Jacob Mendez
Jacob Mendez

Girl Power on Mastercard OFF CAMERA! A celebration of films about female strength and independence

The third of four thematic sections, which was prepared especially for this year’s 17th edition of Mastercard OFF CAMERA, it does not deal with male fantasies about girlhood that abound in culture. “Girl Power!” I propose diverse, complicated, sometimes funny, sometimes touching film representations of girls and adolescent girls, which fascinate and interest us with their strength, tenacity and sense of humor (…) – announces Grzegorz Stępniak, artistic director of the Festival. The films shown in the section focus on the differences between the heroines. Clearly proving the power and relevance of the iconic slogan from the second half of the 1990s -GirlPower.

In 2024, the OFF CAMERA will be awarded for the second time as part of Mastercard prestigious Female Voice Award worth PLN 50,000, recognizing courage and the uncompromising nature of women in Polish cinema who are not afraid to follow their own path. This distinction, awarded for contribution to the development and promotion of the female voice in cinematography, was first received in 2023 by director Klaudia Śmieja-Rostworowska, producer of the Polish-British-American drama “The Silent Twins”. This award, sponsored by BNP Paribas and Mastercard, is an important contribution of the Festival to promoting equality in the world of cinematography, emphasizing the importance of a female vision in film art and encouraging the continued creation of bold, inspiring works.

Before the Female Voice Award is presented, let’s check what films you will be able to see during the 17th edition of Mastercard OFF CAMERA at the turn of April and May this year.

“Ama Gloria”

A moving film about the unusual relationship between six-year-old Cléo and her nanny. Gloria, from the Cape Verde Islands, faces the difficult choice of returning to her country. Faced with the inevitable separation, Gloria suggests to Cléo’s father that he let her spend their last summer together with the girl on the Cape Verde Islands. The journey together becomes an opportunity for Cléo to discover a new culture and experience a rich palette of emotions.

Marie Amachoukela’s independent directorial debut turned out to be one of… major discoveries of the last festival in Cannes. The decoration of this tender, very attentive story about love, family, strong bonds and separation is the excellent role of the young debutant Louise Mauroy-Panzani. “Àma Gloria” is a film that will melt even the hardest hearts.

Direction: Marie Amachoukeli

Scenario: Marie Amachoukeli, Pauline Guéna (collaboration)

Awards: Thessaloniki IFF – Golden Alexander; Jerusalem IFF – Best foreign film; Pingyao IFF – Jury Award

“Girls Are Alright”

Five young actresses go to the countryside to prepare for a new theater performance. In a picturesque house, away from the city, they combine role work with sharing personal experiences. Surrounded by nature, in elegant costumes, they develop mutual relationships, mixing professional and private life, which emphasizes their feminine energy, care and solidarity.

As the Spanish director Itsaso Arana, who is also making her debut in a full-length film and also plays one of the main roles, argues, her film is above all, a story about friendship and reconciliation between women. Born of boldness, courage, disobedience and admiration for the group of actresses we see on the screen.

Directed by: Itsaso Arana

Screenplay: Itsaso Arana


Khédidja, a black nanny from Paris, goes to Corsica for the summer with her teenage daughters Jessica and Farah, where she works for a family. While her daughters enjoy their vacation, Khédidja struggles with painful memories of her past connected with this place. Their stay reveals the daughters’ youthful feelings and leads to a confrontation with a difficult family history.

Directed by Catherine Corsini

Screenplay: Catherine Corsini

“Light Light Light”

In 1986, young Maria moves to a village in Finland, where she meets fifteen-year-old Mimi. Twenty years later, returning to care for his sick mother, Maria has strong memories of that time.

A Finnish director with great sensitivity builds a story about growing up in the shadow of overwhelming fear. It talks about the power of feeling and the beauty of youth, contrasting it with the heroine’s adult life, in which there is much less light in the title.

Directed by: Inari Niemi

Script: Juuli Niemi


Seventeen-year-old Manon, a hockey enthusiast, runs away from her home in the Swiss mountains and sets off alone to France to find her missing father. This journey becomes an opportunity for her to mature, confront the difficult past and reflect on the future.

Uncertainty, feeling lost, searching for one’s place, and therefore feelings so well known to many teenagers, become the leitmotif of the moving film directed by Hugues Hariche. As the creator of one of the most interesting titles of the last festival in Locarno argues, he wanted to show dilemmas typical for a heroine at this age, in a world where everything is available, nothing is given, and everything has to be fought for.

Director: Hugues Hariche

Screenplay: Joanne Giger, Hugues Hariche

“Vera and the Pleasure of Others”

Seventeen-year-old Vera, a seemingly ordinary student and volleyball player, secretly rents an empty apartment for her peers. This funny South American debut is a fresh, spicy and coming-of-age story. With a great role from the young, talented Luciana Grasso.

Director: Romina Tamburello, Federico Actis

Screenplay: Romina Tamburello, Federico Actis

Soon, Mastercard OFF CAMERA will present films that will be available to watch as part of the last, fourth thematic section prepared especially for 2024. However, it is worth noting that in Krakow, as every year, you will be able to see the best films from around the world as part of the permanent “Festival Hits” section “, as well as a review of cinema from overseas, i.e. “American Independents”. A detailed schedule of film screenings, as well as the program of the Film Town, Outdoor Cinemas and the series section will be presented in early April. Already in March, we will also meet the first guests who will come to Wawel for the May long weekend to meet cinema fans as part of the Festival.

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