National Competition

36 filmów
A total of 36 Polish films made during the pandemic strive for the Golden Hobby Horse and 4 Silver Hobby Horses. The number includes 20 documentaries, 10 animations and 6 feature films. Yet again, it is a competition for young artists, although many of them have already reached maturity and are returning to Krakow with new films. Documentaries are dominated by contemporaneity but not the pandemic; some focus on returns to the past, both distant and nearer, but the major theme is a human being and his or her fight for a fair life. Feature films take us to the world of utopia and difficult interpersonal relations; show social dramas, a black comedy and science fiction. Animations tell the story of us being lost in the world, present love against the background of a historical film or even a biography of a star - Andy Warhol.
  • 1970

    dir. Tomasz Wolski
    dok2021

    Tomasz Wolski reveals the real dynamics of the events on the Polish Coast in December 1970. Combining archival footage with recently discovered transcripts of conversations between decision-makers, he creates an overall image of the protests. He pays tribute to the fallen but mostly sheds new light on actions of the authorities: recalls specific names and exposes mechanisms of repression and propaganda.

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    film still 1970
  • 98 kg

    dir. Izabela Plucińska
    anim2021

    People applaud you because you are so strong that you can lift a 98 kilo barbell. They do not know that, behind the closed door, you use your strength to beat your wife. A terrifying animation about home violence and a complicated relationship that is difficult to get away from.

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    film still 98 kg
  • A Little Bit of Paradise (Trochę raju)

    dir. Andrzej Cichocki
    dok2020

    The family shown in the film inhabits their own microcosm. Even though the smokestacks of an agglomeration loom on the horizon, the family’s life follows a separate course, without any unnecessary words. It is determined, on the one hand, by modest financial means, on the other –the joy of freedom.

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    film still A Little Bit of Paradise
  • Balcony Concert (Koncert balkonowy)

    dir. Diana Kadłubowska, Krzysztof Kadłubowski
    dok2021

    A tragicomic picture of the Polish society at the time of the first lockdown. Residents of a townhouse – each locked in their own apartment – are trying to adjust to a new situation. The majority remain at home and their only point of contact with the outside world is via a balcony and a common backyard.

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    film still Balcony Concert
  • Borderland (Grenzland)

    dir. Andreas Voigt
    dok2020

    After thirty years Andreas Voigt returns to the region along the Oder and the Neisse Rivers to check what inhabitants of the Polish and German borderland – old and young, locals and exotic new arrivals – think about the borders, the transformation and their neighbours today. Some are nostalgic about the Cold War times of glory, others are looking for their own place in a borderless Europe without any complexes.

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    film still Borderland
  • Cigarettes (Papierosy)

    dir. Maja Markowska
    dok2020

    During the first Easter in the pandemic a young woman, closed in the walls of her home, is taking care of her seriously ill grandfather. They spend time talking, eating together and playing poker. What joins them is genuine closeness as well as one guilty pleasure – they both like to smoke.

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    film still Cigarettes
  • Dog's Field (Psie pole)

    dir. Michalina Musialik
    anim2020

    When an elderly woman unexpectedly falls to the floor, her pets are left on their own. Two dogs, a cat and a bird have to fend for themselves, which gets more and more difficult when food becomes scarce.

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    film still Dog
  • First Last Summer (Pierwsze lato końca świata)

    dir. Nastazja Gonera
    fab2020

    In the world destroyed by an environmental disaster, a secret military base somewhere at the coast carries out experiments on people. There is a way to transform recidivists into animals from endangered or extinct species. The process is cruel, but love and rebellion arise even at such a place and time.

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    film still First Last Summer
  • Green (Zieleń)

    dir. Karolina Kajetanowicz
    anim2021

    Black figures are dashing through green, evenly-mowed lawns, turning into animals. Calming sounds of nature – flowing water, chirping insects, singing birds – hum in the background. This animation looks like a meditation session and draws the viewers’ attention to human interference in the natural world.

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    film still Green
  • Headfish (Samogłów)

    dir. Jakub Prysak
    fab2021

    Immersed in an industrial landscape, the film is a harsh story about two loners. The protagonists want to get out of the world that is stifling them. Eryk works at the Milky Paradise cooperative, while Marissa is a prostitute at a crummy night club. What separates them from a different life is a ticket to the unknown, but to get it, they need more than money.

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    film still Headfish
  • High Maintenance - The Life and Work of Dani Karavan (Dani Karavan)

    dir. Barak Heymann
    dok2020

    This film, full of a wry wit, is a warm and touching portrayal of Dani Karavan, a world-famous Israeli sculptor who is best known for his impressive monuments in public spaces. Despite his advanced age, he is bursting with energy and makes brusque comments about various aspects of reality.

