Online. Polish films in the programme of the 60th Krakow Film Festival

Krakow Film Festival not only presents the outstanding documentary, animated and short films from around the world. It also, or maybe most of all, shows the latest and most important Polish productions. It is here where Polish filmmakers have a chance to confront their work not only with the Polish audience but also with over a thousand guests, the film industry representatives from Poland and abroad. 

For the first time in the history of the festival film screenings won’t take place in the cinemas in Krakow but will happen online all around the country. The audience will also be able to take part in the meetings with directors from the competition sections and in the special events. For the guests from abroad we will open and online video library, available with no territorial limitations. We want to make sure that Polish films will have the widest promotion possible, as if in spite of the restrictions caused by the pandemic –  Krzysztof Gierat, the director of the Krakow Film Festivals, explains.  

Polish films in international competitions

Three Polish films will be presented in the international documentary competition. Among them there is a remarkably intimate attempt to penetrate the nooks and crannies of the fascinating and unusual minds of people with autism, made by Piotr Stasik (“Altered States of Consciousness”). We will also see a film contemplation of hard everyday life on the Chukchi Peninsula, shown by Maciej Cuske in his documentary “The Whale from Lorino”, and a shocking, though occasionally grotesque, picture of a life under surveillance in communist Poland in a documentary “An Ordinary Country” by Tomasz Wolski. Jerzy Śladkowski’s Swedish film “Bitter Love”, focusing on relations between men and women on a cruise on the Volga, was also made in cooperation with Poland.

Polish productions will also take part in the international short film competition. Documentary, live action and animated short films will compete for a Golden and Silver Dragons. Among the live action films the audience will see “Alice and the Frog” directed by Olga Bołądź – a surrealistic coming-of-age story filled with symbols and meanings – and “Problem” by Tomasz Wolski in which a quiet afternoon is disturbed by the aforementioned problem – an unconscious man lying on a grass. For the first time in the history of the festival one director will present two films from different genres in three competitions.

Polish animations will be represented by Tomek Ducki with his latest production “Plantarium” about a man cultivating a mysterious garden who one day finds a little boy in one of his flower pots, and Marcin Wojciechowski with his film “backstage.episodes” which explores the psychological states of an individual while making references to Ian Curtis.

In the competition we will also see two Polish short documentaries: “Dad You’ve Never Had” by Dominika Łapka and “I Need the Handshakes” (dir. Andrej Kuciła). The former tells a story of a complicated relation between a grown up daughter and her father and a difficult confrontation that takes place between them years later. In the latter we meet a 92-year-old Walentyna who by the end of her life goes through her daughter’s old notebooks. Together with her we set on a journey through an unfamiliar world of a person who “everyone forgot about”.

National competition of the 60th Krakow Film Festival

It has been a tradition for a few years that the Festival opens with one of Polish documentary films taking part in the competition. On the opening night of this year’s 60th Krakow Film Festival we will see “Pollywood” by Paweł Ferdek who went across the pond following Polish founding fathers of Hollywood to fulfil his own American Dream.

“Polish documentaries presented in the competition can be seen as fascinating travels through time and space, but those films also show a dark side of contemporary Polish reality. They tell the stories of people following their dreams and people in search of spirituality. We will find here heroic struggles with suffering and attempts to establish everyday relations. And no taboos: autism, menopause, the Polish Radical Camp activity…” – Anita Piotrowska, curator of the Krakow Film Festival documentary section, sums up.

“This year’s short films can make the audience feel uneasy, or maybe they will “only” rhyme with the feelings we’re experiencing today?” – Dagmara Romanowska, film critic who selects films for the Krakow Film Festival, wonders. – “The filmmakers look for different topics and forms of expression. Olga Bołądź, in her directorial debut “Alice and the Frog”, irritates our senses with colours and songs, but at the same time touches on one of the most controversial subjects in recent years – abortion. Tomasz Wolski, in his one-shot film “Problem”,tests the boundaries of our empathy by observing some police and medical procedures. 

Submission” by Michał Ciechomski, an ecological apocalyptic dystopia (however not devoid of hope), will make us tremble. On the screen we will also see the problem of rape, loneliness and alienation; refugees and lost souls, heroes marginalised by the society or trapped in the nightmare of their own difficult choices and fears will also make an appearance. Obviously the range of topics is quite extensive, but the various forms of expression chosen by the directors are also characterised by intriguing pursuits and experiments. “I think it will be an interesting journey for the audience and everyone will find here a film which will touch them in a special, individual way” – Dagmara Romanowska adds.    

“This year in the nationalanimated film competition we mostly have directorial debuts. Films from the Lodz Film School, the Academy of Fine Arts in Krakow and Munk Studio are a proof that a new wave in Polish animation is still happening” – Robert Sowa from the Krakow Film Festival selection committee says. 
The women’s voice is especially powerful in the animation. Films like “Lushfulness” by Weronika Szymy and “Portrait of a Woman” by Natalia Durszewicz are devoted to carnal desire and self-approval. In “I’m here” by Julia Orlik, “Paper House” by Martyna Hołda and “Your Own Bullshit” by Daria Kopiec the female directors focus on family dramas and loneliness experienced in one’s own home.

Panorama of the Polish documentary film

In the Panorama we’ll take a look into the famous House of Writers at Krupnicza street in Krakow “House of Writers” by Marek Gajczak, we’ll get to know an extraordinary heroine from Auschwitz – Stanisława Leszczyńska “The Midwife”, dir. Maria Stachurska and we’ll see the world through the eyes of a distinguished cinematographer Ryszard Lenczewski “My Sleepless Night”. In Renata Kijowska’s film “On the Top Tyrryry” we will meet an energetic rock band whose members live in a nursing home in Rzadkowo.

