One more Polish co production in Cannes!
Polish co production, co financed by Polish Film Institute ”In the Rearview” has qualified for the ACID Cannes Programme. ”In the Rearview”, received support from the Polish - Ukrainian Film Initiatives Operational Program. The fund launched, in April 2022 by the Polish Film Institute. The initiative was one of the first of its kind in Europe and is solely dedicated to the cooperation between Polish and Ukrainian filmmakers.
Thus the great news from Cannes does not seem to stop. In the Main Competition we have the Polish co production ”The Zone of Interest”, now it’s time for a documentary ”In the Rearview” directed by Maciek Hamela which has been selected to be part of the Cannes ACID section. ACID (Association for the Distribution of Independent Cinema) is an association of film directors that has been creating its own section at the Cannes Film Festival since 1993, promoting the theatrical distribution of independent films and encouraging debates between filmmakers and audiences.
The Cannes Film Festival will take place on May 16-27, and in Poland, though audiences will be able to see the film even earlier, in the Polish Competition at the Millennium Docs Against Gravity festival (May 12-21) in Warsaw, Poznań, Wrocław, Katowice, Gdynia and Lublin. In addition, as part of the Warsaw premiere, there will be a musical accompanying event: Concert Звідки/Куди (Zvidky/Kudy) — thoughts interrupted with the participation of the Lutosławski Quartet and the 12-member Choir of Ukrainian Artists. In addition to classical pieces from the Quartet's repertoire, we will hear live premiere performance of Antoni Komasa-Łazarkiewicz's "Wings", an interpretation of the poem of the same title (Ukrainian: Крила) by one of the most outstanding contemporary Ukrainian poets, Lina Kostenko. The song was composed for the film's original soundtrack.
”In the Rearview” depicts the first days of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. People caught by time and in space, facing an uncertain here and now, choose to abandon what they hold most precious as they climb straight into the dusty van with foreign plates. It traverses tens of thousands of kilometres serving various functions: waiting room, hospital, shelter, zone for confidences and confessions, which are shared among travellers thrown together by chance. ”In the Rearview” is a collective portrait composed of experiences of those who have a single goal: finding a safe haven. In the van, the temporary asylum for all of them, their differences in gender, age, skin tone, physical condition, origin, identity, worldview and faith drop away.
In the Polish and the Ukrainian version of the film’s title - ”Skąd dokąd” and ”Zvidky kudy”, meaning “where from” (звідки / zvidky) and “where to” (куди / kudy) are routine questions asked when trying to break through the numerous checkpoints located throughout the territory of Ukraine. It has been over a year since Poland became an observer of events happening at our neighbours’ land from the very first row of the global political scene, with Poles without hesitation getting involved in helping Ukrainian citizens. The creators of the film In the Rearview, while implementing evacuation activities from the vast war-torn Ukrainian territory, have decided to start documenting stories of people who were forced to flee suddenly, overnight.
– The shooting of our film was strictly subordinated to the evacuations I had been carrying out since the beginning of the invasion. I believe that is why we managed to create such an authentic depiction of the war that is going on behind our backs and could affect each of us. I hope that the presence of the film in Cannes will be an opportunity to remind everyone that the war continues and only our joint commitment will end it. – says Maciek Hamela, director of the film and van driver.
Maciek Hamela is the author of the screenplay and the director of ”In the Rearview”, now coming back to Cannes with another production focused on the subject of human rights — his documentary short film ”Bless You” about a helpline for the elderly during the pandemic, was awarded the Doc Alliance Award as part of the Cannes Docs section (2021). The authors of the image are Yura Dunay, Wawrzyniec Skoczylas, Marcin Sierakowski and Piotr Grawender. Antoni Komasa Łazarkiewicz is responsible for the music, Marcin Lenarczyk for sound design, and Aleksandra Kraus for color grading. The producers of the film are Piotr Grawender (Affinity Cine) and Maciek Hamela (Impakt Film), and the co-producers are Jean-Marie Gigon (SaNoSi Productions) and Anna Palenchuk (435 FILMS).
We are thrilled that a film which received funding from the Polish Film Institute within Priority 1 : Development and production of documentaries ; FOR POLISH - UKRAINIAN FILM INITIATIVES has been selected to ACID Cannes Program and are of course keeping our fingers crossed for the filmmakers and their festival journey.