FIPRESCI's first visit to the curiously named Off Camera Plus Festival of Independent Cinema in Krakow was, from our jury's point of view, a great success. The festival, which is only four years old, is one of the most well organised and friendly I've visited. The FIPRESCI jury, and most other guests, were treated like VIPs, each member having their own 'guardian angel' or 'nanny', to see that we were well looked after and got where we had to be on time. The festival itself has a very wide-ranging programme, including the best of the years' indies, and New Asian, Irish and German Cinema. Most interesting was the Polish film section and the strong one - which we judged - first and second movies. A money prize was given to the winner of the FIPRESCI award.
Guests, who gave 'master classes' were Tim Roth, Roger Christian and Richard Jenkins. Giving it a Polish slant was Andrej Wajda (85) who was present from the start, and Jerzy Skolimowski (head of the main jury) who also had an exhibition of his paintings. The films were very well attended, mostly by enthusiastic young people. Szymon Miszczak, the 29-year-old festival director (the youngest of a leading festival in existence?) sets the youthful tone. I hope that this will be the beginning of a beautiful friendship between FIPRESCI and Off Camera Plus. (Ronald Bergan)
International Festival of Independent Cinema Off Plus Camera: www.offcamera.pl