Polish films at the 59th Krakow Film Festival program

Unusual stories captured in documentaries, animations that surpass the limits of imagination and feature films thatshowcase the world in just several minutes – an integral part of the KrakowFilm Festival are the screenings of the most important Polish documentaryfilms, short feature films and animations. Polish productions can be found inall three competition sections, as well as almost all non-competitive sectionsof the festival. The program also includes celebratory special events thatshowcase classic Polish documentaries.

Polish films in the international competitions

59. Krakow Film Festival will be opened on 26h May with a screening of “TheWind. A Documentary Thriller” directed by Michał Bielawski. The documentary showcasing the destructive force of the halny wind and the way it disrupts the lives of local inhabitants is one of the two Polish films, that will compete in the international full length documentary competition. The second one is “Of Animals and Men” directed by Łukasz Czajka, a dramatic story, filled with fascinating archive materials, of a married couple the Żabinscy, who gave shelter to almost 300 refugees from the ghetto during the occupation until the break of the Warsaw Uprising.

Polish productions will also be showcased in the international short film competition. Short documentaries, feature films and animations will compete for the awards of the Golden and Silver Dragon. The documentary “The Tough” by MarcinPolar will take viewers inside the recently discovered cave in the Tatras,allowing them to explore it with their own eyes, while the film“Connected” by Aleksandra Maciejczyk will allow us to empathize withthe situation of Krzysztof, who must watch the world through his wife’s eyes.Among the feature films in the international competition we can watch HelenaOborska’s “Bitten”, a mysterious story with the phenomenal MaryKomasa in the leading role and “It’s Good Like That” directed byMarcin Sauter – a contemplative journey of Nikodem, played by Adam Woronowicz,traveling through Spitsbergen tundra.

The Polish animations will be represented this year by “Portrait of Suzanne” by Izabela Plucińska – a grotesque story of a man whose foot turns into Suzanne’sformer lover, made in the plasticine animation technique for which the artistis most recognized for, “Vitae Azilia” by Joanna Wapniewska, a film full of emotions and passions about a lost, but still vital relationship between two people and “ACID RAIN”, an animated record of the journey of Young and Skinny to the ever more weird regions of the city and consciousness.

Polish competition of the 59th Krakow FilmFestival

This will be a young artists’ competition. In their documentaries they once again direct the lens on to their close ones, although it also happens that they reach to the history of our country, to tell a story with their camera that is dramatic, individual, but important for us all. Even in miniatures, they search for inspiration in the lives of their grandparents. And as always, the animation tries to look at our world from a distance, from the perspective of the universe – theDirector of the Festival Krzysztof Gierat comments on the selection.

Documentaries in the Polish competition are both very intimate pictures of the family, as in “And We’ll Be Happy Again” by Krzysztof Wołżański or “The Last Voyage” by Stanisław Cousse, and portraits of unusual characters: Helena ,who has been working for 30 years in the center for lepers in “No direction home” by Paweł Wysoczański or artist Andrzej Strumiłło in the documentary “Summa” by Andrej Kuciła. The competition also includes films using unusual archives and animations, such as Piotr Jaworski’s “TheAntarctic Syndrome” about Dr. Terelak’s experiment, exploring the limits of the human psyche under Antarctic isolation. As usual, there will be films about the search for love (“Love 404” by Agata Baumgart) ordetermination to make your dreams come true (“Strawberry Boys”, directed by Michał Toczek).

– The subject of the family returns to the Krakow Film Festival. It is here not for the first time, but this year it clearly appears in a quite interesting, perhaps even surprising variant: the story in which the grandparents of the main characters are entangled in. History turns out to be still alive, it is not a closed chapter, because itsenergy and consequences are passed on to next generations. In this group I wouldpay attention to such titles as “On strike!”, ” Ricochets” or “Never good”– says Dagmara Romanowska, KFF selector.

Equally often the family is portrayed in the process of trauma or adaptation to the new situation. Sometimes it is a child’s partner that is not accepted by their parents or a move to another city. At other times the topic is loss and the emptiness that is left behind – the death that destroys everything. At other times it is some sort of an anxiety that cannot be named, yet creeps in and disrupts a seeminglyhappy life. “Roots”, “Camouflage”, “View to the wall”, “Vacancy”, “It’s Good Like That”, “MyHeart” are all productions that put the family at the center of theirinterests adds Dagmara Romanowska.

In the Polish competition we will also see many animated novelties, freshly completed films that will have their premiere screenings in Krakow. A lot of films are great debuts, which is a good sign of the ever-growing strength and potential of our animation. At the same time, the incredible variety of competition films will surely satisfy the most sophisticated appetites of animation lovers – says Robert Sowa, the selector of the Krakow Film Festival.

One shouldn’t miss the animations saturated with the atmosphere of anxiety such as Grzegorz Koncewicz’s The Idol, and Mateusz Jarmulski’s The Hunt as well as films commenting on contemporary society like Piotr Milczarek’s “Rain” or”Story” by Jola Bańkowska and the funny, crazy and even surreal stories like “Kaprysia” Betina Bożek or “Metro” by Natalia Krawczuk.

