We have the full programme of Ars Independent 2019!

We take a bit of retro, a pinch of erotica, we spice it up with remix culture and found footage, served with a plate of audio-visuals, fresh out of the oven – here, the recipe for Ars Independent Festival 2019! We now have the event’s full programme, which will take place from September 24 to 29 in Katowice. The final festival pass pool is now available for sale.

Ars Independent Festival 2019 means 6 festival days and more than 40 multimedia events gathered together under the tagline #Unsubscribe. The programme will feature 138 films, animations, music videos, both shorts and features, including 28 Polish premieres – 2180 minutes of screenings! In addition, 38 video games and 10 events on the borders of various media. The event schedule is available on the festival website (arsindependent.pl).

Additionally, the final pool of festival passes is now on sale (priced at 100 PLN), and from September 10, tickets for individual events will be available for purchase (priced at 13 PLN each).

This year, the festival will visit 5 locations: you can find the festival center in Katowice City of Gardens, film screenings at the Światowid and Rialto cinemas, evenings with music videos and afterparties can be enjoyed in the club Drzwi Zwane Koniem and the closing ceremony – at the Katowice Youth Palace.

What events were revealed in the third, final festival announcement?

The Black Horse of Film

Traditionally, 6 films from debuting directors were nominated to the Black Horse of Film competition. The prize – the statuette and title of the Black Horse as well as 500 EUR – will be awarded by the festival audience in this and all other competitions.

A scorching summer in a decaying city, teenage heads filled with dreams of escaping to NY, smothering parents and a jealous ex – that’s Jasmin Mozaffari’s “Firecrackers” in a nutshell. #Girlpower and lots of crazy.

In her debut, “House of Hummingbird”, director Kim Bo-ra paints a universal portrait of a worn-down, battered Korean family living in a house of concrete – with a sharp, clear social context. A strong nostalgia for childhood sits right next to a particular absurdity and sensual texture of the film’s shots.

“Knife + Heart” by Yann Gonzalez – well-known to festival audiences from “You and the Night” (2013) – is a perverse slasher in the “giallo” horror subgenre. Told with neon-baroque pomp, it’s a story of a killer wearing a leather mask, who – armed with a lethal dildo – hunts down members of the gay porn industry.

Six scenes. Six years. Six moments, which shaped Jenny and Leon’s relationship and brought it to an end. In “Pink Wall”, Tom Cullen made a film within the cinematic poetics of Eric Rohmer and Richard Linklater, based in long conversations of two close people. A painful and very real study of the ruination of interpersonal bonds.

Erik Schmitt’s debut, “Cleo”, is a journey through Berlin we’ve never seen – surrealism and nostalgic cinema, all in one. Fans of Michel Gondry or Jean-Pierre Jeunet will feel at home, because Schmitt employs varied visual tricks, from animated sequences to optical illusions, efficiently utilizing them to enhance the story.

In Carlos Conceição’s “Serpentarius”, we’ll follow the desert trail through Africa’s post-apocalyptic frontier. A poetic, nostalgic experience about a desperate fight against the merciless passage of time.

The Black Horse of Animation

In three sets, the competition will introduce 32 short animations from all over the world. The mosaic of works by young authors will definitely surprise us with various aesthetic forms and topics which can only be told through the plastic medium of animation. There will be films which – quoting Gaba Palicka, the competition’s curator – “can wow, reach the ends of quality / weirdness / validity of social commentary.”

The Black Horse of Music Videos

Two sets of 30 vids will make up this year’s Black Horse of Music Videos. Every year, in the youngest of the festival’s competitions, we explore the YouTube frontier and music videos which have – to quote Maciek Gryzełko, the competition’s curator – “no hang-ups regarding their older, feature-length, big-screen brothers.” The list of nominees will only be revealed during the festival screening!

The Black Horse of Video Games

We will play (and vote for) the 7 nominees at the interactive exhibition at Katowice City of Gardens.

Lucas Pope is known for “Papers, Please” (2013) – a sim game depicting the life of a border agent in a totalitarian regime. He’s no less original in “Return of the Obra Dinn”. In Anno Domini 1802, the ship Obra Dinn left Falmouth, 60 passengers strong. 5 years later, only a wreck returned. Nobody reached their destination. The monochromatic visuals, baroque music, adventures straight from Verne’s pages and a murder mystery which – a rarity in games – doesn’t lead us by the hand.

Don’t like the rules? Change ‘em! Or more precisely: move ‘em! Hempuli Oy’s “Baba Is You” is one of the most inventive games in years – a puzzle game where the main gameplay mechanic is tampering with gameplay mechanics.

“FAR: Lone Sails” by Okomotive is perhaps the first interactive realization of a road film to truly shine. Manning a steam-powered vehicle, we embark on an odyssey through a post-apocalyptic world, but one without zombies. It’s an intimate, contemplative, beautiful journey.

In “The Missing: J.J. Macfield and the Island of Memories”, White Owls, Inc. tells an emotional tale about the search for a missing friend, through a mysterious, puzzle and trap-riddled island. You are constantly hurt: losing limbs on chainsaw blades to gain weights – here, self-harm contextualizes the ethical questions of happiness, pleasure and identity in the contemporary world.

On a rainy night, two friends, Arina and Frendt, dive into memories of their happy childhood. In The Voxel Agents’ “The Gardens Between”, we join the duo in discovering a touching past full of joy and levity, solving intriguing puzzles involving time manipulation.

The neo-noir “Katana Zero” from Askiisoft is a gripping arcade game pounding with contrasting colors, a mesmerizing soundtrack, thrilling action and a surprising – particularly in this journey – storyline.

“The Friends of Ringo Ishikawa” by the Russian game designer yeo is a postcard from the life of Ringo Ishikawa – a teenage gang leader on the precipice of the rest of his life. It’s up to us how he’ll spend his life’s final Autumn at school.

Out of competition

Together with Wiktor Stribog – author of the internet phenomenon “Mushroom Land” – and the group Tajny Projekt, we invite you to a unique VJ / DJ set. Premiering at Ars Independent: Back to the Mushroom Land to the rhythm of the recently released “Poradnik Uśmiechu OST” soundtrack album.

MTV: Modulartelevision is an audio-visual project by members of the Katowice Sound Department collective. Using modular synthesizers and CRT screens, a space-experience will be created that combines a concert, an improvised session and an audiovisual installation.

What if fictional characters could hear a voice over, telling them what to do – but couldn’t escape it? This year, The World’s Smallest Cinema will screen the fourth wall-breaking tale – and winner of last year’s Black Horse of animation – “The Voice Over”.

“Mayonnaise, informally mayo (‘sauce mayonnaise’ in French), is an emulsified cold condiment with a variety of uses, considered a mother sauce,” adds Piotr Gacek, festival programmer.

The event is organized by the cultural institution Katowice City of Gardens and the City of Katowice.

PS. The mayo bit is, you know, a joke.