Palm Springs – January 11, 2014— Today, the Palm Springs International Film Festival named Andrzej Wajda’s Walesa: Man of Hope as the winner of HP Bridging the Borders Award offered by Cinema Without Borders. Carlos Agulló’s Plot for Peace, from South Africa, took home Cinema Without Borders’ Special Jury
Vladek Juszkiewicz, director of the Polish Film Festival Los Angeles, received HP’s Bridging The Borders Award on behalf of Andrzej Wajda for Walesa, The Man Of Hope. The prize for HP Bridging The Borders Award is an HP ZBook 15 with a built-in HP DreamColor display, a $3000 value. The prize was provided by HP, who sponsors the awa
This year’s nominees for the award were CIRCLES (Serbia), MONK WITH A CAMERA (USA), PLOT FOR PEACE (South Africa), THE SQUARE (Egypt), UNDER THE SAME SUN (Israel), and WALESSA: MAN OF HOPE (Poland)
The award luncheon for the 2014 Palm Springs International Film Festival was held at Spencer’s Restaurant in Palm Springs, where Bijan Tehrani, Editor-in-Chief of Cinema Without Borders announced the Bridging The Borders Award winner.
“At Cinema Without Borders, we are proud to be a part of the Palm Springs International Film Festival’s celebration of world cinema by bestowing our Bridging the Borders Award to a film that helps bring the people of our world closer together. Contining with tradition, our staff has chosen a second outstanding film for a Special Jury Award. The film that garnered the Cinema Without Borders Special Jury Award is Plot for Peace from South Africa, directed by Carlos Agulló. Agulló’s exciting film shows how one man could use his good will to bring peace to a troubling part of the world and put a stop to racism. The Special Jury Award winner receives a certificate for an upcoming Method Acting Intensive provided by The Lee Strasberg Theater & Film Institute in West Hollywood, CA—valued at $2000.”
“The film that shone the brightest and earned HP’s 2013 Bridging the Borders Award presented by Cinema Without Borders takes the audience through the life of Lech Walesa and shows how his activism and philanthropy helped develop democracy, expand human rights, and brings all the people from different pockets of society together to overcome cruel tyranny and give strength to the rest of the world in the struggle to find peace. Walesa: Man Of Hope, directed by the outstanding Andrzej Wajda, is the winner of the 2014 HP Bridging The Borders Award.“ said Bijan Tehrani, Editor In Chief of Cinema Without Borders.
In an award acceptance letter to Cinema Without Borders, read by Mr. Vladek Juszkiewicz, Mr. Andrzej Wajda expressed his gratitude:
“Dear Jury of Bridging The Borders Award 2014, Dear Audience, The Award bestowed on my film WAŁĘSA: MAN OF HOPE touched me deeply, not only because it is my Film, but more so because of Lech Wałęsa, about whom I present on the screen. His accomplishment will be remembered not only in the history of Poland but also for its impact worldwide. The fact that this was done by a Polish worker is even more remarkable. I am really sorry that I cannot be with you in person to receive this distinguished Award, but my current health condition precludes such a long trip. Please accept my sincere thanks for that Award. The WAŁĘSA film was created with the hope of bringing closer together people who love freedom. Andrzej Wajda—Warsaw, 01-11-2014″
When asked about Cinema Without Borders jury choices, Darryl Macdonald—Director of the Palm Springs International Film Festival—said, “The Bridging the Borders Award is based on the same principles as the film festival’s core mission: to build bridges of cross-cultural understanding through the medium of film. This year’s winner of the Award, Walessa: Man of Hope, and its Special Jury Award honoree, Plot for Peace, are perfect examples of films that do just that.”
“HP congratulates Andrzej Wajda, winner of the 2014 Bridging Borders Award.” said Jeff Wood, Vice President, Worldwide Product Management, Commercial Solutions Business Unit, HP. “As the leading workstation provider for the media & entertainment industry, we understand the important role that technology plays in artists bringing their visions to life and HP is committed to help bridge the world’s cultural gaps through art, entertainment, and technology.”
Walesa. Man of Hope (Walesa. Czlowiek z nadziei)
Poland, 2013, 127 Minute Running Time
Language: Polish English Sub-Titles
1970, Gdansk. The Communist authorities bloodily repress a workers’ protest. Among them: Lech Walesa, an ordinary shipyard electrician. Refusing to submit, he founds a new movement, Solidarity, and embarks on a “quiet revolution” that will not only topple the dictatorship in Poland, but eventually bring down the Iron Curtain and end the Cold War.
There could no more appropriate filmmaker for this biopic than Andrzej Wajda, the 87-year-old Polish master whose illustrious career includes such epochal works as “Kanal” and “A Generation”, important historical dramas like Danton and Katyn, and who gave cinematic expression to the ideals of Solidarity in his masterpieces, “Man of Marble” and “Man of Iron”.
Skillfully incorporating reams of archival material, the movie is structured around an interview with the famously tough Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci. It finds its focal point in the dichotomy between Walesa’s working class domestic life and the world-changing role he wound up playing, no doubt attributable to his bullish charm, conviction and charisma, all qualities very much to the fore in Robert Wieckiewicz’s brilliant portrait of the man.
DIRECTOR: Andrzej Wajda
Producer: Michal Kwiecinski
Editor: Grazyna Gradon, Milenia Fiedler
Screenwriter: Janusz Glowacki
Cinematographer: Pawel Edelman
Music: Pawel Mykietyn
Principal Cast: Robert Wieckiewicz, Agnieszka Grochowska, Maria Rosario Omaggio, Zbigniew Zamachowski, Cezary Kosinski
Filmography: Katyn (2007)
Man of Iron (1981)
Man of Marble (1977)
Ashes and Diamonds (1958)
A Generation (1955)
Plot for Peace
South Africa, 2013, 84 Minute Running Time
Language: English English Sub-Titles
The death of Nelson Mandela unleashed a torrent of tributes and reminiscences – but not many secrets.
In the fascinating documentary Plot for Peace, the French businessman Jean-Yves Ollivier lets out a doozy. Turns out that throughout the 1980s, this rather nondescript man traveled up-and-down the African continent, and back-and-forth to Europe with the goal of brokering a peace between warring African factions and Cold War combatants; in so doing, he made way for the end of apartheid in South Africa. That he succeeded at all is extremely impressive; the fact that he did so without diplomatic credentials and in virtual secrecy verges on the miraculous.
How did Ollivier manage to win the trust of African’s most bitter enemies? The only man to receive highest honors by both the last stalwart of apartheid, P.W. Botha, and the first President of the new South Africa, Nelson Mandela, Ollivier proves that his skills as a businessman and negotiator may be surpassed by his one true calling: that of master storyteller.Winner: Jury and Audience Awards, Galway, São Paolo, and Hamptons Film Festivals
DIRECTOR: Carlos Agulló
Producer: Mandy Jacobson
Editor: Carlos Agulló
Screenwriter: Stephen Smith
Cinematographer: Rita Noriega, Diego Ollivier
Music: Antony Partos
Principal Cast: Jean-Yves Ollivier, Thabo Mbeki, Pik Botha, Winnie Mandela, Chester Crocker
Photos by Maya Hooshivar, CWB’s Event Editor