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Polish films at the 59th Krakow Film Festival program

Festivals 2019-04-18

A window to the world

Unusual stories captured in documentaries,animations that surpass the limits of imagination and feature films thatshowcase the world in just several minutes – an integral part of the KrakowFilm Festival are the screenings of the most important Polish documentaryfilms, short feature films and animations. Polish productions can be found inall three competition sections, as well as almost all non-competitive sectionsof the festival. The program also includes celebratory special events thatshowcase classic Polish documentaries.

Polish films in the international competitions

59. Krakow Film Festival will be opened on 26h Maywith a screening of “TheWind. A Documentary Thriller” directed by Michał Bielawski. The documentaryshowcasing the destructive force of the halny wind and the way it disrupts thelives of local inhabitants is one of the two Polish films, that will compete inthe international full length documentary competition. The second one is “Of Animals and Men” directed by Łukasz Czajka, a dramatic story, filled withfascinating archive materials, of a married couple the Żabinscy, who gaveshelter to almost 300 refugees from the ghetto during the occupation until thebreak of the Warsaw Uprising.

Polish productions will also be showcased in the international short film competition.Short documentaries, feature films and animations will compete for the awards ofthe Golden and Silver Dragon. The documentary “The Tough” by MarcinPolar will take viewers inside the recently discovered cave in the Tatras,allowing them to explore it with their own eyes, while the film “Connected” by Aleksandra Maciejczyk will allow us to empathize withthe situation of Krzysztof, who must watch the world through his wife’s eyes.Among the feature films in the international competition we can watch HelenaOborska’s “Bitten”, a mysterious story with the phenomenal MaryKomasa in the leading role and “It’s Good Like That” directed byMarcin Sauter – a contemplative journey of Nikodem, played by Adam Woronowicz,traveling through Spitsbergen tundra.

The Polish animations will be represented this year by “Portrait of Suzanne” by Izabela Plucińska – a grotesque story of a man whose foot turns into Suzanne’sformer lover, made in the plasticine animation technique for which the artistis most recognized for, “Vitae Azilia” by Joanna Wapniewska, a film fullof emotions and passions about a lost, but still vital relationship between twopeople and “ACID RAIN”, an animated record of the journey of Youngand Skinny to the ever more weird regions of the city and consciousness.

Bitten, dir. Helena Oborska

Bitten, dir. Helena Oborska

Polish competition of the 59th Krakow FilmFestival

– This willbe a young artists’ competition. In their documentaries they once again directthe lens on to their close ones, although it also happens that they reach tothe history of our country, to tell a story with their camera that is dramatic,individual, but important for us all. Even in miniatures, they search forinspiration in the lives of their grandparents. And as always, the animation triesto look at our world from a distance, from the perspective of the universe – theDirector of the Festival Krzysztof Gierat comments on the selection.

Documentariesin the Polish competition are both very intimate pictures of the family, as in “And We’ll Be Happy Again” by Krzysztof Wołżański or “The Last Voyage” by Stanisław Cousse, and portraits of unusual characters: Helena ,who has been working for 30 years in the center for lepers in “Nodirection home” by Paweł Wysoczański or artist Andrzej Strumiłło in thedocumentary “Summa” by Andrej Kuciła. The competition also includes filmsusing unusual archives and animations, such as Piotr Jaworski’s “The Antarctic Syndrome” about Dr. Terelak’s experiment, exploring the limitsof the human psyche under Antarctic isolation. As usual, there will be filmsabout the search for love “Love 404” by Agata Baumgart ordetermination to make your dreams come true “Strawberry Boys”,directed by Michał Toczek.

– The subject of the family returnsto the Krakow Film Festival. It is here not for the first time, but this year itclearly appears in a quite interesting, perhaps even surprising variant: thestory in which the grandparents of the main characters are entangled in.History turns out to be still alive, it is not a closed chapter, because itsenergy and consequences are passed on to next generations. In this group I wouldpay attention to such titles as “On strike!”, ” Ricochets” or “Never good”– says Dagmara Romanowska, KFF selector.

