Polish films at the 58th Krakow Film Festival

Among documentary, short and animated films from all over the world, Poland has its strong representation at the Festival. Polish films will take part in all four festival competitions and will be also presented in the sections outside the competition.


Polish panorama




One of the most important out-of-competition sections is Polish panorama. This year we will see 18 most interesting productions from the last few months, and among them some amazing portraits of women – the art curator Anda Rottenberg and the President of the Polish Humanitarian Action Janina Ochojska – and an emotional story about veterans from Afghanistan told by a cinematographer Petro Aleksowski, who was shot himself on the another film set by a former special unit solder. We will recreate the mood of the World Youth Days in 2016, and even listen to traditional Mongolian throat singing performed by… women. Short fiction and animation are also included, which proves that the range of Polish film schools is growing.

Polish films in international competitions


Over the Limit


The 58th Krakow Film Festival will start on May 27th with the screening of Concerto for Two” by Tomasz Drozdowicz. This documentary feature, which is an intimate portrait of a charismatic conductor, composer and pianist Jerzy Maksymiuk and his wife Ewa, is one of two Polish films which will take part in the prestigious international competition DocFilmMusic. The other one is “Ethiopiques – Revolt of the Soul” by Maciej Bochniak, a compelling and colourful story of one of the most original funk and jazz music styles – Ethiopiques, which was born in the 1970s in swinging Ethiopia.

In the prestigious international documentary film competition we will see two Polish movies as well. Grzegorz Zariczny, the author of “The Whistle” which was awarded at Sundance, will present his latest movie. This time Zariczny focuses on students graduating from high school. “The Last Lesson” is a coming-of-age story about making the first important choices. When it comes to Marta Prus, who was included in the Variety Magazine’s list “10 Europeans to Watch 2018”, she will show “Over the Limit” – a portrait of a Russian gymnast, Margarita Mamun, who on her way to Olympic gold has to face not only her rivals but also her inhibitions.



In the international short film competition Poland will be represented in all three categories: documentary, fiction and animated film. Among short documentaries we will see “The Sisters” by Michał Hytroś, presenting the lives of 12 nuns in the oldest enclosed women’s convent in Poland. Marta Pajek will come back to the Festival with her latest animation “III”, which will be presented in the main short film competition at Cannes. The film is a third part of the “Impossible Figures and Other Stories” triptych. The previous part of the triptych received the Silver Hobby-Horse at the Festival in 2016.



When it comes to fiction, two Polish titles will be presented in the international short film competition: “Users” by Jakub Piątek and “Morning Has Broken” by Olga Chajdas. Both of them, even though completely different, talk about loneliness and losing yourself. The former takes us into the dangerous virtual reality, the latter exposes desperate attempts to cope with one’s inner world.


National competition at the 58th Krakow Film Festival

“44 [sic!] titles were carefully selected by us, including as many as 23 documentaries. We’ve noticed that Polish documentary filmmakers don’t travel the world anymore to find an interesting subject and strong characters, yet still avoid the harsh political reality and everyday quarrels. Sometimes they reach into the past, but usually point their cameras at the surrounding neighbourhood and – as always – at the family. We, however, decided to step out of the comfort zone of Polish cinema and look for a breath of a fresh air among the visual artists or even amateurs” – says the Festival Director Krzysztof Gierat.

Dagmara Romanowska, a film critic and artistic curator of the Krakow Film Festival narrative film section, sums up the narrative films in the competition: “We selected very formally diverse narrative films: we have small dramas and genre cinema, humour, satire, and even horror, period costume and contemporary surrounding. However, all those films share a common unrest – tremors that originate from the inner unfulfillment, disappointment, disillusionment, but also inner fear. It doesn’t matter if it is the system that fails or another person, the protagonist is always alone with his or her emotions and has to choose between facing them, accepting the situation, undertaking a positive action or escaping – even into a crime. The ending doesn’t have to be always bitter, but even then the audience will be left with a question, with the unrest.”


