in collaboration with the Czech Centre in Warsaw – an exhibition devoted to the outstanding Czech surrealist filmmaker – Jan Švankmajer. Dimension of dialogue / Between film and fine art (in Fama club).
You are all most welcome!
Festival organized from CITY OF BIAŁYSTOK subsidy and with the support of the POLISH FILM INSTITUTE
Organizer: BIAŁOSTOCKI OŚRODEK KULTURY – DKF „GAG”