As every year, mid-February was the deadline for film submissions to the Krakow Film Festival. Almost 2500 documentaries and short films from all over the world were uploaded to the festival’s servers this time. Director Krzysztof Gierat and a team of selectors will choose the best ones, which will be screened during this year’s Festival in Kraków cinemas between 28 May and 4 June – and online on the KFF VOD platform until 18 June!
In keeping with a trend that has continued for years, the largest number of films submitted were short fiction films. This time, almost 1200 of them were sent in. One by one, they are evaluated by a team led by Dagmara Romanowska – a film journalist, associate of the Polish Filmmakers Association – Magazyn Filmowy and SFP.org.pl, also a contributor to Onet.pl. She is accompanied by Grzegorz Jaroszuk, a feature film director, Łukasz M. Maciejewski, a scriptwriter, film experts Joanna Chludzińska and Tomasz Natora, and an expert in short film forms, programmer Emilia Mazik.
There are almost 1000 proposals waiting for documentary film selectors. The curator of the Festival’s documentary section is Anita Piotrowska – film critic from Tygodnik Powszechny, member of the International Federation of Film Critics FIPRESCI, winner of the Polish Film Institute award in the category of film criticism, juror of numerous festivals in Poland and abroad. Together with her, the documentaries are watched and evaluated by the directors Grzegorz Zariczny and Zofia Kowalewska, as well as film experts and university lecturers Jadwiga Hučková, Tomek Bielenia, Marta Hauschild, Krzysztof Siwoń, and Maciej Gil.
More than 250 animated films were also sent to Kraków. The best animated shorts will be selected by Wiola Sowa – animated film director, graphic designer, graduate of the Academy of Fine Arts in Kraków, winner of numerous prestigious film awards – and Olga Bobrowska – film expert, curator of animated film programs, director of the international festival StopTrik.
Of all the films submitted, more than 300 are Polish films or co-productions. Most will also be watched and judged by Jerzy Armata, an accomplished film critic and theoretician, selector, and juror at several film festivals, author of numerous publications on film, winner of multiple industry awards and honours.
Other titles, as every year, travelled to Kraków from all over the world. Most from France, Germany, Spain, the USA, Iran, Italy, and the UK. As usual, there was no shortage of entries from distant corners of the Earth including the Ivory Coast, Malaysia, Kyrgyzstan, Burkina Faso, Qatar, Sudan. Films submitted from Ukraine are obviously piquing curiosity. Will they all be centred around the ongoing war? Will the theme of Russia’s aggression against Ukraine also dominate other European films?
Filmmakers tend to side with the oppressed; Ukraine dominates now, but one shouldn’t forget Belarus, Iran, and Syria. The theme of freedom has many different shades, also in familial or social relationships – says Krzysztof Gierat, Director of the Krakow Film Festival – We are focusing, as always, on charismatic characters and well-told stories of undeniable artistic merit.
Team of selectors will choose the titles to be presented in four equal competitions by mid-April – three international competitions: documentary, short film and DocFilmMusic, as well as the Polish competition. Fascinating stories from around the world will also make their way into the special film sections. One of these will be Focus on Spain, a review of the latest in Spanish cinema. As every year, the best films about science will be included in the Docs+Science series prepared by Karol Jałochowski – Polityka journalist, editor-in-chief of the website Pulsar, physicist, and documentary film director.
Krakow Film Festival is on the exclusive list of qualifying events for the Oscars in the categories of short film (live action, animated, documentary) and documentary feature, as well a recommending event for the European Film Awards in the same categories.
Kraków Film Festival is organised with the financial support of the European Union as part of the “Creative Europe” program, the City of Kraków, the Polish Film Institute, the Ministry of Culture and National Heritage, and the Lesser Poland Province. The co-organiser is the Polish Filmmakers Association, and the main organiser is the Krakow Film Foundation.skich, a głównym organizatorem Krakowska Fundacja Filmowa.
The 63rd Krakow Film Festival will be held in cinemas from 28 May to 4 June and online across Poland on 2–18 June. online na terenie całej Polski.