Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

Another film section of Mastercard OFF CAMERA 2024. We should all act “For a good cause”

Among the presented productions you will be able to see: stories full of tension, moral dilemmas and unexpected plot twists, that encourage reflection on the meaning of justice and the consequences of human actions.

“The issues surrounding crimes and offenses have invariably been one of the favorite topics in cinema and not only among viewers around the world for several dozen years. This is evidenced by the popularity of ‘true crime’ series and podcasts, literally devoured by the audience,” says Grzegorz Stępniak , Artistic Director of Mastercard OFF CAMERA. “No wonder, after all, few things keep you in suspense as much as a well-constructed and told criminal intrigue. The conventions of courtroom dramas and those about playing with the legal system have recently been willingly and skillfully rewritten by artists and creators of artistic cinema.. What does the Palme d’Or at the last festival in Cannes show for Justine Triet and her elaborate variation on this genre – “Anatomy of a Fall” – adds director Stępniak.

So let’s check what films you can see in the “For a Just Cause” section in Krakow at the turn of April and May.

The film “A Silence” is a story about a well-to-do French family whose peaceful life is suddenly disturbed. François, a successful lawyer, is on the verge of resolving a high-profile court case that attracts media attention. His wife, Astrid, and adopted children are already accustomed to life in the spotlight. However, the house that was supposed to be a refuge for them becomes an arena of drama when a long-hidden family secret is revealed.. A painful fight for justice begins, forcing the heroes to face their past.

Lafosse’s shocking film is inspired by true events that shocked all of France. This story about responsibility and consequences of misunderstood discretion, Thanks to the subdued direction and excellent performances by Emmanuelle Devos and Daniel Auteuil, it stays in your memory long after the screening.

Director: Joachim Lafosse

Screenplay: Joachim Lafosse, Chloé Duponchelle, Paul Ismael, Thomas Van Zuylen

Photos: Jean-François Hensgens

Cast: Emmanuelle Devos, Daniel Auteuil, Matthieu Galoux, Salomé Dewaels, Jeanne Cherhal

In Selman Nacar’s film, the action takes place in less than 24 hours in which Canan, a lawyer specializing in criminal law, must make an important moral choice that determines her future. Dividing his time between working in court and caring for his mother in the hospital, Canan faces a life-changing dilemma when his client’s verdict is announced.

“Hesitation Wound” is a suspenseful courtroom drama, focused on issues related to morality and justice. These are not accidental topics, as they have fascinated the director since his own law studies. Awarded at festivals in Zurich and Brussels, the film stimulates reflection on the system of values, that guide each of us on a daily basis, also showing the consequences of the decision once made.

Directed by: Selman Nacar

Screenplay: Selman Nacar

Photos: Tudor Vladimir Panduru

Cast: Tülin Özen, Oğulcan Arman Uslu, Gülçin Kültür Şahin, Vedat Erincin, Erdem Şenocak

Awards: Zurich International Film Festival – Best International Film; Brussels IFF – Grand Prix

A new production by Pascal Plante, inspired by the film “Seven” by David Fincher and the series “Mindhunter”. The main character, model Kelly-Ann (played by Juliette Gariépy), is obsessively interested in the accused man. She spends her days in court trying to make contact with him, huh negatively affects her career and personal life. Reality begins to mix with fantasy, especially after Kelly-Ann discovers her existence mysterious “red rooms” on the dark web, where the murderer allegedly broadcast his crimes.

Pascal Plante’s film, awarded at international festivals, combining elements of horror and thriller, explores the dark side of human nature. In “Red Rooms”, the Canadian director reflects on the problem of trivializing evil and its attractive force, which is difficult to explain.

