The heart of documentary and short film beats in Krakow! That is why the organisers of the oldest film event in town have made sure that a large part of the festival program is available to everyone. Screenings under the night sky, films for children and adolescents, debates, panels, exhibitions, as well as immersive film experiences – these are only some of the offerings you can participate in at no charge!
One integral part of the Krakow Film Festival is the Sound of Music series hosted in the world’s most beautiful open-air cinema right by the Wawel Castle itself as well as – once again – at Łaźnia Nowa in Nowa Huta. This time we will get to know more about some timeless female and male voices, the cult singers and vocalists who sent thousands into ecstasy, but whose lives were not a bed of roses. They are no longer with us, but their work has not aged at all and will continue to inspire, energise or soothe for many years to come. The featured filmmakers include winners of numerous awards, including the Oscars, such as Asif Kapadia (Amy), and guests of our festival from years ago, e.g., Kevin MacDonald (Whitney) and Brett Morgan (Kurt Cobain: Montage of Heck).
- Between 29 May – 2 June at 9 p.m. in the open-air Pod Wawelem Cinema (Powiśle 11) and in the Łaźnia Nowa gardens (os. Szkolne 25).
This is not the end of the outdoor activities. In cooperation with the National Museum in Kraków and the Embassy of the Republic of Lithuania, we are hosting a special screening celebrating the 700th anniversary of Vilnius. Two outstanding films that show this beautiful city in various guises will be screened in the stunning garden of the Józef Czapski Pavilion. Once Upon A Vilnius by Eitvydas Doškus (2021) is a unique urban symphony, in which the director tries to record important places, urban rituals, and people. We will immerse ourselves in the history of Vilnius by watching Almantas Grikevičius’ Time Passes Through the City (1966). This is the only film from the Soviet era where Vilnius is the main focus. Its contrasting soundtrack lets you feel the grandeur of the city and its past, and get to know its residents.
- 3 June at 9 p.m. at the Józef Czapski Pavilion (ul. Piłsudskiego 12)
Inside Palace Interiors
We are presenting Virtual Reality experiences for the first time at the Krakow Film Festival. The list of presented projects includes films appreciated all over the world: the virtual erotic poem Nightsss by Weronika Lewandowska and Sandra Frydrysiak, which was presented at the Sundance Festival; Joanna Popinska’s moving documentary The Choice, awarded at the most important VR events around the world; Paweł Szarzyński’s Cosmogonik, the first VR experience based on Stanislaw Lem’s short story Uranium Ears; Krzysztof Grudziński’s Dead City, a narrative experience based on the poetic text of Erich Wolfgang Korngold’s libretto; and two projects from the Lodz VNLAB: Self by Patryk Jordanowicz and Tadeusz Chudy and Closed Space by Hana Umeda.
- 29.05–2.06 from 12.00 p.m. to 7.00 p.m., Potocki Palace (Rynek Główny 20)
Exclusive screenings of four festival films with outstanding visuals in the special Samsung Excellence Line series. The Potocki Palace will become a home cinema, with the following films screened in a cosy atmosphere on the Neo QLED 8K Excellence Line TV from Samsung’s exclusive line-up of the most innovative models: Songs of Earth – a breathtaking visual and audio poem, Dreaming Arizona – a cinematic hybrid infused with an extraordinarily rich imagination, Air – a stunning depiction of the deep sea through the eyes of freediving athletes, and Onlookers – a tourist meditation that shows the mesmerising landscapes of Laos. The audience will be treated to prosecco and appetisers.
- 29.05–1.06 at 8.00 p.m., Potocki Palace, Sala Samsung (Rynek Główny 20)
Acclaimed animation director, Oscar and Dragon of the Dragons 2023 Award winner Michael Dudok de Wit will conduct a masterclass. He will talk about the creative processes and challenges he encountered while working on his independent films, including the feature The Red Turtle, how each story was created, where the ideas came from, and what was the starting point of each film. The main topic of the masterclass, however, will be CREATIVITY. We all know what creativity is, but it is elusive and mysterious to us, and a difficult subject to talk about. Michael Dudok de Wit is going to share his insights, talk about the essence of creativity, intuition and reason, the subconscious and originality. In other words – the more subtle aspects of creativity. He will also advise young creators on what is and is not worth doing.
- 30 May, 2.30 p.m.–4 p.m. Potocki Palace (Rynek Główny 20)
Inside the Temples of Art
Once again, the festival program includes the extremely popular KFF TALKS. It’s a series of unique meetings and fascinating discussions with outstanding figures – also from beyond the film world. These are conversations at the intersection of philosophy, science, the natural sciences and the humanities about the condition of the world and man’s place in contemporary reality. The debate KFF Talks: Utopia. An Uninhabited Island? organised in cooperation with Pulsar, will touch upon the phenomenon of utopia in historical, economic, technological and cultural context, and will be attended by eminent scholars and researchers: Edwin Bendyk, Janek Simon, Karolina Safarzyńska. The meeting will be chaired by Karol Jałochowski.
- 28 May, 5.00 p.m.–6.30 p.m., Aula of the Academy of Fine Arts (plac Matejki 13)
The second discussion in the series, KFF Talks: Will Art Save the Planet? is going to feature Michael Dudok de Wit – director and writer of animated films and book illustrator; Margreth Olin – Norwegian director of documentary films, including the opening film of the 63rd KFF, Songs of Earth; and Jagoda Szelc – film and theatre director. Its participants will consider whether the environmental crisis is a crisis of imagination, whether Art can save Nature, and what we learn about Nature and ourselves by watching selected films. Co-organised by the National Chamber of Audiovisual Producers and Film dla Klimatu, the meeting will be chaired by Alex Leszczynska.