Robert Sowa, the artistic curator of the Krakow Film Festival animated section, focuses on the diversity of themes and animation techniques: “This year’s selection of the animated films in the Polish competition is best presented with the film titles: “The Ant Gets Married”, “Christ of Nation”, “Colaholic”, “Bless You!”… We will provide a lot of excitement and entertainment. In the programme we have premiers only, including Marta Pajek’s “III” and an animation about Roman Polanski – “Masterclass”.



The films in the National Competition will be judged by the jury comprising of: Tadeusz Sobolewski – head of the jury, Anna Jadowska, Dorota Kobiela, Mikołaj Jazdon, Petro Aleksowski.


The festival will also host Władysław Ślesicki’s retrospective to celebrate the 10th anniversary of the Polish film director’s death, as well as the screening of the films from the “30 minutes” programme to celebrate the 10 year anniversary of the Munk Studio.

The special event of this year’s edition will be a film evening “Raise Your Glass to Rzeczpospolita“, during which the following films, accompanied by unique music performances, will be presented: “Rzeźbiarz z kamerą” (“Sculptor with the Camera”), edited by Marcin Giżycki from the footage made in the 1920’s by the count August Zamoyski, and an incomplete copy of a 35mm film  “Polonia Restituta 1928” discovered in the National Film Archive. Two bands – The Beat Freaks and SALK – will be performing. The organizers of this special screening are: National Film Archive – Audiovisual Institute, Silent Film Festival and Krakow Film Festival.


The list of Polish films in the competitions at the 58th Krakow Film Festival



International documentary film competition

“The Last Lesson”, dir. Grzegorz Zariczny, Poland, 53’, 2018

“Over the Limit”, dir. Marta Prus, Poland, Germany, Finland, 74’, 2017


International competition DocFilmMusic

“Ethiopiques – Revolt of the Soul”, dir. Maciej Bochniak, Poland, 71, 2017

“Concerto for Two”, dir. Tomasz Drozdowicz, Poland, 75’, 2018


International short film competition

“III”, dir. Marta Pajek, Poland, anim., 12’, 2018

“Morning Has Broken”, dir. Olga Chajdas, Poland, fict., 15’, 2017

“The Sisters”, dir. Michał Hytroś, Poland, doc., 19’, 2017

“Users”, dir. Jakub Piątek, Poland, fict., 29’, 2018



Documentary films

“Dreamland”, dir. Stanisław Berbeka, 85’, Poland, 2018

“Ethiopiques – Revolt of the Soul”, dir. Maciej Bochniak, 71’ Poland, 2017

“Guest”, dir. Sebastian Weber, 30’, Poland, 2018

“George and George on the Lake”, dir. Piotr Małecki, 26’, Poland, 2018

“Concerto for Two”, dir. Tomasz Drozdowicz, 75’, Poland, 2018

“Krzyżoki”, dir. Anna Gawlita, 20’, Poland, 2018

“A Minor Genocide”, dir. Natalia Koryncka-Gruz, 72’, Poland, 2018

“Unconditional Love”, dir. Rafał Łysak, 40’, Poland, 2018

“Love and Empty Words”, dir. Małgorzata Imielska, 77’, Poland, 2018

“World Champion”, dir. Kacper Lisowski, 65’, Poland, 2018

“Newborn”, dir. Lidia Duda, 74’, Poland, 2018

“Notes on Life. A Movie about Edward Żebrowski”, dir. Maria Zmarz-Koczanowicz, 75’, Poland, 2017

