The Krakow Film Foundation. A new chapter

Changes in the management board of the Krakow Film Foundation. The former President and the founder of the Foundation, Krzysztof Gierat, resigns in favour of Barbara Orlicz-Szczypuła, who has held the position of Vice-President until now. Katarzyna Wilk and Patrycja Czarny are also appointed to the management board, thus creating a fully female team.

“I made my decision to resign after careful consideration and numerous discussions. I would like to concentrate on the festival and other related activities,” explains Krzysztof Gierat, who will continue to act as the Director of the Krakow Film Festival. He will also sit on the Programme Council of the Foundation. “I am handing over the reins to the current Vice-President, who co-authored the Foundation from the very beginning, giving an original shape to many of our activities and building a fully professional team that allows creating the new management board. The Foundation will be run by women!” 

The head of the Foundation is Barbara Orlicz-Szczypuła, who has been on the board of directors since 2006 and for many years has been associated with the organisation of the Krakow Film Festival, as the director of the programme office. Previously, she was employed at Apollo Film, where she was responsible for the organisation of events, promotion and marketing. A graduate of the Institute of Ethnology and Cultural Anthropology at the Jagiellonian University. She is the director of the KFF Sales & Promotion Agency, the producer of the projects: Polish Docs, Polish Shorts and Polish Animations, the editor of the English-language magazine “Focus on Poland,” addressed to the documentary and short film industry. She conducts classes at the Andrzej Frycz Modrzewski Krakow University in Krakow and at the Jagiellonian University.

Katarzyna Wilk became the Vice-President of the Foundation. She is a graduate of the Faculty of Polish Studies at the Jagiellonian University, specialising in Theatre Studies. She also studied film studies, specialising in media, at the Faculty of Cultural Studies at the Jagiellonian University. She acted as an expert of the Polish Film Institute twice. The Vice-President of the KFF Sales & Promotion Agency and the co-ordinator of the Polish Docs project, dedicated to promoting Polish documentary cinema abroad. She co-operates with various magazines and Internet portals, publishes texts on film, theatre and culture. The editor of the English-language magazine “Focus on Poland.” Katarzyna Wilk is also the head of the KFF Industry – the largest Polish industry event, dedicated to documentary, animated and short films.

Patrycja Czarny will also act as the Vice-President. She graduated from film studies and post-graduated from Public Relations at the Faculty of Management and Social Communication at the Jagiellonian University. She worked at Apollo Film as a PR manager and co-operated by the implementation of numerous film events. She has been associated with the Krakow Film Foundation since 2004, where she acts as the assistant director of the programme office. She runs the Distribution and Event Organisation Department at the Krakow Film Foundation. 

Olga Lany also joined the Foundation’s team as the executive director. She is a culture manager with extensive experience in the field of event organisation, marketing and promotion. As the production manager, she implemented festivals, concerts, performances in Poland and abroad and led teams promoting and organising events at cultural institutions.

Krzysztof Gierat, the outgoing President of the Foundation is a film expert by profession, a graduate of the Jagiellonian University. He also studied at the Institute of Art of the Polish Academy of Sciences in Warsaw. He acted as, among others, the deputy mayor of the city of Krakow, the director of Apollo Film and the Film Agency of the Polish Television. He is also a member of the Polish and European Film Academy. He has been managing the Krakow Film Festival for 20 years.

The Krakow Film Foundation was established in 2003 on the initiative of Krzysztof Gierat by the Institute Apollo Film in order to organise events popularising film and to conduct activities supporting film production. The main project, periodically implemented by the Foundation, is the Krakow Film Festival, which is one of the most important events in the world, presenting documentary and short films. The festival, as the only one in Poland and one of the few in the world, is on the exclusive list of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) of events qualifying for the Oscar® in the short film category (feature, animated and documentary film) as well as feature-length documentary film, and it recommends the films to the European Film Awards in the same categories.

In addition, the Festival is accredited by the FIAPF (Fédération Internationale des Associations de Producteurs de Films / International Federation of Film Producers Associations) and it is a member of the DAE (Documentary Association Europe) — an organisation associating professionals connected with the documentary film, and the Short Film Conference — an international association of the short film industry and the EFA Short Film Network. Within the frames of the international networks, the Festival also co-operates with many prestigious festivals from all over the world. 

The Krakow Film Foundation, in addition to the organisation of the Krakow Film Festival, also deals with the promotion of Polish documentary, animated and short films as well as promoting the Polish film industry abroad within the frames of the agency KFF Sales & Promotion and the projects: Polish Docs and Polish Docs Pro, Polish Shorts and Polish Animations. 

As a part of its activities, the Foundation initiates and organises events promoting Polish films during international film festivals and film markets and develops individual promotional strategies for selected films that have international and distribution potential. For over 15 years, the Foundation has been organising Polish stalls at the documentary film market Sunny Side of the Docs in La Rochelle and at the largest short film market in Clermont-Ferrand, previously also for several years at the animated film market MIFA in Annecy. At the same time, the KFF cares for the presence of Polish films and film-makers at the festivals, among others, at the IDFA in Amsterdam, the DOK Leipzig, the Hot Docs in Toronto and at other important documentary film festivals all over the world. The Foundation also organised a series of thematic screenings and film retrospectives around the world, among others, in Tel Aviv, London, Guangzhou, Seoul, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Mexico City, Bogota, Moscow, Istanbul, Tehran and Florence.

Currently, the catalogue of the KFF Sales & Promotion includes 815 documentary, feature and animated films which, thanks to the activities of the Foundation, were shown over 9500 times at several hundred international festivals, where they won 1235 awards!  

The Krakow Film Foundation also runs production and distribution activities. Among the films distributed by the Foundation, there is the Oscar-nominated documentary film “Of Fathers and Sons,” directed by Talal Derki.