More than 350 guests from abroad and 550 guests from Poland came to Wrocław: directors, producers, distributors, festival selectors and film critics. There were many outstanding artists among them:
Agnes Varda, the British artist Peter Greenaway, the British director Mike Figgis, directors of films presented in the competitions and filmmakers presented in the retrospectives: Guy Maddin, Jan Troell, Tsai Ming-Liang, Jennifer Reeves, Krzysztof Zanussi and Piotr Dumała.
The festival was opened by this year's winner of the Golden Palm of the Cannes festival, the latest film by Michael Haneke The White Ribbon (Das weiße Band), while the other opening film was Nymph (Nang mai) by Pen-ek Ratanaruang.
During this year's ENH festival, five competitions were held: New Horizons International Competition, Films About Art International Competition, New Polish Film Competition, European Short Film Competition and Polish Short Film Competition.
Films screened outside the competition were divided into the following sections:
- Retrospective of Swedish cinema, presenting modern films and a retrospective of films by Jan Troell
- Retrospective of contemporary Canadian cinema (including a retrospective of Guy Maddin)
- Films of the Hungarian New Wave
- Directors' retrospective, devoted to: Tsai Ming-Liang, Jennifer Reeves, Guy Maddin, Jan Troell, Krzysztof Zanussi and Piotra Dumała
- Special screenings
- Documentaries / Essays
- Third eye
- New horizons of film language
- Midnight Madness
- Silent Films with Live Music
- Screenings at the Wrocław Market Square
- Films for children
In the most important section, NEW HORIZONS International Competition, three prizes were awarded.
THE FESTIVAL'S MAIN AWARD - GRAND PRIX and 20,000 euro went to the film Hunger, directed by Steve McQueen (United Kingdom / Ireland 2008).
The verdict was given by the 5-person international jury, chaired by Joao Botelho (True and Tender Is the North - A Corte do Norte) - one of the most distinguished of Portuguese directors. The jurors were: Sebastián Lelio, the Chilean director of The Sacred Family / La sagrada familia, winner of the Grand Prix of the ERA NEW HORIZONS Festival in 2006, British Peter Strickland - director of Katalin Varga presented within the competition at this year's festival in Berlin and Polish artists Łukasz Barczyk and Leszek Wosiewicz.
The film Hunger by Steve McQueen (United Kingdom / Ireland 2008) won also the FILM CRITICS PRIZE with a financial award of 10,000 euro. The International Critics Jury consisted of: Krzysztof Świrek - winner of this year's Krzysztof Mętrak Competition (Poland), Daniel Vadocky (Slovakia), and Firat Yücel (Turkey).
THE AUDIENCE'S PRIZE, awarded by the festival's participants, went to Ivan Vyrypayev, director of the film Oxygen / Kislorod (Russia 2009).
The winning films will obtain a guarantee of distribution in Poland.
In the FILMS ABOUT ART International Competition, organised for the first time at this year's festival, the international jury gave the Best Film Award and 10,000 euro to FLicKeR, directed by Nik Sheenan (Canada 2008).
The jury gave a Special Prize to the film: Double Take directed by Johan Grimonprez (Belgium / Germany / Netherlands 2008).
The jury chaired by that visual artist and director, Katarzyna Kozyra, included Jay Weissberg - film critic (Variety), Marie Losier - French director, art curator and Tibor Szemzö - Hungarian composer and director.
The winning film will obtain a guarantee of distribution in Poland.
In the New Polish Film Competition, the Wrocław Film Award of 100 thousand PLN (60 thousand for the director and 40 thousand for the producer), founded by the Mayor of Wrocław, was given by the international jury to the film Snow White and Russian Red / Wojna polsko-ruska, directed by Xawery Żuławski, produced by Jacek Samojłowicz (Poland 2009).
