The International Short Film Competition at the 62nd KFF

Parallel Worlds

Short fiction films, documentaries, and animated films created by artists from various corners of the world will bring us closer to the everyday life of inspiring and intriguing characters – and take us on a journey through time and space. A total of 13 documentaries, 13 fiction films, and 13 animations – with 6 Polish productions among them – have a chance to win the Golden Dragon, a recommendation for the European Film Awards, and a short path to the Oscars.

Animated films

The animated films that will be presented at the Krakow Film Festival are the crème de la crème of world animation. Films with social themes, depicting individual dramas, but also experimental films and ones that mix genres. What’s interesting, festival selectors saw a surprisingly large number of visually interesting films made using the difficult and demanding technique of puppet animation. The undoubted renaissance of this technique is characterised by the innovative modelling of puppets and decorations and the often subjective reproduction of space. – concludes Wiola Sowa, animator and curator of the animation section. 

One of the favourite writers in Poland, Etgar Keret, will appear in Kraków as an animator. In A Brief History of Us, he tackles the subject of a long-term relationship and its consequences in his characteristic style. Marta Pajek returns with the last (and chronologically the first) part of the award-winning triptych Impossible Figures and Other Stories. The latest part shows a post-apocalyptic vision of a world in which man and his existence mean no more than a fraction of a second. The latest part has dialogue, with the main character voiced by the outstanding stage actress Anna Polony. 

In addition, we will find out what a world without people would look like (Without Us); we’ll see the world through the eyes of children (A Goat’s Spell, Luce and the Rock), and what extremely diverse stories the world of the past hides (Holy Holocaust, Cherry Bone, Til We Meet Again). Apart from the films by Pajek and Keret, another Polish highlight in the competition is Sławek Zalewski’s Fortress based on a short story by Slawomir Mrożek, with Jerzy Stuhr as the narrator.

Fiction films

In the fiction film category, Poland will be represented by two films: Victoria (dir. Karolina Porcari) with Katarzyna Figura in the role of 50-year-old Amelia, whose life is transformed when she experiences her first orgasm using a vibrator, and Mandatory Presence (dir. Adam Ziajski) – a surprising and original story about a character locked in a claustrophobic room, where he spends weeks searching for more and more absurd activities interwoven with post-apocalyptic visions of the world ending. 

Calm and seriousness, at other times a joke, grotesque, and even a slight provocation. The short films at the festival – not only in competitions – are a journey full of flavours, colours, and melodies, of places near and quite far, but still appealing. The presented films share almost nothing: temperament and style, themes, characters, but they are united by curiosity about the world and man, the sincerity of creative exploration and openness to questions. Empathy. – sums up Dagmara Romanowska, film critic, curator of fiction films at the Krakow Film Festival. 

In turn, you’ll get to experience a retro post-apocalypse in the Bulgarian film Snowdrops at the End of the Train, while Chiatura will take us (by cable car!) to a post-industrial mining town. We’ll watch a broadcast from a Chinese taxi journey that takes an unexpected turn in Live, and the weary mother of a mentally handicapped son will take us To the Sea. Among the qualifying films, there is also one about modern slavery, which is not a distant problem and may be happening right before our eyes (Caterpillar).

Documentary films

As always, the variety of family stories, from solving mysteries found in domestic archives to harrowing vivisections of relationships, are of particular interest.” – explains Maciej Gil, film expert, KFF selector.Among them is a new film by a Krakow Film Festival favourite – Jay Rosenblatt.

Nominated for an Oscar this year for his film When We Were Bullies (screened at the 60th KFF), Rosenblatt returns to the festival with his latest work How Do You Measure A Year?, in which – every year – he asks his daughter the same questions about her life, starting from an early age. For a change, the theme of death is taken up by the films It’s Time You Died Already – a shocking study of passing away, and Laboratory No. 2 whose protagonist is a retiring employee of a dissection room. Carnality and its various dimensions appear in the films: Hardcore – about a paralysed EDM lover, Anna – about a woman shaped by others’ opinions about her weight, Call Me Mommy – about mother of three who’s also a sex worker. The film Maldita. A Love Song to Sarajevo will introduce us to one of the most colourful Bosnian artists – Božo Vrećo 