“Under a Placid Sky”, dir. Anna Konik, 92’, Poland, 2018

“The Briefing”, dir. Filip Drzewiecki, 19’, Poland, 2018

“The Last Lesson”, dir. Grzegorz Zariczny, 53’, Poland, 2018

“Over the Limit”, dir. Marta Prus, 74’, Poland, Germany, Finland, 2017

“Radwan”, dir. Teresa Czepiec, 15’, Poland, 2018

“Family”, dir. Patrycja Widłak, 27’, Poland, 2017

“Leocadia’s Dream”, dir. Krzysztof Nowicki, 18’, Poland 2017

“The Sisters”, dir. Michał Hytroś, 19’, Poland, 2017

“Dam”, dir. Natalia Koniarz, Stanisław Cuske, 22’, Poland, 2018

“Universam Grochów”, dir. Tomasz Knittel, 39’, Poland, 2018

“I grew up as you slept”, dir. Marcin Sauter, 50’, Poland, 2018


Narrative films

“1410”, dir. Damian Kocur, 26’, Poland, 2018

“Atlas”, dir. Maciej Kawalski, 28’, Poland, 2018

“Daughter”, dir. Mara Tamkovich, 29’, Poland, 2017

“ Tremors”, dir. Dawid Bodzak, 21’, Poland, 2018

“Morning Has Broken”, dir. Olga Chajdas, 15’, Poland, 2017

“Operation”, dir. Mohammed Almughanni, 19’, Poland, Palestine, 2018

“Play”, dir. Piotr Sułkowski, 13’, Poland, 2018

“Happiness”, dir. Maciej Buchwald, 24’, Poland, 2018

“Users”, dir. Jakub Piątek, 29’, Poland, 2018

“It’s Summer”, dir. Filip Bojarski, 16’, Poland, 2018


Animated films

“Bernard”, dir. Anna Oparkowska, 7’, Poland, 2017

“Mud”, dir. Alicja Błaszczyńska, 13’, Poland, 2018

“Christ of Nation”, dir. Ewa Drzewicka, 9’, Poland, 2018

“Colaholic”, dir. Marcin Podolec, 11’, Poland, 2018

“III”, dir. Marta Pajek, 12’, Poland, 2018

“The Other”, dir. Marta Magnuska, 5’, Poland, 2018

“Masterclass”, dir. Ewa Drzewicka, Grażyna Trela, Dominika Fedko, Weronika Kuc, Małgorzata Jachna, Małgorzata Jędrzejec, Aleksandra Rylewicz, 6’, Poland, 2018

“The Ant Gets Married”, dir. Michał Poniedzielski, 15’, Poland, 2017

“Bless You!”, dir. Paulina Ziółkowska, 5’, Poland, 2017

“Eatself”, dir. Edyta Adamczak, 14’, Poland, 2018

“Connoisseur”, dir. Daria Godyń, 6’, Poland, 2017



“Hocus Mommy Pocus”, dir. Anna Pawluczuk, fict., 17’, Poland, 2018

“The Days of Transformation”, dir. Tomasz Jurkiewicz, doc., 51’, Poland, 2018

“The Beast”, dir. Kamila Chojnacka, fict., 22’, Poland, 2018

“Hugo”, dir. Wojciech Klimala, doc., 80’, Poland, 2017

“Janka”, dir. Adela Kaczmarek, doc., 50, Poland, 2018

“Kichka. Life Is a Cartoon”, dir. Delfina Jałowik, doc., 74’, Poland, 2017

“Luxus. The Simple Story”, dir. Agnieszka Mazanek, doc., 67’, Poland, 2017

“I’m Writing to You, My Love”, dir. Magdalena Szymków, doc., 26’, Poland, Słowacja, 2018

“Aborted Mission”, dir. Petro Aleksowski, doc., 50’, Poland, 2018

“Room”, dir. Michał Socha, anim., 6’, Poland, 2018

“Loneliness”, dir. Igor Kawecki, Betina Bożek, anim., 8’, Poland, 2017

“Sashka”, dir. Katarzyna Lesisz, fict., 26’, Poland, 2018

“Sing”, dir. Olga Korotkaya, doc., 52’, Poland, Russia, 2018

“Techno”, dir. Tadeusz Łysiak, fict., 24’, Poland, 2017

“Tsantsa”, dir. Robin Lipo, fict., 30’, Poland, 2018

“Auntie Leonie’s”, dir. Michał Ciechomski, fict., 25’, Poland, 2018

“Framing Freedom”, dir. Róża Fabjanowska, Sławomir Malcharek, doc., 79’, Poland, 2017

“Open Range”, dir. Rafał Gużkowski, doc., 35’, Poland, 2017


The 58th Krakow Film Festival will take place May 27th – June 3rd, 2018.