Agnieszka Holland is headed to the Vatican for a screening of her migrant crisis drama Green Border, following its selection for its 27th Tertio Millenio Film Festival in November.
The Polish director will also receive the festival’s Special Fuoricampo Prize in the Vatican Library on November 13, ahead of the screening in the presence of top Vatican representatives.
Agnieszka Holland’s Migrant Crisis Drama ‘Green Border’ Posts Record Opening Weekend In Poland In Face Of Political Backlash
Agnieszka Holland Talks Fear Of Violence As She Travels To Poland With 24-Hour Security For Launch Of Her Migrant Drama ‘Green Border’ Amid Political Backlash
The news follows in the wake of a political backlash and online hate campaign against Holland and the film in Poland, where its depiction of the mistreatment of migrants on its border with Belarus has touched a raw nerve with the country’s right-wing government.
News of the Vatican honor went viral in the devoutly Roman Catholic country and provoked consternation on government-affiliated media outlets.
RELATED: ‘Green Border’ Review: Agnieszka Holland’s Humanitarian Masterpiece Offers A Harrowing Vision Of The Refugee Crisis In Europe – Venice Film Festival
The annual Fuoricampo prize is assigned to a film that has “explored themes linked to the deepest meaning of life and shaken consciences”, according to the festival the organizers.
Past winners of the award, launched in 2017, have included Praveen Morchale’s Walking in the Wind, Paul Barakat’s Kairos, Rodrigo and Sebastián Barriuso’s A Translator, Pavel G. Vesnakov’s German Lessons and Bogdan George Apetri’s Miracle.
The Tertio Millenio Film Festival was founded by the Polish Pope John Paul II, Karol Wojtyła, who was beatified by Pope Benedict XVI in 2011 and later canonized as Pope Saint John Paul in 2014.
The theme of the 27th edition is “Harmony in Difference” and takes inspiration from an address made by Pope Francis earlier this year.
It has not been confirmed whether Holland will have an audience with Pope Francis but it is a possibility.
“The selection at Tertio Millenio, is an extraordinary vindication of the essential humanity at the heart of Agnieszka Holland’s film,” said Films Boutique head Jean-Christophe Simon who is selling the film internationally.
“It bears out our long held belief that the message of this film goes to the heart and that the film is for every human whatever are their faiths, origins or religion.”
The political backlash has not deterred Polish spectators from going to cinemas to see Green Border, even though some theatres have been subjected to protests by neofascist groups.
Polish distributor Kino Świat said on Monday that the film, which launched theatrically on September 22, had drawn 137,000 spectators on its opening weekend which is the best result for a Polish film in 2023. There have also been counter-protests in support of the film over the weekend.
The film also looks set for a strong international career with territories to have recently acquired the film including Japan (Transformer Inc.), Germany (Piffl Medien), Israel (Lev Cinema), Switzerland (Trigon), MENA (Moving Turtle), Greece (Danaos Films) and Ukraine (Arthouse Traffic).
Previous sales include to Spain (Vercine), Austria (Panda Lichtspiele), the Baltics (Kino Pavasaris), Bulgaria (Art Fest), Slovakia (Magic Box), Slovenia (Fivia), Hungary (Vertigo), Iceland (Bio Paradis), France (Condor), Benelux (September Films), Italy (Movies Inspired), Portugal (Leopardo Filmes), former Yugoslavia (MCF Megacom) and Czech Republic/Slovakia i(AQS) in Czech Republic/Slovakia.
Deals are now closing for Latin America, China and Scandinavia.
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