List of fiction films qualified for the short film competition:
  • 10:45, dir. Giorgi Gogichaishvili, 14’, Georgia 2021
  • Caterpillar, dir. Marcus Anthony Thomas, 21’, United Kingdom 2021‬
  • Chiatura, dir. Toby Andris, 16’, France, Georgia 2021
  • Ruthless, dir. Matthew McGuigan, 13’, Ireland 2021
  • Gila Who Walks Alone, dir. Yuval Shapira, 20’, France, Israel 2021
  • Live, dir. Baggio Jiang, 22’, China 2021
  • No Ghost in the Morgue, dir. Marilyn Cooke, 16’, Canada 2022
  • Mandatory Presence, dir. Adam Ziajski, Poland 2021
  • Snowdrops at the End of the Train, dir. Galina Georgieva, 26’, Bulgaria 2021
  • The Swarmers, dir. Alison Kuhn, 30’, Germany 2022
  • To The Sea, dir. Lin Po-Yu, 25’, Taiwan 2021
  • Victoria, dir. Karolina Porcari, 28’, Poland 2022
  • The Sea Bride, dir. Mohammed Ateeq, 15′, Bahrain 2021
List of animated films qualified for the short film competition:
  • A Brief History of Us, dir. Etgar Keret, 6’, Poland 2021
  • A Goat’s Spell, dir. Gerhard Funk, 9’, Germany 2022
  • Cherry Bone, dir. Evgenia Gostrer, 18’, Germany 2021
  • Impossible Figures and Other Stories I, dir. Marta Pajek, 16’, Poland, Canada 2022
  • Holy Holocaust, dir. Osi Wald, Noa Berman-Herzberg, 17, Israel 2021
  • Home of the Heart, dir. Sarah Saidan, 15’, France 2021
  • In His Mercy, dir. Christoph Büttner, 12′, Germany, 2022
  • Love, Dad, dir. Diana Cam Van Nguyen, 13’, Czech Republic, Slovakia 2021
  • Luce and the Rock, dir. Britt Raes, 13’, Belgium, France, The Netherlands 2022 
  • Menagerie, dir. Jack Gray, 4’, USA 2022
  • Til We Meet Again, dir. Ülo Pikkov, 14’, Estonia 2022
  • Fortress, dir. Sławek Zalewski, 13’, Poland 2021
  • Without Us, dir. Julie Engaas, 9’, Norway 2022
List of documentary films qualified for the short film competition:
  • Anna, dir. Julia Roesler, 18’, Germany 2022
  • Hardcore, dir. Adán Aliaga, 22’, Spain 2022
  • How Do You Measure A Year?, dir. Jay Rosenblatt, 29’, USA 2021
  • It’s Time You Died Already, dir. Hadar Morag, 17’, Israel 2021
  • Laboratory No. 2, dir. Edris Abdi, Aware Omer, 16’, Iraq, Iran 2021
  • Forests, dir. Simon Plouffe, 16’, Canada 2022
  • Maldita. A Love Song to Sarajevo, dir. Raúl de la Fuente Calle, Amaia Ramirez, 27’, Spain 2022
  • Moody, dir. Tomasz Ratter, Karolina Karwan, 30, Poland 2022
  • Call Me Mommy, dir. Tara O’Callaghan, 15’, Ireland 2022
  • Parizad, dir. Mehdi Imani Shahmiri, 24’, Iran 2021
  • The Dream of a Horse, dir. Marjan Khosravi, 25’, Iran 2021
  • Strigov, dir. Barbora Bereznakova, 7′, Slovakia, 2022
  • Warrawong, dir. Simon Target, 30’, Australia 2022

Krakow Film Festival is included on the prestigious list of film events qualifying for the Academy Awards in the short film competition (fiction film, animated film, documentary film) and feature-length documentary film competition, as well as recommending films for the European Film Awards in the same categories. The festival also qualifies for BAFTA awards in the short documentary and fiction film category.

The Kraków 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, National Heritage and Sports, and the Lesser Poland Province. The co-organiser is the Polish Filmmakers Association, and the main organiser is the Krakow Film Foundation. 

A full program of this year’s Festival and tickets will be available in May 2022 at

The Krakow Film Festival will be held in Kraków cinemas from 29 May to 5 June, and online throughout Poland on 3–12 June 2022.

Kategoria: News.


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