Agnieszka Holland to receive Sofia Award
Renowned Polish director will personally present her latest film Spoor
Penka Momchilova, BTA
10 February, 2017
Agnieszka Holland is to receive the Sofia Award for her outstanding contribution to cinema. The renowned Polish film director will personally present her latest project Spoor (Pokot) at the 21st Sofia International Film Festival, on the heels of its worldwide premiere in Berlinale’s competition programme, the organisers announced. The film is based on the bestseller of the most popular, translated and recognised contemporary Polish author Olga Tokarczuk - Drive Your Plough Over the Bones of the Dead (Prowadz swoj p?ug przez kosci umar?ych). The main character is a retired engineer, avid astrologist and strict vegetarian living in a mountain village in the Sudety. On a snowy winter’s night she stumbles upon the corps of her neighbor, a poacher. His death is cloaked in mystery because the only visible tracks in the area of his home are from deer hooves - are wild animals capable of revenge? According to Agnieszka Holland, another apt title for the picture would be No Land for the Old Women since the world we live in, including Poland, where the film was shot, has turned into such a place. “I am telling a story about the reality in today’s Poland, 25 years after the collapse of the communist regime. The film is a mixture of genres - a psychological drama about humiliated people and animals, a crime thriller, a feminist look at the situation for the perspective of an old woman fighting for her values. The heroine is honest, generous and perceptive but also a bit crazy. She is tenacious and filled with indignation. She takes us on a journey to a land with breathtaking nature but also a muddy landscape infested by corruption, cruelty and stupidity,” the director says. Agnieszka Holland was born in 1948 in Warsaw. She earned a degree in film directing from the famous FAMU film academy in Prague. Her first job in the industry was as an assistant director to Krzysztof Zanussi and she was later mentored by Andrzej Wajda. Holland wrote several screenplays with Wajda, who also directed them - Without Anaesthesia (Bez znieczulenia), Danton and Korczak. Her films are embraced by both audiences and critics at some of the most prestigious international film festivals. Provincial Actors (Aktorzy prowincjonalni) won the FIPRESCI Prix at the 33rd Cannes Film Festival, and Holland was nominated for a Golden Bear in Berlin for Fever (Goraczka. Dzieje jednego pocisku) and for a Golden Lion in Venice for Julie Walking Home. Angry Harvest was nominated for an Oscar in the Best Foreign Language Film category, while Copying Beethoven starring Ed Harris was pronounced the best film in San Sebastian. Agnieszka Holland has also been nominated for an Oscar for Best Screenplay thanks to Europe, Europe and for a Golden Globe for Best foreign Language Film thanks to In Darkness, described by The Wall Street Journal as “brave, epic, could not be farther from conventional”. In 2014 Agnieszka Holland was appointed chairwoman of the board of the European Film Academy (EFA). The famous director will be among the guests of the 21st Sofia International Film Festival thanks to the support of EFA and the Polish Cultural Institute in Sofia.
A still from Spoor.