Just when we entered the last phase of our preparations for the June “summer bonus light edition” of the festival, the world as we all know it turned upside down. The pandemic of Coronavirus sweeping across the globe intensified its movement in many opposing directions. At the same time, the danger of a very modern type became the motor of our return to the already forgotten in central Europe, archaic notion of a boundary understood as a line on the map, one that is guarded by armed soldiers. In the festival centre – Szczecin, and the neighbouring areas on both sides of the Oder river, on the German and Polish side of this line – we felt this very strongly. Even the main motto of our festival, “the crossing of boundaries,” gained a completely new dimension.
The world had suddenly stopped, though at the same time it sped up in many regards. Unable to work in the office and to meet live with our partners and co-workers, at the same time we implemented new presentation forms for festival meetings, using fast-developing technologies of virtual contacts, all while holding our breaths in the observation of audiovisual, multimedia, film productions which came to be under the rule of Coronavirus.
Szczecin Film Festival is, therefore, truly exceptional this year. Both our June meeting and the October “film Autumn” are defined anew. We hope that, despite the challenges, the result of these dynamic changes will bring profits to film art, as well as to the festival, and to everyone. And that is what I wish for us all.