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  5. 18. Millennium Docs Against Gravity starts on September 3!

18. Millennium Docs Against Gravity starts on September 3!

18. Millennium Docs Against Gravity starts on September 3!

The Millennium Docs Against Gravity film festival will be held for the 18th time – see this year’s full program of the event.

This year’s festival slogan is “The world wakes up” (taken from a speech by Greta Thunberg) – it accurately reflects the nature of the film selection. The organizers focused on films about social and political commitment, as well as on showing people who are not afraid to stick their necks in the name of a better world. This week, the full film program of this year’s edition has appeared. It almost 150 documentaries, presenting enormous diversity in terms of the places where they were created, but also the forms – They include feature and short films, animation and documentary series. The festival will take place from 3 to 12 September 2021 in seven cities (In Warsaw, Wrocław, Gdynia, Poznań, Katowice, Lublin and Bydgoszcz), and then online from September 16 to October 3 at mdag.pl.

The world is awakening to equality!

This year’s Millennium Docs Against Gravity slogan is: The world wakes up and was taken from Greta Thunberg’s speech. It underlines the organizers’ belief that the festival will bring hope. Many of the films on the show are about activism and call for action for a better, equal and green world.

We are glad that also this year we keep the quota of women and men among the creators and members of the jury. In the Main Competition, there are 7 female and 7 directors. All festival films were directed 45% by women and 55% by men, which is unusual compared to other leading cultural events in the world. The juries, consisting of a total of 24 people, include 13 women and 11 men – says Karol Piekarczyk, the festival’s artistic director.

Main Competition and this year’s sections

This year’s Main Competition will feature 14 films presenting the highest level of film art. They include productions about the Middle East, Russia, Poland, the Philippines and Zimbabwe, as well as a moving animation “Survive” (Flee) Jonas Poher Rasmussen – sensation of the festival in Sundance. For the first time, the festival will also present a documentary series – “The Seed of Lie” (Seeds of Deceit) directed by Miriam Guttmann, showing the shocking practices of Dr. Kaarbat, a Dutch fertility specialist who died in 2017, who administered his own sperm to 65 patients.

Among the sections that will be presented during the 18th edition of Millennium Docs Against Gravity, there are already well-known to viewers, such as The heroes are among us, The climate for change, Intimate stories, Places, Man in the cinema, Muse and vein, Fetishes and culture if Fourth eye, but also news: Faces of Latin America, that is, an in-depth look at the diversity of this region of the world; Criminal MDAG riddles – documentary stories with a hint of horror; Life in times of a pandemic – a collection of Polish films that chronicle reality during the lockdown; Protest alphabet, i.e. profiles of people from around the world fighting for causes in which they believe, and also this year’s section of avant-garde film – Different looks.

14 exceptional films in the Polish Competition

As every year, during Millennium Docs Against Gravity will have excellent Polish films at their world and European premieres. This time, 14 films will compete for the Best Polish Film Award, the Smakjam Award for the Best Production in the Polish Competition and the Studio Cinemas Association Award (new!). We present some of them.

The program includes as many as four Polish films showing different faces of quarantine. Interestingly, only two of them take place in Poland – the others are set in Russia and Iceland. The first of the films that tell about the times of great isolation is “Self-portrait of Poles” by Maciej Beloruski, Jakub Drobczyński and Jakub Rados. Their heroes and protagonists, sharing with them the record of their private experiences during the lockdown, show how they endure a virus other than COVID-19 – the loneliness virus. The home materials are complemented by the directors’ original view of how Poland, as a country, and Poles as a society, coped with the limitations and challenges of the pandemic. The other three films are short and will be shown in one block.

Jacob, the hero “Seal Story” directed by Bartłomiej Błaszczyński, went through isolation in the extreme version – alone in a closed hotel adjacent to the Museum of Ghosts, Elves and the Northern Lights in a small Icelandic town on the Atlantic Ocean. He spent several months there alone as a finger in the deserted volcanic landscape – feeling like the only person on the planet.

Another film in which we eavesdrop on telephone conversations of people isolated from the rest of society is “Regards” Tatiana Chistowa – a film awarded this year with the prestigious Doc Alliance Award. The story takes place in St. Petersburg, right after the government introduced an absolute order to isolate all elderly people. A helpline was set up with consultants to calm desperate people without access to medicine or even food. The slogan “Stay at home” is presented here without any coverage … The dramatic living conditions of many Russian seniors reveal what the real life of many millions of citizens of Putin’s empire really looks like. He also conducts telephone conversations with the elderly woman Kamila Chojnacka, the protagonist and director of the film “Hello, grandma”. When registering her immediate surroundings – her husband and her 1.5-year-old son – during the lockdown, she pays a lot of attention to her grandmother, with whom she only contacts remotely. At some point it turns out that grandma does not fully respect the rules of isolation …

An outstanding documentary filmmaker also films his surroundings Paweł Łoziński, from the perspective of your own… balcony. IN “Balcony film” he watches the passers-by walking along Walniczych Street in Warsaw’s Saska Kępa – they are sometimes smiling, sad, pensive, staring at the phone, both young and old … Łoziński accosts them, asks questions, talks about how they cope with life. By standing there with the camera for over two years, he created a place for dialogue – a kind of secular confessional where everyone can stop and tell other people about themselves, that is, ultimately to us, cinema viewers … In this year’s Polish films we will also find literary threads. The latest film tells about the outstanding artist, whose biography has its dark sides Rafael Lewandowski“Herbert. Barbarian in the garden “.

The director discovers that behind the crystalline beauty of the poetry left by Herbert, there is a little-known private life of a poet and humanist, a man full of humor and finesse who struggled with uncertainty, anger, physical pain and mental illness. It presents a cult film phenomenon “Escape to the Silver Globe” by Kuba Mikurdawhich reveals perhaps the greatest secret and the greatest, unfulfilled dream of Polish cinema. It presents the complicated scenes of the making of the most ambitious film in the history of Polish cinematography – the science-fiction epic “On the Silver Globe” by Andrzej Żuławski.

In Polish films we will also get to know the moving heroes of the present young generation, watched with the sensitive eye of the camera. Teenage heroines of the film “I will not come back here” by Mikołaj Lizut are pupils of the Youth Educational Center in Goniądz near Białystok. They cause trouble, they have crimes under their belt. But they are also victims of domestic violence themselves. Pupils in such institutions often get pregnant quickly. In their world full of nightmarish experiences, their own child becomes a dream of unconditional love and a happy home.

Heroine Krzysztof Kasior’s “Fury” – 25-year-old MMA champion Aleksandra Rola – also comes from a dysfunctional family. She has several suicide attempts behind her, after which she decided to give up psychotherapy in favor of MMA training. In this way, she was able to get rid of the accumulated anger and frustration. In one year, she managed to defeat all her opponents, even though she did not train long in this discipline. However, there are obstacles on her way to global success … Will she be able to overcome them?

Watch trailers for all 133 movies from the 18th edition of Millennium Docs Against Gravity:

How to participate in the Millennium Docs Against Gravity festival and watch movies?

The Millennium Docs Against Gravity festival will be held this year in a hybrid form. After the cinema part in seven Polish cities (Warsaw, Wrocław, Gdynia, Poznań, Katowice, Lublin, Bydgoszcz) from September 3 to 12, mdag.pl will host an online part, presenting some films from the cinema program – from September 16 to October 3 . This year, the festival will last a whole month – from September 3 to October 3!

Only until today (Sunday, August 15, 2021) you can buy a pass for the Warsaw edition of the festival. More information and the possibility of purchasing on the festival website.

source: Millennium Docs Against Gravity