Spotlight on Sands with Festival Director:

Ania Trzebiatowska


Right in the heart of St. Andrews, a cinematic revolution is quietly making waves, thanks to the visionary efforts of Ania, the powerhouse behind the Sands Film Festival. Moving from the indie film circuits of Kraków to the high stakes of Sundance, Ania stumbled upon a game-changing opportunity that would not only challenge her but also redefine what a film festival could be. Enter Joe Russo and AGBO, whose collaboration with Ania has turbocharged the festival, making it a hotbed for cutting-edge cinema and a launching pad for voices on the brink of making big waves in the industry.

The Sands Film Festival isn't just another date on the calendar; it's a movement. Under Ania's guidance, it has morphed into a celebration of the bold, the new, and the undeniably creative. It's about giving a platform to those filmmakers who aren't afraid to push the envelope, to experiment, to tell stories that hit you right in the feels and stay with you long after the credits roll. "Working with Joe Russo and AGBO felt like a perfect match," Ania admits, highlighting a synergy that's electrified the festival's mission to spotlight contemporary cinema's most compelling narratives.

Joe Russo & Ania Trzebiatowska at Sands 2023

What sets Sands apart is its unique mentorship program, inviting student curators from St. Andrews to roll up their sleeves and dive deep into the art of film selection. This isn't just about watching movies; it's about curating an experience, about fostering a dialogue between the screen and the audience. It's a testament to Ania's belief in the power of community, of building something that feels personal to both the creators and the viewers.

For those eyeing a future in festival curation or the wider world of cinema, Ania has some sage advice: "Lean into your cinephilia, be a proud film geek, watch everything you can, and always be ready to have your opinions challenged." It's about cultivating a diverse palette and understanding that great cinema can come from the most unexpected places.

In the fast-paced digital landscape, the Sands Film Festival is setting its pace. Ania is all about leaning into the digital revolution, with a strategy that screams, "Bring on the new media!" She's quick to point out, "This isn't just about staying current—it's about embracing the tidal wave of digital innovation”. To ensure Sands remains not just a player but a trailblazer in the cinematic world, keeping the festival at the cutting edge of where film meets technology.

Ania Trzebiatowska & Reinaldo Marcus Green (Director/Producer)

Looking ahead, the Sands Film Festival is poised for even greater heights, with plans to deepen its commitment to emerging filmmakers and to continue being a place where the cinema community can gather, share, and inspire one another. "Seeing our student curators take the lead, witnessing the awe in Stanley Tucci's eyes during a student-led Q&A—these moments capture the essence of what we're building at Sands," Ania shares, painting a picture of a festival that's as much about celebrating today's cinema as it is about shaping tomorrow's.

In an industry that's constantly evolving, the Sands Film Festival stands out as a beacon of innovation and inclusivity. With Ania at the helm and the backing of creative giants like AGBO, it's clear that Sands is not just keeping pace with the changing landscape of cinema—it's setting the pace.