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Somewhere Tonight and Sing Your Song win the 2nd. American Film Festival in Wrocław

The second edition of the American Film Festival came to an end. The Wrocław-based event was the only film event in Poland focused on American independent cinema. The audience saw 76 films, including 40 Polish, 6 European and 1 world premiere.

Just like at the first edition of the festival, the awards were given in the American Docs and Spectrum sections after an audience vote. The winners were announced at the closing gala of the festival on the 20th Nov. Out of the 11 US features, the viewers chose Somewhere Tonight (2011) by Michael Di Jiacomo - a comedy starring John Turturro and Katherine Borovitz. The best documentary was Sing Your Song (2011) by Susanne Rostock, recently shortlisted for the Academy Award. The film is an inspiring portrait of Harry Belafonte. The winning films were given 10 and 5 thousand Dollars respectively.

The Wrocław festival saw Polish premieres of the latest films by Gus van Sant, Whit Stillman, Todd Solondz, Miranda July, Errol Morris, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Tony Kaye. It also hosted retrospectives of Billy Wilder, Terrence Malick, Joe Swanberg and Todd Solondz.

Solondz was a guest of the festival and received the Indie Star Award - a prize for leading independent US auteurs. The director of Palindromes held an excellent masterclass and his latest film Dark Horse opened the festival on the 15th Nov.

The other filmmaker in focus, Joe Swanberg, was also a guest of the festival. His latest film Caitlin Plays Herself had its world premiere in Wrocław. Other guests included: Michael Di Jiacomo, Matthew Lessner, Susanne Rostock, Michael Tully, Bryan Storkel and Allison Bagnall, among others. Around 140 guests, filmmakers, producers, critics and sales agents, from Poland and abroad, came to Wrocław for this edition of the festival.

The 2. American Film Festival also hosted a very successful first edition of the industry event called Gotham in Progress (GiP) - the first meeting of US indie filmmakers with films in final stages of production with European buyers and programmers. The event showed 11 films at closed screenings and received very enthusiastic feedback from participants.

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