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XV Forum of European Cinema

(4-12 November 2010)

Since the beginnings of our festival unconventional activities and the ambition to change audience's views on contemporary European and world cinema have been our main goal. In our opinion this is an effective way of drawing audience's attention to films, of increasing the number of spectators and promoting cinemas as special and interesting places to spend one's leisure time. That is true especially of Lodz, a city with long-lasting film tradition, the capital of Polish cinema and the seat of famous Lodz Film School. Its students are among our most loyal audience.

To us contemporary cinema is not just about entertainment but it is also adventure, the subject to be discussed and a search for fresh, original and new ideas and hence this year for the first time we will include a debut section into our programme . This will be the review of the first two films of young and promising European film directors. International Jury and the Audience will decide on the Awards.

During 15th Forum of European Cinema we want to present and contrast the latest and the first films of young directors with their well-known and experienced older colleagues. That's why retrospectives and tributes to Bent Hamer, Jaco van Dormael, Tinto Brass, Marta Meszaros, Jurij Jakubisko, Jan Hrebejk will constitute a very important part of the festival programme. Most of them have confirmed their attendance and accepted our invitations as our special guests, members of the International Jury and participants of meetings with the audience. We are planning to invite and introduce to Polish viewers recent and latest films from Norway, Belgium, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia. Directors from those countries often participate in international, European coproductions. We will show films - results of that kind of arrangement in filmmaking. Our ambition is to show that European coproduction phenomenon is not only financial necessity and a guarantee of wider distribution but also a very interesting mixture of new, original topics, the future of European cinematography and an illustration of its changeability and diversity. It also reflects permanent fight between globalisation and local traditions and values.

Our programme will also include the Queer cinema section. Berlin Teddy Bear Awards and recently Venice Lion's Queer Awards proof that this is one of the most vibrant tendency in contemporary European cinema. To us it means going beyond the old and narrow definition of queer cinema. In Europe which changes constantly and which is divided in terms of nationality, ethnicity, culture and religion, queer cinema which goes beyond human sexuality and tackles intolerance, issues of identity, racism and hypocrisy seems to be the connecting element. Tribute to Tinto Brass, master of erotic cinema is another example of going away from stereotypical thinking about this kind of controversial cinema. Brass who started with Rosselini and Fellini never lost his feeling of taste and the sense of humor when it comes to describe the complexity of human nature and sexual desires.

The search for original topics and inspirations is very much visible in particular in Belgium and German cinematographies. Directors from those countries often make films outside of Europe. Japan and Asia are on the top of theirs lists. That's why this year we will be showing the latest Japanese films in our World Panorama Section. We also want to present some European films dedicated to Japan, like Wim Wenders "Tokyo-Ga", Dorries Dorrie "Hanami - Blossom Flower", Isabel Coixet "Maps of the sounds of Tokio" etc. Such a juxtaposing illustrates differences in thinking about the cinema between Europe and other parts of the world despite the omnipresent globalisation.