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    film still High Maintenance - The Life and Work of Dani Karavan
  • Invincible (Niezwyciężona)

    dir. Tom Koliński
    dok2021

    The filmmakers accompanied Joanna Jędrzejczyk – a multiple UFC champion, who at her time conquered the world of female MMA – for four years. In order to stay on top, she has to constantly confront consecutive opponents, her own limitations and her body, forced into superhuman effort all the time.

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    film still Invincible
  • Just for a While (Jeszcze na chwilę)

    dir. Zuzanna Gorczycka
    fab2021

    On a beautiful sunny day, among lush greenery, singing birds, humming grasses, buzzing insects, there are the two of them – two women of a different age. So much divides them and, at the same time, so much attracts them to each other. They know each other so well. What is the secret behind their bond? Where are they heading pushed by ‘one more moment’? This subtle, tender cinema unfolds in a serene and lazy holiday rhythm.

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    film still Just for a While
  • Last Chance (Ostatnia szansa)

    dir. Wiktoria Niewiadomska
    dok2021

    Sara says that anorexia took away 8 years of her life. And she is aware that this is the last moment when she can really change something. At a facility for girls with eating disorders she tries to recover so that she can continue her life and fulfill her dreams about her private life.

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    film still Last Chance
  • Light Years (Lata świetlne)

    dir. Monika Proba
    dok2021

    ‘True male friendship’ – this is what they say about Vitali and Łukasz. They have graduated from an Orthodox seminar and keep living together, but in order to be ordained as priests, they have to get married first. Will the bond between the protagonists turn out stronger than their religious obligations?

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    film still Light Years
  • Love in Times of Coal-Based Economy (Miłość w czasach gospodarki opartej na węglu)

    dir. Tomasz Siwiński
    anim2021

    Zbyszek, overwhelmed by the cold and his work in a mine, attempts to commit suicide. Only a voice-over from the TV and love for a mine crane operator keep him alive. A dark and disturbing animation with elements of fantasy, in the style of socialist realism posters.

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    film still Love in Times of Coal-Based Economy
  • @miriamfrompoland

    dir. Piotr Szczepański
    dok2021

    What does it mean to be a Jew in Poland now? In his documentary, Piotr Szczepański reveals yet another surprising piece of the cultural mosaic of Łódź. The protagonists’ lives prove that close ties to their religion and history do not exclude their relationship with counterculture and propensity for creative provocation.

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    film still @miriamfrompoland
  • My Son Locks Himself in the Bathroom (Mój syn zamyka się w łazience)

    dir. Kuba Januszewski
    fab2021

    In a modern villa, among jars with tomato paste, a mother and a son are playing a strange game of appearances. The woman wants her adult, 21-year-old son to move out, but she is unable to express it. She tries to stop her only child using other, sometimes quite absurd, methods.

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    film still My Son Locks Himself in the Bathroom
  • Nature Is My Homeland

    dir. Marek Gajczak
    dok2021

    The protagonists of the film are scientists, artists and enthusiasts who are related to nature on very different levels and present the relationship between man and nature from a completely novel perspective. What can we learn from plants and animals for which the waste we produce has become the natural environment?

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    film still Nature Is My Homeland
  • No Hero At All (Antybohater)

    dir. Michał Kawecki
    dok2021

    Mishka is a boy of many faces – a petty criminal and a promising alpine skier who enjoys life to its fullest despite his physical disability and difficult living conditions. He is captured at a key moment when he enters adulthood and receives the last opportunity to take part in the Paralympics.

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    film still No Hero At All
  • One More Day (Jeden dzień dłużej)

    dir. Monika Meleń
    dok2020

    Małgorzata and Krystian are an exceptional couple. She was born with progressive muscular atrophy, and he loves riding a motorcycle. But who says they cannot fulfil their dreams? Together with the protagonists, the spectators are setting off to search for adventure but also to face the inevitable and the final.

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    film still One More Day
  • Only the Wind (Tylko wiatr)

    dir. Zofia Kowalewska
    dok2021

    A journey in search of childhood memories. A ninety-year-old man sets off with his granddaughter on a trip to Kazakhstan, where he was in exile as a child in the 1940s. The story captured in several faded photos will turn out extremely difficult to present.

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    film still Only the Wind
  • On Time

    dir. Zbigniew Czapla
    anim2021

    Timetables flashing at a dizzying pace are juxtaposed with Hokusai’s drawings – this is a story, set in Japan, about travelling and the world rushing ahead faster and faster. The spirit of Bashō’s poetry is permeating the whole animation, setting the tone of philosophical reflection to this visually intense film.

