The main goal of Szczecin European Film Festival is to seek films that broaden the concept of documentary cinema and break its stereotypical image. It is the competition part of the festival that constitutes a platform for this search, and enables us each year to present several dozen carefully selected titles. The European and Polish Competition for documentary films are a cross-section of works that stand out against the background of tired formulae and seemingly played-out topics. Creators known by few and film veterans alike will have a chance to confront their productions with the opinions of the jury and the festival audience. Their works are unconventional, and their innovative approach to recording reality is extremely valuable. An important part of the competition screenings are discussions with the filmmakers and audiences, moderated this year by Konrad Wojtyła.
From among a record-breaking number of submissions this year (2570 films from 88 countries around the world) the Program Committee has chosen 44 tit;es that will be presented in this year's SEFF competition section. Members of the Polish-German Selection Team were: Bartosz Wójcik, director of SEFF and head of the committee; Jörg Foth, feature and documentary film director, long-standing DEFA production company cooperator; Damian Romaniak, film expert and critic.
Although a significant part of the productions break the conventions of documentary film, often boldly experimenting both with form and topic, one can also find classic documentary cinema in the competition. This genre is often labelled as one that limits creativity, one that lacks the charm characterising other art forms. This stereotype is slowly disappearing. Thanks to the availability of technology and the ease with which people can communicate globally, we can enjoy innovative and exciting cinema that abolishes our prior perception of documentary film, and broadens our horizons.
Moderator: Konrad Wojtyła
Journalist, literary critic, poet. Vice-president of the Sławomir Mrożek Foundation. Author of several books. Host, initiator, and moderator of numerous discussions, panels, and debates attended by the most important representatives of cultural life in Poland. For years he has been cooperating with the OFFicyna Association (working on both dokumentART and Szczecin European Film Festival) as moderator for the discussions with filmmakers as well as for festival meetings.