Mastercard Off Camera 2020

Festivals

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  • Friday, September 11, 2020 - Friday, September 25, 2020

Online Freedom

Although events remain online, they also remain “off” – after all independent cinema can withstand anything! Off Camera is here!

On your computer, tablet or smartphone screen: the 13th Mastercard Off Camera – the International Independent Cinema Festival moves into virtual reality. Between 11 and 25 September, all competition films and accompanying events can be streamed on player.pl.

“The global pandemic has been and continues to be a learning experience for us all, and we are trying to build on it. Thanks to the support of our partners, we are able to continue supporting bold cinema and young artists. We are adapting to a new, virtual reality, which will allow audiences throughout Poland to discover the festival repertoire and find out what independent cinema really is,” explains festival director Szymon Miszczak.

Competitions

As usual, the main competition Making Way presents debuts by young filmmakers from all over the globe. They include Jeanette Nordahl’s tense story of a criminal family Wildland, Maura Delpero’s outstanding debut Maternal exploring different aspects of motherhood, and A Thief’s Daughter telling the tale of a bold young woman struggling to achieve her dreams, directed by Belén Funes from Catalonia. As part of the Polish Feature Film Competition, homegrown productions including The Hater, Supernova and All for My Mother compete for the Kulczyk Foundation prize.

Special sections

As usual, this year’s events abound with special sections. The section Among Women explores women’s emancipation, sisterhood, community and solidarity, all made by women for women. Productions include Leftover Women (dir. Shosh Shlam, Hilla Medalia) – a documentary revealing the fates of three highly-educated, professionally successful women in China who experience a high degree of discrimination all because they chose not to marry.

Psychological, forensic, criminal, medical, technological, erotic… All manners of thrillers are as popular with audiences and critics as they have always been. The section Cheap Thrills? includes Canada’s candidate for the 2020 Academy Award: Sophie Deraspe’s Antigone presenting an updated version of Sophocles’ drama set in a family of immigrants in Montreal.

Road cinema is one of the most quintessentially American film genres; however, the section On the Road reveals that it has long stepped way beyond US borders. The programme includes Fabrice du Welz’s Adoration – an oneiric and subtle tale of two underage runaways and the growing bond between them.

Ties and Unties explores the complex relationships between men and women today, lost in the jungle of emotions and feelings which are strongly influenced by pop culture and online reality. The section includes Danielle Lessovitz's Port Authority, starring Fionn Whitehead (known from Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk) and transgender actress Leyna Bloom. The online platform also presents screenings as part of permanent sections Independent Americans and Panorama, including the moving drama Then We Danced (dir. Levan Akin) and the feature-length animation The Swallows of Kabul (dir. Zabou Breitman, Eléa Gobbé-Mévellec).

We’ll also discover the latest news from the TV series universe via SerialCon, with bloggers, YouTubbers and film critics discussing their views via online streams.

Offline

Although the festival is moving into the virtual world, it’s certainly not breaking away from its heritage. Familiar locations throughout Kraków serve as backgrounds for Olivier Janiak’s meetings with stars of Polish cinema, and there will be concerts held as part of Off Stage – perfect for fans of alternative sounds! All that’s left to say is ­– see you at the special 13th Mastercard Off Camera! 

(Justyna Skalska, “Karnet” magazine)

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