Cinematographers’ Debuts Competition was initiated in 2010 due to the Festival’s increasing openness to the noteworthy artists and the new film phenomena they create. The idea of creating additional competition section was a natural consequence of our previous activities. For years we have been promoting innovative projects that combine intellectual freedom, remarkable insight into world affairs and a desire to inspire other artists of the screen.

Cinematographers’ Debuts Competition bring new discoveries: great movies of high artistic value and great filmmakers whose new ventures surprise not only the Jury members but all audiences around the world as well.

Competition is under the patronage of Polish Filmmakers Association.




After Spring Comes Fall

Mina is a young Kurdish refugee who after tragic events leaves war-torn Syria for Germany. All she wants is to live a normal life; however, being an illegal immigrant narrows her options. One day, three strangers break into her flat and by means of torture they force the poor girl to be their agent. Her task is to follow an oppositionist professor. Left with no choice, as the attackers know too much about the people close to her heart, Mina makes contact with her target, informing him that she is a journalist interested in broadening her horizons on what is really happening in Syria. With each subsequent meeting with the professor she slowly comes to hate herself, as she realizes the harm she is doing to a good man who wants to see her country free and beautiful again. After Spring Comes Fall tells the story of a woman forced to become a part of a game she does not understand, a game in which there are no winners—only the defeated.
Original title: Kafkanistan
Director: Daniel Carsenty
Cinematographer: Johannes Waltermann
Produced by: Film University Babelsberg KONRAD WOLF
Germany, 2015

Here After, The

When John returns home to his father after serving time in prison, he is looking forward to starting his life afresh. However, in the local community, his crime is neither forgotten nor forgiven. John’s presence brings out the worst in everyone around him and a lynch-mob atmosphere slowly takes shape. Feeling abandoned by his former friends and the people he loves, John loses hope and the same aggressions that previously sent him to prison start building up again. Unable to leave the past behind, he decides to confront it.
Original title: Efterskalv
Polish title: Intruz
Director: Magnus von Horn
Cinematographer: Łukasz Żal
Produced by: Lava Films, Zentropa International Sweden, Cinema Defacto
Poland, Sweden, France, 2015
Polish distributor: Gutek Film


Pennsylvania, 1854. In the seemingly infinite woods adjacent to a little town, a poor family of German immigrants—John Linden and his widowed sister-in-law together with two young boys—make an improvised campsite, trying to make ends meet. The adults can barely withstand the hardships of everyday life, but the children seem unoccupied with such matters. When John, a manual worker in a nearby coal mine, tries to teach his nephews that life is brutal and will not be bent to their wishes, he does not expect that his words will be realized so soon. The boys’ sudden disappearance makes quite a stir within the local community, which previously did not seem to notice their new neighbours. It is not long before two ways of living and cultures of thinking start to clash, both in social and religious terms, leading to many unpleasant events. Before they ever realize what is happening, Kinderwald’s meek immigrants become fully exposed to brutal forces which they cannot fully comprehend.
Original title: Kinderwald
Director: Lise Raven
Cinematography: William Dejessa
Produced by: Kinderwald Film
USA, 2014

Lost, The

During the 1930s, German cinema was flourishing and one of the most innovative and promising in the Europe. But then it was completely destroyed in the name of the already powerful ideology that would set the world on fire in years to come. The Lost is a project that is literally one of a kind: by using fragments of the never-completed German film Die Verlorenen and supplementing them with new scenes, it offers different ways of looking at the events mentioned. The young British writer Christopher comes to Berlin and stays with the Troika cabaret. It is there that he experiences the already collapsing social freedom and becomes a part of weird experiments that are designed to conquer death. Shot as (mostly) black-and-white film from the 1930s, and with the use of many avant-garde tricks, The Lost is an unconventional moving picture that blends reality and fiction to pay a beautiful homage to a part of the history of cinema that cannot be brought to life ever again.
Original title: Die Verlorenen
Director: Reynold Reynolds
Cinematography: Imogen Heath
Produced by: Artstudio Reynolds
Germany, 2015


One single moment can change a person’s life forever, marking it with pain and suffering. That was the case with Ana and Leo, siblings afflicted by a childhood trauma that made it impossible for them to find a normal way into adulthood. Separated in their youth, unable to cope with the heart-breaking memories of an idyllic past that had become unbearable due to an inexplicable decision made by their father, the two exist in an emotional void. Ana lives on the thin line between reality and sexual fantasy, exchanging affection and tenderness for increasingly dangerous physical sensations. Leo, however, works in a factory and is a sad loner who is not able to enter into any kind of meaningful human relationship, while his most important attachment is to a stray dog which he took in from the street. Is there any hope for a normal life for them? Plástico is a tale about different experiences of being lost, told with images and sounds rather than words.
Original title: Plástico
Director: Ricardo Soto
Cinematography: Miguel Zetina
Produced by: Centro de Capacitación Cinematográfica
Mexico, 2015

Songs My Brothers Taught Me

Johnny and Jashaun are brother and sister who grew up in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota, a place full of good, loyal people who cannot learn how to cope with the surrounding reality without taking comfort in alcohol—just as many Lakotas have done throughout the decades of the white colonization of the North American continent. Johnny loves his people, but at the same time he would like to leave this place with no future, to see the world, to experience something new. He is fully aware of the fact that his absence will make life much harder for his alcoholic mother and younger sister, but he still plans to travel to Los Angeles with his girlfriend. Feeling betrayed, Jashaun explores her surroundings in search of a surrogate brother. Songs My Brothers Taught Me gives its audience a fascinating glimpse into the harsh, but at the same time full of small pleasures, life in a place forgotten by the inhabitants of big cities and the mainstream media.
Original title: Songs My Brothers Taught Me
Director: Chloe Zhao
Cinematography: Joshua James Richards
Produced by: HEART-headed Productions, Forest Whitaker's Significant Productions
USA, 2015



Anna “Dino” Dinovic is a twenty-something Swede who emigrated along with thousands of other young people to adjacent Norway in search of good jobs and the fulfilment of their life passions. However, her stay in Oslo is not going the way she wanted. It certainly does not help that Dino feels lost and has no idea what she would like to become in the future. Everything changes when she accidentally gets an odd job babysitting in the affluent house of Steffen Dahl. Energetic, strong, and independent Dino soon finds herself being courted by the lonely man and idolized by his two daughters. The safe and boring Dahl household is plunged into a state of emotional chaos. Will the girl’s presence be a positive influence on the family, or a destructive force? Underdog is a contemporary humanist story about people trying to reinvent themselves, and a timely tale set in the reality of the economic crisis that shifted power from Sweden to Norway.
Original title: Svenskjävel
Director: Ronnie Sandahl
Cinematography: Ita Zbroniec-Zajt
Produced by: Cinenic Film
Sweden, Norway, 2014