Panorama of the Polish Documentary Film

In the Panorama of the Polish Documentary Film, we are bragging with what is the bestand the most original in Polish production. It is, next to the competition, the most powerful presentation of our documentary thought, which is admired  and even envied at international festival. It is here, in Krakow that international careers often start – the Director of the Festival, Krzysztof Gierat, encourages.

Thanks to this section, viewers from Krakow will take a journey to Łódź thanks to Ewa Podgórska’s film “Diagnosis”, get to know the story of a neighboring community and a couple of Warsaw tenement owners regained in the reprivatization in “Zlota Street”, a documentary by Tomasz Knittel,and take part in an expedition to K2 thanks “The Last Mountain” by Dariusz Załuski.

This year, the panorama of the Polish documentaries also showcases the portraits of cinemamasters like Witold Sobociński and Bogdan Dziworski, stories of people who witnessed WWII cruelty as children, a story of a seafood farmer in the Japanese Sea and the search for the mysterious Tereska from David Seymour’s photography.

Polish films in non-competitive sections of the festival and special screenings

Polish films can be found in almost every section of this year’s festival. In the “Stories from the world” section, the Polish-Australian production “Polish Missionaries” by Simon Target will be presented. Target travels by kayak to inaccessible corners of Papua New Guinea, where Polish missionaries and missionaries help the local community build a better future.

In the “Laureates of Festivals” section we can find Paweł Ziemilski’s “In Touch”, awarded at IDFA festival, presenting the village of Stare Juchy, from where most of the residents emigrated to Iceland. The second winner of the Amsterdam festival, which will be shown in Krakow, is a short documentary “I Dance for You” by Katarzyna Lesisz. This section will also featureMałgorzata Bosek-Serafińska’s “Year” animation, awarded at the Etiuda& Anima festival, dedicated to the memory of Marek Serafiński. It’s a diary made up of paper everyday waste like labels, price tags, tickets, etc. and cigarette packages burned by an addict.

To celebrate the 70th anniversary of the Documentary and Feature Film Studios and Educational Film Studios, special screenings of the Polish documentary classics by Bogdan Dziworski, Kazimierz Karabasz, Władysław Ślesicki, Jerzy Hoffman, Edward Skórzewski and Krzysztof Kieślowski will take place. The screenings will take place in an extraordinary setting – the interior of the Barbican, a medieval fortification in the center of Krakow.

During this edition of the Krakow Film Festival, the 15th anniversary of the death of Maciej Szumowski, a Krakow journalist and filmmaker, the legendary editor-in-chief of “Gazeta Krakowska”, will be celebrated. In the program “Around Szumowski” in addition to films by Maciej Szumowski, the works of his children – Małgorzata Szumowska and Wojciech Szumowski will also be presented.


International documentary competition

O zwierzętach i ludziach / Of Animals and Men, reż./dir. Łukasz Czajka (PL),2019, D, 55ʼ

Wiatr.Thriller dokumentalny / The Wind. A Documentary Thriller,reż./dir. Michał Bielawski (PL, SK), 2019, D, 75ʼ

International short film competition

ACID RAIN, reż./dir. Tomek Popakul (PL), 2019, A, 27ʼ

Harda / The Tough, reż./dir. Marcin Polar (PL), 2019, D, 14’

Połączeni / Connected, reż./dir. Aleksandra Maciejczyk (PL), 2018, D, 18ʼ

Portret Suzanne / Portrait of Suzanne, reż./dir. Izabela Plucińska (PL, DE, FR), 2019,A, 15ʼ

Tak jest dobrze / It’s Good Like That, reż./dir. Marcin Sauter (PL), 2019, F, 23ʼ

Ukąszenie / Bitten, reż./dir. Helena Oborska (PL), 2019, F, 24ʼ

Vitae Azilia, reż./dir. Joanna Wapniewska (PL), 2019, A, 7ʼ


Documentary films:

19.91, reż./dir. Emilia Śniegoska (PL), 2019, D, 25ʼ

Cienie imperium / Shadows of the Empire, reż./dir. Karol Starnawski (PL), 2018, D, 76ʼ

Czysta sztuka / Pure Art, reż./dir. Maksim Shved (PL, BY), 2019, D, 52’

Dziś, jutro… wczoraj / Today, Tomorrow… Yesterday, reż./dir. Diana Kadłubowska, Krzysztof Kadłubowski (PL), 2019, D, 52’

Fuck, it’s Biology, reż./dir. Veronica Andersson (PL), 2019, D, 29’, D, 29’

Harda / The Tough, reż./dir. Marcin Polar (PL), 2019, D, 14’

Historia krótkiego trwania / A short story / reż./dir. Michał Ciechomski (PL), 2019, D, 14’

I znów będziemy szczęśliwi / And We’ll Be Happy Again, reż./dir. Krzysztof Wołżański (PL), 2019, D, 22’

Jeszcze porozmawiamy / We Will Talk Again, reż./dir. Mateusz Buława (PL), 2019, D, 21’

Listy do Artura / Letters to A., reż./dir. Wiktoria Szymańska (PL, SUI), 2019, D, 56ʼ