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    film still On Time
  • Polański, Horowitz. Hometown

    dir. Mateusz Kudła, Anna Kokoszka-Romer
    dok2021

    After several decades, they finally met in their hometown. Two artists, photographer Ryszard Horowitz and film director Roman Polański, are wandering around Kraków along the pathways of their wartime experiences.

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    film still Polański, Horowitz. Hometown
  • Prince in a Pastry Shop (Książę w cukierni)

    dir. Katarzyna Agopsowicz
    anim2020

    Not-So-Little Prince and Prickly Pear are having a philosophical chat about happiness in a magical café which, out of the blue, is transformed into a forest full of miracles. Their conversation is accompanied not only by doughnuts and rum balls, but also pets and forest animals. A charming, fairy-tale seance.

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    film still Prince in a Pastry Shop
  • Solar Voyage

    dir. Adam Żądło
    dok2021

    ‘This is a film about Mirek Lech, a visionary, inventor, extreme traveller and a champion of renewable energy sources’. The portrait of an unconventional protagonist takes on an unconventional form: a parody of a documentary essay with elements of friendly humour.

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    film still Solar Voyage
  • Tanaka's Diary

    dir. Filip Jacobson
    dok2021

    What was to be a coveted tour of a Japanese group around Europe had a tragic end. The 1979 events are remembered by a couple who went on their honeymoon at that time.

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    film still Tanaka
  • The Case of Jan Pampuch (Przypadek Jana Pampucha)

    dir. Mikołaj Piszczan
    fab2020

    Jan Pampuch, a modest toy seller, may not break the daddy’s word given to his daughter. The problem is that her drawing unexpectedly causes a heated conflict of views. Jan must do everything to settle the dispute because his company and the future of the entire family are at stake.

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    film still The Case of Jan Pampuch
  • The Last Room on the Left (Stancja)

    dir. Adrian Apanel
    fab2021

    ‘I’m here because of the add’ – a boy in foggy glasses explains the reason for his unexpected visit to an irritated landlady. When it turns out that he is solvent, the woman invites him inside. Is it really the room he was looking for? Or, maybe, it is a trap out of which he will not manage to get out?

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    film still The Last Room on the Left
  • The Place (Oderwanie)

    dir. Sylwia Zawiła
    anim2020

    A mother lives with her three kids in a stark, concrete building. The children’s only food is their mother’s milk. What will happen if it is gone? Will a fig tree become their tree of life? A terrifying, surreal animation referring to the biblical motif of the paradise and the forbidden fruit.

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    film still The Place
  • The Soil (Ziemia)

    dir. Zuzanna Solakiewicz
    dok2021

    A beautifully illustrated story of a contemporary village and its unconventional dwellers who are of different age but have one thing in common – their strong attachment to folk culture. In this film, music is as important as images, since it accompanies the protagonists during key events in their lives.

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    film still The Soil
  • The Visit (Wizyta)

    dir. Mateusz Jarmulski
    anim2021

    Among the noise of barking dogs, shouting hunters and sounds of gunshots, there is a running, terrified chimpanzee. When she looks back, she sees a tropical forest on fire. Finally, quite exhausted, she reaches an abandoned colonial villa. Something totally unexpected is waiting for her inside it.

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    film still The Visit
  • Too Late (Za późno)

    dir. Kinga Syrek
    anim2021

    The protagonist of the animation is a model, actress, star of Andy Warhol’s films and his partner, Edie Sedgwick. The main axis of the film, however, is not her relationship with the American artist, but the relationship with her toxic father. Difficult childhood has cast a shadow on her adult life, soaked with alcohol and filled with drugs.

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    film still Too Late
  • Turbo Love

    dir. Alicja Jasina
    anim2021

    How to find an ideal boyfriend? The Turbo Love application comes to rescue – you may create a man of your dreams there and design a perfect date. A funny animation, a parody of the blogosphere, which shows that the front of a perfect life in the social media often hides falsehood and loneliness.

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    film still Turbo Love
  • Walk With Angels (Spacer z Aniołami)

    dir. Tomasz Wysokiński
    dok2021

    Children routinely disappear in South Africa. Organised business, local conspiracy of silence and blood clotting stories often stand behind it. Jerry, who has been fighting his demons since childhood, makes an attempt to find a girl who was kidnapped a few years ago. His investigation leads him to the very heart of darkness.

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    film still Walk With Angels
  • Walls (Mury)

    dir. Andrei Kutsila
    dok2020

    The eponymous walls belong to a grey prison building – a symbol of cruel, yet fearful rule of President Lukashenko. Families of the detained are standing in front of the building, they are mostly women supporting political prisoners: their husbands, brothers and sons.

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    film still Walls