FIRST PROGRAM ANNOUNCEMENT OF THE 21ST MDAG!

The winners of the Grand Jury Prize at this year's ("A New Kind of Wilderness”) and last year's ("The Eternal Memory") World Cinema - Documentary Comptetion at Sundance festival will have their Polish premieres during MDAG. These two excellent films will be accompanied by Polish documentary "The Last Expedition” by Eliza Kubarska, telling the story of the outstanding mountaineer - Wanda Rutkiewicz. Millennium Docs Against Gravity starts announcing the program for the 21st edition with these strong propositions.

The largest Polish film festival will take place from May 10th to 19th in eight cities (Warsaw, Wrocław, Gdynia, Poznań, Katowice, Łódź, Bydgoszcz, and Lublin), followed by an online edition from May 21st to June 3rd on mdag.pl. The titular sponsor of the event is Bank Millennium (https://www.bankmillennium.pl/). 

Eliza Kubarska's Perspective on Wanda Rutkiewicz

The first announced Polish film in the 21st MDAG program is a story unlike any other about the great Polish Himalayan climber - "The Last Expedition." Wanda Rutkiewicz is a strong, uncompromising woman who boldly entered the male world of high-altitude expeditions. She was the first European and the first person from Poland to climb on Mount Everest. As the first woman in the world and again the first from Polish, she stood on K2 - the most difficult of the eight-thousanders. In the new film by mountaineer and director Eliza Kubarska, known to festival audiences from the incredibly popular "The Wall of Shadows," we witness the highs and lows of Wanda's life. She disappeared in 1992, and her body was never found. To this day, some claim she hid in a Buddhist monastery. The main narrative axis of the film is the discovered mysterious audio diary of Wanda, recorded by the mountaineer six months before her disappearance. In a philosophical manner, it addresses life's most important topics, such as motherhood, male-female relationships, marriage, and also raises questions about the meaning of practicing mountaineering and the meaning of life in general. The film also features conversations with international mountain community stars: Reinhold Messner, Krzysztof Wielicki, or Carlos Carsolio, as well as people privately associated with the protagonist - her sister Janina Fies or friend Marion Feik. The director follows Wanda's footsteps in the Himalayas. What will she discover there?

Sundance Hits at MDAG

Winner of this year’s Grand Jury Prize at Sundance "A New Kind of Wilderness" by Silje Evensmo Jacobsen - a story about whether living in isolation from society can bring happiness -  will have its premiere in Poland in May at MDAG. 

On a small farm in the Norwegian forest, lives the Payne family, seeking freedom in life away from civilization. Maria and Nik, along with their children - Ulv, Falk, Freja, and Ronja - are self-sufficient. They homeschool and strive for maximum closeness within the family and contact with nature. However, when tragedy strikes the family, their idyllic world begins to crumble. This forces them to chart a new life path towards society. In the film "A New Kind of Wilderness," director Silje Evensmo Jacobsen captures an intimate and profound portrait of love and growing up. The triumphs and struggles of the family not only prompt reflection on our own choices but also on our responsibility to the planet and children. It also shows how to deal with life's loss.

Soon we will learn about more films from Sundance 2024, which will be included in the MDAG program, but there will also be two hits from the previous edition of the iconic American festival - "The Eternal Memory" by Maite Alberdi and "The Disappearance of Shere Hite" by Nicole Newnham. Both films will be seen by the Polish audience for the first time during Millennium Docs Against Gravity.

The first of them received the Grand Jury Prize for Best Foreign Documentary Film and is nominated for an Oscar® in the Best Feature Documentary category. Its director doesn't need an introduction to the festival audience because "The Mole Agent" by Maite Alberdi was one of the MDAG hits in 2021. This time, the outstanding Chilean director tells a story about the beautiful love at the twilight of life. Augusto and Paulina have been together for 25 years. Eight years ago, Augusto was diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease, and since then, his wife has been taking care of him. As one of Chile's most important commentators and television presenters, Augusto is well-versed in creating a memory archive. He rebuilt trust in the media after Pinochet's dictatorship and faced the immense evil caused by the systematic erasure of collective consciousness. Now he focuses on the same work concerning his life, trying to maintain his identity with the support of his beloved wife. Day by day, the couple faces this challenge, adapting to disruptions caused by the debilitating disease. They rely on tenderness and humor, which allows them to face adversity.

The second film from last year's Sundance, which the Polish audience will see at MDAG, is "The Disappearance of Shere Hite" by Nicole Newnham. It's a story about an outstanding woman whose legacy has been forgotten. "The Hite Report," a groundbreaking study of women's intimate experiences, remains one of the best-selling books of all time since its release in 1976. Based on anonymous survey responses, its charismatic author Shere Hite challenged limited concepts of sexuality and opened a dialogue in popular culture around women's pleasure. The feminist sex researcher and former model became a spokesperson for women's secret confessions. With each subsequent bestseller, she engaged television moguls in debates about sexuality, while experiencing sharp reactions to the controversial results of her research. Few remember Shere Hite today. What led to her oblivion? Delving into exclusive archives, as well as the protagonist's personal journals, Nicole Newnham takes viewers back to the times of the sexual revolution.

Soon we will learn more about the 21st MDAG, including more hits from the most important international festivals, guests, jury members, concerts, and additional events. Millennium Docs Against Gravity will take place from May 10th to 19th in eight cities (Warsaw, Wrocław, Gdynia, Poznań, Katowice, Łódź, Bydgoszcz, and Lublin), followed by an online edition from May 21st to June 3rd on mdag.pl.