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Stefan Laudyn: My Definition of “Good Film”: To Tell a Good Story in Modern Film Language

 

  It has been 27 years since Stefan Laudyn began to chair the Warsaw International Film Festival in 1991. Laudyn has expertise in holding international film festivals. Early at the beginning of the planning of Beijing International Film Festival, he shared his valuable experience with the Organizing Committee. He said that, the first session of Beijing International Film Festival held seven years ago was a grand event; nowadays, this festival has drawn great attention worldwide, and grown into a reputable international film festival.

  This time I come to Beijing 

  with the supreme-level Polish filmmaker delegation

  Stefan Laudyn is a frequenter to Beijing International Film Festival. This session witnesses his 7th-time call. “I think this year’s festival is the best among those sessions I have attended. For the eight sessions that have been held in total, I have been present at seven. This time is different, because I come here not alone, but together with 14 Polish film workers.” Our large-sized delegation is comprised of Polish filmmakers whose films are to be screened here as well as Polish producers who come here seeking for cooperation with Chinese filmmakers. In particular, Chairman of the Polish Film Institute and Chairman of the Film Commission Poland are also present. This is the supreme-level Polish filmmaker delegation we can imagine, which also demonstrates the great importance we attached to Beijing International Film Festival. Laudyn said that, after recent years of development, Beijing International Film Festival has been increasingly important on the world stage. He suggested to enhance communications and exchanges between Chinese and worldwide filmmakers. “Beijing International Film Festival has provided a good platform for communication among worldwide filmmakers. For example, during this visit, our delegation will take part in some activities and forums arranged in advance, through which we will communicate, or even discuss cooperation matters with Chinese filmmakers and film companies.” Every film worker dreams of such opportunity, but such opportunity is not available to everyone. I have attended Beijing International Film Festival for seven times. I understand how it operates, and have acquaintances here. However, for newcomers, it is hard to get opportunities of exchange. I expect to see more and closer communications between Chinese filmmakers or film companies and film workers from across the world. ”

  Wait and see

  Hope to open a new chapter of Sino-Polish films

  When it comes to his expectations on Beijing International Film Festival, Laudyn said: “My expectation is to meet and communicate with Chinese filmmakers, which has been met.” I am glad that we have had a range of high-quality conservations. However, I don’t know what will happen subsequently. We felt good during the conversations, but when we go back to daily life, we will newly consider or inspect previous projects. I’m optimistic. We have done what we should. So I’m expecting subsequent developments. I’m satisfied with the events I have taken part in. ”

  Regarding professional film forums held at Beijing International Film Festival, Laudyn said: “Mostly we discussed with representatives of Chinese film production and distribution companies on broad topics, of which co-productions accounted for the majority.” In addition, he said he met some acquaintances and talked with them about ongoing film projects: “In fact, these social contacts are very important. For the purpose of filmmaking cooperation with other countries, you have to go to the country and communicate with local filmmakers, or no cooperation will be possible.” Co-productions need stories——stories occurring between China and Poland. I will be glad to see an increasing number of Polish people go to China, or Chinese people go to Poland. A good story can occur only if people meet. Although our interactions with Chinese filmmakers are not frequent enough, I’m sure that our delegation is the supreme-level filmmaker delegation of our country. So, this may be a starting point, and may open a new chapter of Sino-Polish films. Let’s wait and see. ”

  My favorite

  Jia Zhangke and Andrzej Wajda

  When being asked about his favorite Chinese filmmaker, Laudyn answered without hesitation: “I admire Jia Zhangke best. I think among existing Chinese directors, he performs best in capturing and looking into Chinese spirit of the times.” A few years ago, he visited us in Poland, for which I feel very glad and proud. As to the panorama films at Beijing International Film Festival, he said he was busy about attending meetings and forums these days, and had no time to appreciate these excellent works in the cinema.

  Poland cultivated many great filmmakers to the world. Among them, director Andrzej Wajda has remained as his favorite, Laudyn said. “His films are classics of classics. It’s a pity that he departed two years ago. However, his works will always accompany us and remain fresh.” When hearing that the interviewer also liked a film of Andrzej Wajda’s——Ashes and Diamonds, Laudyn immediately replied: “Ashes and Diamonds is one of Wajda’s films in 1958. I also liked it very much.” He even clearly remembers the release time of Andrzej Wajda’s films, which also  demonstrates the director’s position in his heart.

  When being asked about the selection criteria of the Warsaw International Film Festival, Laudyn answered: “Our criteria can be summarized as ‘to tell a good story in modern film language’. This is also my definition of ‘good film’.” ”