The best debut award of 40 thousand PLN, founded by the Marshall of Lower Silesia was awarded by the jury to Mall Girls / Galerianki, directed by Katarzyna Rosłaniec produced by Włodzimierz Niderhaus (Poland 2009).
The jury was chaired by Hungarian director Martha Mészáros and its members were: British director Paweł Pawlikowski (My Summer of Love); Michael Brooke - British film critic, German director Emily Atef (Molly's Way) and Miroljub Vučković - director of the Belgrade festival.
Winners of the European Short Film Competition were selected by the audience:
- Among the documentaries the winner of the award and 1000 euro was the film The Last Journey of Maryse Lucas / Le Denier voyage de Maryse Lukas directed by David ledoux, Artus de Lavilléon, France 2008.
- Among the features the winner of the award and 1000 euro was the film Charmers (Zaríkávacky), directed by Gasper Snuderl, the Czech Republic 2008.
- Among the animations, the winner of the award and 1000 euro was the film Naiade / Naiade directed by Nadia Micault, Lorenzo Nanni, France 2008.
In the Polish Short Film Competition, which was also voted for by the audience, the following films won:
- Among the documentaries, the winner of the award and 8000 PLN was the film The Lucky Ones / Szczęściarze directed by Tomasz Wolski, Poland 2009.
- Among the features, the winner of the award and 5000 PLN was the film The Incident / Incydent directed by Jan Kwieciński, Poland 2009
- Among the animations, the winner of the award and 5000 PLN was the film Puppets / Marionetki directed by Michał Mróz, Maria Szymanek, Poland 2008
The competition is co-organised and the awards are funded by the Association of Polish Filmmakers.
At the festival, Krzysztof Zanussi's film Revisit / Rewizyta had its world premiere. In this film Zbigniew Zapasiewicz played his last role.
THE SPECIAL EVENTS OF THE FESTIVAL included screenings of silent films at the Wrocław Opera: Sir Arne's Treasure (Herr Arnes pengar) of 1919 with live music performed by Leszek Możdżer Trio; The Adventures of Prince Achmed (Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed) of 1926 with live music performed by Geoff Smith; Brand upon the Brain! by Guy Maddin with live performance by foley artists, narrator Gosia Dobrowolska and an orchestra.
There was also a Special Evening with Filmoteka Narodowa celebrate the 100th Anniversary of Polish Film, with a screening of the pre-war Polish films Tomb of the Unknown Soldier (Mogiła nieznanego żołnierza) and Prussian Culture (Pruska kultura) accompanied by a chamber orchestra conducted by Rafał Rozmus.
During the entire festival, behind the Wrocław Puppet Theatre, was the Gazeta Café, where meetings with artists and press conferences were held. In the halls of the Helios cinema were held conferences about the Polish films shown in the competitions.
During the festival was the Krzysztof Mętrak award gala. This year, the award went to Krzysztof Świrek.
The most important additional events at the festival included the installation by Jakub Szczęsny Cowards, Bend Your Knees! about the film Cowards Bend the Knee or The Blue Hands by Guy Maddin, the video-installation Erotic Space by Tsai Ming-Liang, installation by Piotr Dumała entitled Fight, Love and Work, and Directed by: Bergman by Bengt Wanselius.
At the festival club in the Arsenal, every evening saw concerts by bands and DJs' sets. 26 bands performed at the Arsenal, most of them from the countries in focus: Canada, Sweden and Hungary.
355 journalists and film critics from Poland and abroad were accredited at the festival.
For the fourth time the Festival's main patron was the City of Wrocław.
For the seventh time the festival's main sponsor was Polska Telefonia Cyfrowa, the ERA telephone operator.
The 10th ERA NEW HORIZONS International Film Festival will take place in Wrocław between the 22nd July and 1st August 2010.
The festival's programme will include a retrospective of French director Jean-Luc Godard, a review of young Turkish cinema, a retrospective of Polish filmmaker Wojciech Jerzy Has and many other attractions.