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Special Andrzej Wajda evening at Locarno

One of the special events at the forthcoming Locarno International Film Festival will be a special evening devoted to the Polish director Andrzej Wajda, who will attend in person, on Monday August 10 at 8.30 pm at La Sala.

Festival goers will have an opportunity to see the world première of an outstanding documentary made by four of Andrzej Wajda’s students – graduates of the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing (Warsaw), Andrzej Wajda: róbmy zdje¸cie! (Andrzej Wajda: Silence on Set!) , presenting the truest and intimate portrait of this Master of Polish cinema, shot on the set of his most personal film Katyn.

The screening will be followed by Andrzej Wajda himself introducing his two most recent feature films. The Locarno audience can see or see again Katyn (2007), one of the director’s most striking films, which broke one of the great taboo subjects in the history of the Second World War: the Soviet secret police’s massacre in Katyn forest of 21,000 Polish prisoners of war in April 1940. For many years the Soviet Union’s official line was that Nazi Germany had committed this atrocity.
The evening will conclude with Tatarak (Sweet Rush), based on a short story by Polish writer Jaroslaw Iwaszkiewicz. Tatarak was presented in Competition at the last Berlinale and won the Alfred Bauer Prize, which is given to films that open new perspectives in the art of filmmaking. This intimist film moves between fiction and reality, interweaving the fictional story of a woman having lost her lover with a poignant account given by its lead actress Krystyna Janda, about her own experience of bereavement.

Born in 1926, Andrzej Wajda is one of the most important Polish filmmakers of the last fifty years. A very prolific director, his work has received great critical acclaim and numerous prizes. His most famous films include Kanal (1957), Ashes and Diamonds (1958), Man of Marble (1977), Man of Iron (1981, Palme d’or at Cannes), Danton (1983), Holy Week (1995) and Pan Tadeusz (1999). He is also a theatre director, has been nominated for an Academy Award four times, most recently for Katyn in 2008, and in 2000 received an Oscar for Lifetime Achievement.

The 62nd edition of the Locarno International Film Festival will take place between August 5 - 15, 2009.

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