For the 5th time, “A Sunday in the Country,” one of the most inventive and out of the box workshops for young European film critics and journalists, was organized within the framework of the 16th T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival in an old guest house by the Bystrzyckie lake during the first weekend of the cinematic event (21-24 July, 2016).
There, in Zagórze Śląslie in Lower Silesia, during three days, the group watched and discussed films, networked, exchanged thoughts and practices and shared their professional experiences. Under the tutelage of Pascal Edelmann of the European Film Academy, Ula Śniegowska of the New Horizons Association and the Dutch film critic of de Filmkrant, Dana Linssen, the critics and journalists spent the weekend cooking, networking, watching films, meeting with filmmakers and discussing cinephilia as well as issues such as the critic’s responsibility – if there is one – towards national film productions and his/her reader and the reality of film critics in different countries.
On Friday, the critics screened the Polish-British co-production “All These Sleepless Nights” and had a discussion with its director, Michał Marczak, who stayed for the entirety of the weekend. Two more directors joined them: Mike Ott, whose film, “Actor Martinez”, co-directed with Nathan Silver they saw afterwards, and a member of this year’s T-Mobile New Horizons International Film Festival jury, Gust Van den Berghe, whose 2010 Cannes debut, “Little Baby Jesus of Flandr”, the participants watched on Saturday morning. Following a spirited talk about art and inspiration, the group watched “Inertia” and then welcomed its director, Idan Haguel, for dinner and a discussion about the role of the critic in the filmmaker’s career as well as the expectations or demands theses two professions have towards each other. The colloquy continued long into the night.
“A Sunday in the Country” was also visited this year by Jakub Duszynski of Gutek Film and Monika Richter of the filmPOLSKA’s critics programme “Über Filme schreiben ist über die Welt schreiben” as well as Robert Dwernicki of 8bb Seed and Venture Capital.
The group was composed of twelve people from ten different countries: Ádám Csiger (Hungary), Klara Cykorz (Poland), Freja Dam (Denmark), Yael M. Danon (Israel), Mirela Delic (Germany), Grzegorz Fortuna (Poland), Iratxe Fresneda (Spain), Anja Krämer (Austria), Andreea Mihalcea (Romania), Rudolf Schimera (Czech Republic), Jelle Schot (the Netherlands) and Hannes Wesselkämper (Germany).
According to Wesselkämper, to call “A Sunday in the Country” simply a networking-event would mean to immensely underappreciate this experience, “it has been a place for me to reflect on my own view towards films and the work of a film critic. Being able to discuss these notions in an intercultural environment – as well as a stunning natural environment – with eleven other people from ten countries has to be taken into account, too. Even back in my daily routine, I find myself thinking about a lot of the input I got during these nice couple of days in Wrocław,” he added.
The workshop was organized by the European Film Academy and the New Horizons Association with the support of the local cultural institutes as well as the Krzysztof Mętrak competition for young film critics.
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