- 31 May, 6.00 p.m.–7.30 p.m., Aula of the Academy of Fine Arts (plac Matejki 13)
Augmented reality XR exhibition The Tenement House presents the results of Wiola Sowa’s experiments with drawing in augmented and virtual reality. The title work is a cinematic VR 3DoF, whose theme is the story of the residents of a tenement house. Other featured projects include: Inside the Drawing and Presence RGB; both presented in augmented reality, they are experiences between drawing and spatial installation that we can explore in several dimensions. They let the digital dimension intersect with actual reality.ością realną.
- 30 May–3 June, Gallery of the International Print Triennial Society (Rynek Główny 29)
Słowa klucze.Kolaże – an exhibition of works by Agata di Masternak, the protagonist of the documentary film Faces of Agata, directed by Małgorzata Kozera and presented in this year’s program of the Krakow Film Festival. The collages refer to the series of paintings created while working on the film between 2016 and 2023, and have been made using sketches, notes, and fragments of paintings. They are a diary of the creative process and, at the same time, a kaleidoscope of motifs and emotions that constantly reapper in the artist’s work, such as the search for identity, corporeality and spirituality, pain and love.howość, ból i miłość.
- vernisage 31 May, 8.00 p.m., exhibition open until 14 June, Galeria 2okna (ul. Józefa 40)
Inside a Child’s Imagination
The night sky terrifies Tim. That’s why the boy decided to befriend the stars. Unfortunately, one of them suddenly disappears. The Little Bear has lost all his honey, which he urgently needs to prepare a delicious cake. Will he find the coveted golden treat and his beloved star? The youngest viewers of the Kids&Youth section are going to find out. Their slightly older peers will get the opportunity to meet Jack, who is trying to figure out his role as big brother to the extraordinary Gio. Teenagers look for less obvious things. For them, we have two documentary screenings in store, in which young people try to find themselves, their identity, and ideas for the future.
- 29 May–2 June, 9.00 a.m., Kino Mikro (Lea 5)
The National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute invites to a family film screening of Retro-cartoons for the youngest. Dobromiła Wrońska, head of the Institute’s film education department, will guide us through the world of cult Polish cartoons. Katarynka (1956), Enchanted Pencil (1963–1977), Gapiszon (1964–1966), Filemon the Cat (1972–1974) and Teddy Floppy Ear (1980) are going to take us back to the childhoods of our parents, grandmas, and grandpas. You will get to learn about different ways of film animation and, above all, stop and go back to the carefree childhood times.
- 3 June, 2.30 p.m., Kino Sfinks (os. Górali 5)
- 3 June, 11.00 a.m., Kino Mikro (Lea 5)
The festival has also prepared something special for parents who long for a moment’s respite from their beloved little ones. The final day of the cinema part of the festival will feature screenings of awarded films. During this time, children will stay in the care of qualified staff, who have prepared special workshops for them.
- 4 June, 12.00 p.m.–4.00 p.m., The Małopolska Garden of Arts, Meeting Point (workshops for children)
Inside the Festival Centre
To celebrate the 75th anniversary of the Łódź Film School, an extraordinary presentation of film projects by students of the School, which are still in the making, will take place for the first time in Poland: Faustyna (directed by Natalia Dutkiewicz) and Klątwa (directed by Jakub Jakubik). The students, in the presence of their artistic supervisors: Maciej Drygas, Jacek Petrycki, Marta Prus, Jacek Bławut, and Mirosław Dembiński, will show fragments of their films and talk about the overarching concepts of their projects. The idea behind this presentation is to confront these concepts with the opinions, emotions, and sensitivity of the audience. We invite you to discuss the films and participate in the filmmaking process together. Be the first critical viewers and influence their shape.
- 31 May, 6.00 p.m.–7.30 p.m., The Małopolska Garden of Arts (ul. Rajska 12)
We’re also in for a unique screening of films digitised by the National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute. The program includes pre-war films whose fragments have been found in Russian archives: Meir Ezofowicz by Józef Ostoi-Sulnicki (1911) and Promised Land by Aleksander Hertz and Zbigniew Gniazdowski (1927). The screening of pre-war works will be supplemented by contemporary films from the Łódź-based Small Forms Studio Se-ma-for: Ambulance by Janusz Morgenstern (1961), Remu Cemetery by Edward Etler (1961). The music for both films was written by Krzysztof Komeda. The screening will be followed by a debate on protecting national heritage, reconstruction and digitisation, and the use of archival footage in documentary films.
- 2 June, 6.00 p.m., The Małopolska Garden of Arts (ul. Rajska 12)
A photograph exhibition by the outstanding documentary filmmaker Andrzej Fidyk from his recently released album Dziwny koniec XX wieku (Strange End of the 20th Century). The director took these photographs while making five films on different continents in the 1990s. The exhibition will include photographs made during the making of the documentaries: The Russian Striptease, Carnaval. The Biggest Party in the World, East of Eastenders, Battu’s Bioscope and Reed Dance.
- 28 maja godz. 16.00 – wernisaż, 28 maja-3 czerwca – wystawa Małopolski Ogród Sztuki MOS (ul. Rajska 12)
The detailed program of the Festival is available on www.krakowfilmfestival.pl.
The 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 as a recommending event for the European Film Awards in the same categories.
The Krakow 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.
The 63rd Krakow Film Festival will be held in Kraków’s cinemas from 28 May to 4 June and across Poland at the KFF VOD online streaming platform between 2 and 18 June.