Directed by: Pascal Plante

Screenplay: Pascal Plante

Photos: Vincent Biron

Music: Dominique Plante

Cast: Juliette Gariépy, Laurie Babin, Elisabeth Locas, Maxwell McCabe-Lokos

Awards: Fantasia FF – Best film, Best script, Best role (Juliette Gariépy), Best music; Brooklyn Horror FF – Best Film, Best Actress (Juliette Gariépy); ToHorror FF – Best Film, Audience Award

Michael Duignan’s directorial debut, The Paragon, is a tribute to 80s fantasy, mixing a battle of forces, mind control and the search for a powerful cosmic crystal. Built on atmosphere over special effects and made for $25,000, the film takes viewers to Auckland, where two characters – former tennis coach Dutch, seeking revenge, and the mysterious Lyra – discover extraordinary powers. Lyra’s brother is involved in the action, Haxan, seeks to take over the world with the help of a magical crystal, providing viewers with both action and entertainment.

All this makes “The Paragon” an original, low-budget fantasy comedy born out of sincere passion.

Directed by: Michael Duignan

Screenplay: Michael Duignan

Photos: Michael Duignan

Music: Lucola

Cast: Michelle Ang, Benedict Wall, Florence Nobel, Jonny Brugh, Jessica Grace Smith, Shadon Meredith

Ellias Barnès, a 30-year-old talented fashion designer, faces the professional opportunity of life in a Parisian fashion house. However, the sudden death of his father forces him to return to his hometown of Montréal, a city he left years ago. This return becomes for Ellias a painful journey to the past from which he tried to escape. Xavier Legrand’s film shows a confrontation with long-forgotten demons.

After his brilliant and award-winning feature debut “It’s Not Over Yet” (2017), French director Xavier Legrand returns to the topic of toxic family relationships and the legacy we may be burdened with as a result of them. He wonders to what extent they shape us and whether we are able to free ourselves from them at all. Skillfully using the film form, he builds a tense story that has something of a dark drama, but also a psychological horror.

Directed by: Xavier Legrand

Screenplay: Xavier Legrand

Photos: Nathalie Durand

Cast: Marc-André Grondin, Yves Jacques, Louis Champagne, Anne-Elisabeth Bossém, Blandine Bury

In 1981, in a Danish fishing town, the new RF2 lifeboat, considered unsinkable, sinks on its first mission. The captain of the boat is blamed for the disaster, and his son Henrik decides to investigate, encountering resistance from the community fearing the loss of his job and the authorities trying to avoid a scandal. Christian Andersen’s film also shows the impact of the tragedy on Henrik’s family, testing their mutual relationships.

Nominated for five Danish film awards and a story about trying to find the truth at all costs, Unsinkable is inspired by true events.

Directed by: Christian Andersen

Screenplay: Christian Andersen

Photos: Loui Ladegaard

Music: Anders Malta, Jonas Struck

Cast: Katherine Høj Andersen, Anders Baggesen, Lotte Bergstrøm, Jørgen Bing, Henrik Birch

Two years after his father died in an accident, teenage Fernando and Salvador with his half-sister they set off in a jeep to the Mexico-US border, unaware of her true purpose for the expedition. The young people want to find and punish the truck driver responsible for the accident, according to the “eye for an eye” principle. A journey full of tension and twists becomes an opportunity for them to confront their fears, understand the bond that connects them, and try to come to terms with the past.

Combining elements of a thriller, a road movie and a coming-of-age story, “Upon Open Sky” is a story about a family, made by a family.. The script was written by Guillermo Arriaga, back in the 1990s, known for his fruitful cooperation with Alejandro González Iñárritu. It was directed by his children: Mariana and Santiago, for whom this is their feature-length debut.

Director: Mariana Arriaga, Santiago Arriaga

Screenplay: Guillermo Arriaga

Photos: Julián Apezteguía

Music: Ludovico Einaudi

Cast: Theo Goldin, Federica Garcia, Maximo Hollander, Julio Cesar Cedillo, Sergio Mayer Mori Year of production: 2023

This year’s, seventeenth edition of the International Festival of Independent Cinema Mastercard OFF CAMERA will take place in Krakow from April 26 to May 5.