About 62. Krakow Film Festival

Krakow Film Festival is Poland’s most significant celebration of documentary, short, and animated film. It’s a space where prominent and established filmmakers from all over the world meet newcomers, and the audience can meet the creators and film protagonists in person. It is a festival of special premieres and a stepping stone to international career, but above all it’s a meeting place for everyone who loves cinema – in Krakow’s legendary studio cinemas and in the virtual world of online screenings. The heart of documentary cinema beats in Kraków!

This year’s programme features over 180 films from around the world, including 100 world and Polish premieres, and the festival will take place in cinemas (29 May to 5 June) and online (3–12 June)! The films will be presented over the course of 4 competitions: 3 international competitions (documentary, short film, and DocFilmMusic), the national competition, and numerous non-competitive sections and special screenings.

Through the films, we will take a close look at fascinating situations and learn unknown facts from history; we will visit remote places and look into inaccessible regions, but above all we will come face to face with extraordinary heroes and witness their incredible fates. The films shown at the Krakow Film Festival have humans and their stories at the heart.

What’s more, this year’s Krakow Film Festival will also feature another festival. Docudays UA International Human Rights Documentary Film Festival is the largest documentary film festival in Ukraine. This year’s edition was to start on 25 March in Kyiv. It’s no longer possible due to Russia’s brutal attack and the ongoing war. The organizers of the Krakow Film Festival decided to support their friends, stand up to cruel fate, and hold a part of the Ukrainian festival in Kraków’s… Kijów (Kyiv) cinema.

Czech cinematography is another special guest of this year’s edition. The Focus on the Czech Republic section will include the latest documentary and short films from the Czech Republic as well as a program for children and teens. Various festival meetings will give representatives of the Czech and Polish film industry an opportunity to network and establish cooperation in the field of co-productions. The audience at the Pod Wawelem open-air cinema will get to see cult Czech bedtime cartoons.

The Finnish director and producer Jarmo Jääskeläinen passed away on 2 January 2022. A month earlier, on 2 December 2021, the Program Council of the Krakow Film Foundation decided to award him the Dragon of Dragons for his contribution to global documentary cinema. A retrospective of his work, with the participation of his immediate family and colleagues, will take place during the festival.

The outdoor screenings of the section Sounds of Music at Kino pod Wawelem are a treat for the viewers yearning for good music, outstanding cinema, and beautiful landscapes. From Monday to Thursday (30 May – 2 June), under the starry sky, with a view of the Wawel Castle, on the big screen, you will be able to see the most interesting music documentaries beating to the rhythm of Africa. This year, the open-air cinema will also come to Nowa Huta, to the gardens of Teatr Łaźnia Nowa.

Traditionally, the Festival programme will include the Docs+Science section – featuring screenings of fascinating science films. “If I have been feeling worried or sad during the day, I have a habit of recalling scenes from childhood to calm me”, says Dr Eberhard Isak Borg, the protagonist of Wild Strawberries, the 1957 Ingmar Bergman film. And it is to memory, to reminiscence, to the process of reaching back in time that this year’s Docs+Science series, co-organised by Projekt Pulsar, will be devoted.

As always, you can also look forward to screenings of films awarded at partner festivals, the most interesting Polish documentaries by both young filmmakers and established directors as part of the Polish Documentary Panorama. Kids&Youth Fest is a film review for the youngest viewers. The programme also includes last year’s most notable documentaries from all over the world and fascinating European productions.

KFF Industry – the largest meeting platform for the documentary and animated cinema industry – is also an important part of the Festival. Every year, 1000 guests from all over the world participate in conferences, debates, workshops, presentations of projects in various stages of production processes, or film fairs. Among others, the program will include the Doc Lab Poland session, co-organised by the Władysław Ślesicki Film Foundation.

One new addition to the festival program is the KFF TALKS section, which will include three fascinating discussion: On Memory (with physicist Krzysztof Meissner, neuroscientist Mateusz Hohol, and writer Anna Bikont), On Happiness (with Marcin Borchardt, director and journalist, and Bogdan de Barbaro, psychotherapist), and On Liberty (with Adam Michnik and Vytautas Landsbergis – former Head of Parliament of Lithuania who led the country’s independence movement).

Krakow Film Festival is accredited by FIAPF and is included on the prestigious list of film events qualifying for the Academy Awards in the short film competition (fiction film, animated film, documentary film) and feature-length documentary film competition, as well as recommending films for the European Film Awards in the same categories.

The 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, National Heritage and Sports, and the Lesser Poland Province. The co-organiser is the Polish Filmmakers Association, and the main organiser is the Krakow Film Foundation.