Polish films in festival sections outside of the competition and special screenings


International documentary competition

  • “Altered States of Consciousness”, dir. Piotr Stasik, 55’, 2020
  • “The Whale From Lorino, dir. Maciej Cuske, 59’, 2019
  • “An Ordinary Country”, dir. Tomasz Wolski, 53’, 2020

International short film competition

  • “Alice and the Frog”, dir. Olga Bołądź, 27’, 2020
  • “backstage.episodes”, dir. Marcin Wojciechowski, 11’, 2020
  • “Dad You’ve Never Had”, dir. Dominika Łapka, 29’, 2020
  • “Plantarium”, dir. Tomek Ducki, 7’, 2020
  • “Problem”, dir. Tomasz Wolski, 15’, 2020
  • “I Need the Handshakes”, dir. Andrej Kuciła, 19’, 2020


Documentary films:

  • “Dad You’ve Never Had”, dir. Dominika Łapka, 29’, 2020
  • “The Butterfly’s Dream”, dir. Jarosław Szmidt’ 91, 2020
  • “Fortunata”, dir. Paweł Banasiak, 80’, 2020
  • “Guczo. Notes on Life”, dir. Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz, 76’, 2020
  • “In Case of An Emergency”, dir. Jakub A. Kozieł, 26’, 2019
  • “Kites”, reż. Franciszek Dźwierżyński, Łukasz Stryjewski, 5’, 2020
  • “Between Us”, dir. Dorota Proba, 53’, 2020
  • “Altered States of Consciousness”, dir. Piotr Stasik, 55’, 2020
  • “Last Knights of The Right Sight”, dir. Michał Edelman, 67’, 2020
  • “Papa”, dir. Maryia Yakimovich, 29’, 2020
  • “Pilgrims of Divine Mercy”, dir. Przemysław Jan Chrobak, 83’, 2020
  • “Pollywood”, dir. Paweł Ferdek, 85’, 2020
  • “Tell Me More”, dir. Martyna Peszko, 29’, 2020
  • “Sonny”, dir. Paweł Chorzępa, 40’, 2019
  • “Glass Negatives”, dir. Jan Borowiec, 39’, Polska, 2019
  • “Tigress of Menopause”, dir. Henryk Dederko, 50’, 2020
  • “I Need the Handshakes”, dir. Andrej Kuciła, 19’, 2020
  • “We Have One Heart”, dir. Katarzyna Warzecha, 11’, 2020
  • “The Fear”, dir. Pawlina Carlucci Sforza, 28’, 2020
  • “The Whale From Lorino, dir. Maciej Cuske, 59’, 2019
  • “xABo: Father Boniecki”, dir. Aleksandra Potoczek, 73’, 2020
  • “An Ordinary Country”, dir. Tomasz Wolski, 53’, 2020

Animated films:

  • “backstage.episodes”, dir. Marcin Wojciechowski, 11’, 2020
  • “Lushfulness”, dir. Weronika Szyma, 6’, 2020
  • “I’m Here”, dir. Julia Orlik, 15’, 2020
  • “Millenium” dir. Daria Godyń, 8’, 2020
  • “Paper House”, dir. Martyna Hołda, 6’, 2020
  • “Plantarium”, dir. Tomek Ducki, 7’, 2020
  • “Portrait of a Woman”, dir. Natalia Durszewicz, 5’, 2020
  • “Co-ognition”, dir. Przemysław Świda, 6’, 2020
  • “Reason”, dir. Szymon Ruczyński, 8’, 2020
  • “Now Listen”, dir. Kasia Kijek, Przemek Adamski, 4, 2020
  • “Your Own Bullshit”, dir. Daria Kopiec, 6’, 2020

Live action short films:

  • “Alice and the Frog”, dir. Olga Bołądź, 28’, 2020
  • “Go and Tell Her”, dir. Aleksandra Maciejczyk, 18’, 2019
  • “Beyond Is the Day”, dir. Damian Kocur, 26’, 2020
  • “The Stone”, dir. Bartosz Kozera, 25’, 2020
  • “Maria Is Not Alive”, dir. Martyna Majewska, 29’, 2020
  • “Noamia”, dir. Antonio Galdamez, 29’, 2020
  • “Last Days of Summer”, dir. Klaudia Kęska, 26’, 2020
  • “Problem”, dir. Tomasz Wolski, 15’, 2020
  • “The Dress”, dir. Tadeusz Łysiak, 30’ 2020
  • “Submission”, dir. Michał Ciechomski, 30’, 2020


  • ”House of Writers”, dir. Marek Gajczak, 61’, 2019
  • “How to swim and not to drown”, dir. Anna Pawluczuk, 22’, 2019
  • “My sleepless night”, dir. Ryszard Lenczewski, 8’, 2019
  • “On the Top Tyrryry”, dir. Renata Kijowska, 60’, 2019
  • “The Midwife”, dir. Maria Stachurska, 54’, 2020
  • “Just don’t sing“, dir. Jędrzej Michalak, 25’ ,2019
  • “In harmony”, dir. Dorota Bator, 14’, 2019
  • “Broken head”, dir. Maciej Jankowski, 42’, 2019

The programme of the 60th Krakow Film Festival will be moved entirely online! The latest documentary, animated and short films from around the world, awaited Polish premieres and meetings with filmmakers will be available online, from the safety of your own home. The full festival programme will be announced mid-May.

Kategoria: News.


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