Love 404, reż./dir. Agata Baumgart (PL), 2018, D, 17ʼ

 Mój kraj taki piękny / My Country SoBeautiful, reż./dir. Grzegorz Paprzycki (PL), 2019, D, 29ʼ

No Direction Home, reż./dir. Paweł Wysoczański (PL), 2019, D, 79ʼ

Oko boga / Eye of God, reż./dir. Igor Kawecki (PL), 2019, D, 17ʼ

Koniec sezonu / The End of the Season , reż./dir. Stanisław Cuske (PL), 2019, D, 19ʼ

O zwierzętach i ludziach / Of Animals and Men, reż./dir. Łukasz Czajka (PL), 2019, D, 55ʼ

Połączeni / Connected, reż./dir. Aleksandra Maciejczyk (PL), 2018, D, 18ʼ

Strawberry Boys, reż./dir. Michał Toczek (PL), 2018, D, 20ʼ

Summa, reż./dir. Andrej Kuciła (PL), 2018, D, 50ʼ

Syndrom zimowników / The Antarctic Syndrome, reż./dir. Piotr Jaworski (PL), 2019, D, 73ʼ

Wiatr. Thriller dokumentalny / The Wind. A Documentary Thriller, reż./dir. Michał Bielawski (PL, SK), 2019, D, 75ʼ

Animated films:

ACID RAIN, reż./dir. Tomek Popakul (PL), 2019, A, 27ʼ

Cyborgia / Cyborgy, reż./dir. Adam Żądło (PL), 2018, A, 8’

Deszcz / Rain, reż./dir. Piotr Milczarek (PL), 2018, A, 5ʼ

Duszyczka / The Little Soul, reż./dir. Barbara Rupik (PL), 2019, A, 9’

Idol, reż./dir. Grzegorz Koncewicz, Marek Serafiński (PL), 2018, A, 13’

Kaprysia / Tha Land of Whim, reż./dir. Betina Bożek (PL), 2019, A, 8ʼ

Łowy / The Hunt, reż./dir. Mateusz Jarmulski (PL), 2018, A, 9ʼ

Metro, reż./dir. Natalia Krawczuk (PL), 2019, A, 11ʼ

Portret Suzanne / Portrait of Suzanne, reż./dir. Izabela Plucińska (PL, DE, FR), 2019, A, 15ʼ

Re-Cycle, reż./dir. Mateusz Lenart (PL), 2019, A, 6ʼ

Red Light Train, reż./dir. Alicja Kot (PL), 2019, A, 10ʼ

Story, reż./dir. Jola Bańkowska (PL), 2019, A, 5ʼ

Vitae Azilia, reż./dir. Joanna Wapniewska (PL), 2019, A, 7ʼ

Short feature films:

Czarny charakter / Roots, reż./dir. Kuba Gryżewski (PL), 2019, F, 14’

Kamuflaż / Camouflage, reż./dir. Aleksandra Świerk (PL), 2018, F, 19ʼ

Moje serce / My Heart, reż./dir. Damian Kocur (PL), 2019, F, 30ʼ

 Na strajk! / On Straik!, reż./dir. StanisławHorodecki (PL), 2019, F, 26ʼ

Nie zmieniaj tematu / Don’t Change the Topic, reż./dir. Hubert Patynowski (PL), 2019, F, 30ʼ

Nigdy dobrze / Never Good, reż./dir. Paweł Powolny (PL), 2019, F, 17ʼ

Okno z widokiem na ścianę / View to the Wall, reż./dir. Kobas Laksa (PL), 2019, F, 29ʼ

Przejście graniczne / Border Crossing, reż./dir. Agnieszka Chmura (PL), 2019, F, 15ʼ

 Pustostan / Vacancy, reż./dir. AgataTrzebuchowska (PL), 2019, F, 29ʼ

Rykoszety / Ricochets, reż./dir. Jakub Radej (PL), 2019, F, 30ʼ

Tak jest dobrze / It’s Good Like That, reż./dir. Marcin Sauter (PL), 2019, F, 23ʼ

Ukąszenie / Bitten, reż./dir. Helena Oborska (PL), 2019, F, 24ʼ


Diagnosis, reż./dir. Ewa Podgórska (PL), 2018, D, 78ʼ

Dziwor / Weirdy, reż./dir. Paweł Dyllus (PL), 2019, D, 29ʼ

 Fateicz i morze / Fatei and the Sea, reż./dir.Alina Rudnitskaya i Siergiej Vinokurov (RUS, PL, FIN), 2019, D, 76ʼ

Niepamiętnik / I remember, reż./dir. Kamila Józefowicz (PL), 2019, D, 69ʼ

Ostatnia Góra / The Last Mountain, reż./dir. Dariusz Załuski (PL), 2018, D, 83ʼ

Ostatni Swing / The Last Swing, reż./dir. Tomasz Garncarek (PL), 2019, D, 67ʼ

Szukając Tereski / Searching for Tereska, reż./dir. Kama Veymont (PL), 2019, D, 65ʼ

Złota / Zlota, reż./dir. Tomasz Knittel (PL), 2019, D, 84ʼ

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