– Equally often the family isportrayed in the process of trauma or adaptation to the new situation.Sometimes it is a child’s partner that is not accepted by their parents or amove to another city. At other times the topic is loss and the emptiness thatis left behind – the death that destroys everything. At other times it is somesort of an anxiety that cannot be named, yet creeps in and disrupts a seeminglyhappy life. “Roots”, “Camouflage”, “View to thewall”, “Vacancy”, “It’s Good Like That”, “MyHeart” are all productions that put the family at the center of theirinterests – adds Dagmara Romanowska.

– In the Polish competition we will alsosee many animated novelties, freshly completed films that will have theirpremiere screenings in Krakow. A lot of films are great debuts, which is a goodsign of the ever-growing strength and potential of our animation. At the sametime, the incredible variety of competition films will surely satisfy the mostsophisticated appetites of animation lovers – says Robert Sowa, the selector ofthe Krakow Film Festival.

One shouldn’t miss the animations saturated with the atmosphere of anxiety such asGrzegorz Koncewicz’s The Idol, and Mateusz Jarmulski’s The Hunt as well as films commenting on contemporary society like Piotr Milczarek’s “Rain” or ”Story” by Jola Bańkowska and the funny, crazy and even surrealstories like “Kaprysia” Betina Bożek or “Metro” by Natalia Krawczuk.

Strawberry Boys, dir. Michał Toczek

Strawberry Boys, dir. Michał Toczek

Panorama of the Polish document

– In the Panorama of the Polish document section, we are bragging with what is the bestand the most original in Polish production. It is, next to the competition, themost powerful presentation of our documentary thought, which is admired  and even envied at international festival. Itis here, in Krakow that international careers often start – the Director of the Festival, Krzysztof Gierat,encourages.

Thanks to this section, viewers from Krakow will take a journey to Łódź thanks to Ewa Podgórska’s film “Diagnosis”, get to know the story of a neighboringcommunity and a couple of Warsaw tenement owners regained in thereprivatization in “Zlota Street”, a documentary by Tomasz Knittel,and take part in an expedition to K2 thanks “The Last Mountain” by Dariusz Załuski.

This year,the panorama of the Polish documentaries also showcases the portraits of cinemamasters like Witold Sobociński and Bogdan Dziworski, stories of people whowitnessed WWII cruelty as children, a story of a seafood farmer in the Japanese Sea and the search for the mysterious Tereska from David Seymour’s photography.

Polish films in non-competitive sections of the festival and special screenings

Polish films can be found in almost every section of this year’s festival. In the “Stories from the world” section, the Polish-Australian production “Polish Missionaries” by Simon Target will be presented. Target travels by kayak to inaccessible corners of Papua New Guinea, where Polishmissionaries and missionaries help the local community build a better future.

In the “Laureates of Festivals” section we can find Paweł Ziemilski’s “In Touch”, awarded at IDFA festival, presenting the village of Stare Juchy, fromwhere most of the residents emigrated to Iceland. The second winner of the Amsterdam festival, which will be shown in Krakow, is a short documentary “I Dance for You” by Katarzyna Lesisz. This section will also featureMałgorzata Bosek-Serafińska’s “Year” animation, awarded at the Etiuda& Anima festival, dedicated to the memory of Marek Serafiński. It’s a diarymade up of paper everyday waste like labels, price tags, tickets, etc. andcigarette packages burned by an addict.

I Dance for You, dir. Katarzyna Lesisz

I Dance for You, dir. Katarzyna Lesisz

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Documentary and Feature Film Studios and Educational Film Studios, special screenings of the Polish documentary classics by Bogdan Dziworski, Kazimierz Karabasz, Władysław Ślesicki, Jerzy Hoffman,Edward Skórzewski and Krzysztof Kieślowski will take place. The screenings willtake place in an extraordinary setting – the interior of the Barbican, a medieval fortification in the center of Krakow.

During thisedition of the Krakow Film Festival, the 15th anniversary of the death of Maciej Szumowski, a Krakow journalist and filmmaker, the legendary editor-in-chiefof “Gazeta Krakowska”, will be celebrated. In the program “Around Szumowski” in addition to films by Maciej Szumowski, theworks of his children – Małgorzata Szumowska and Wojciech Szumowski will alsobe presented.

More information about films

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