13th Kinoteka Polish Film Festival
The KINOTEKA Polish Film Festival, the annual celebration of Polish Cinema, returns to London this April for an extended bumper thirteenth edition, fifty-seven films and events at five venues. This year’s programme offers audiences at venues across London and the UK, an enticing mix of film, music and visual arts with an outstanding selection of screenings; UK premieres, curated retrospectives, exhibitions, concerts, interactive workshops, industry masterclasses and special guests encompassing all aspects of Polish film culture. KINOTEKA is presented by the Polish Cultural Institute in London in partnership with Pola Arts Foundation and DFDS Seaways and co-‐financed by the Polish Film Institute. Venues already confirmed to participate in the thirteenth KINOTEKA programme include the BFI Southbank, ICA, Tate Modern, Frontline Club and Filmhouse Edinburgh.
Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema
KINOTEKA is partnering with Filmhouse Edinburgh and BFI Southbank on an exciting new collaboration for the UK tour of Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema, twenty-four classics, chosen by Scorsese himself, all brilliantly restored and digitally remastered to 2K resolution. The season showcases films made during a particularly fertile and creative time in postwar Poland, representing the prodigious talent which came out of the world renowned Łódź Film School, with work from directors such as Andrzej Wajda, Krzysztof Zanussi, Andrzej Munk, Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Wojciech Jerzy Has, Aleksander Ford, Krzysztof Kieślowski, and others.
The UK season launches at KINOTEKA’s Opening Night Gala, on 8 April at BFI Southbank with a screening of Camouflage with director Krzysztof Zanussi in attendance. The event will be repeated at Filmhouse in Edinburgh on 10 April . KINOTEKA honours the work of Zanussi with 3 titles in the Masterpieces of Polish Cinema season: Camouflage, The Constant Factor and Illumination as well as the UK premiere of his latest film, Foreign Body in the New Polish Cinema section.
Full list of titles in the season: Eroica (1957) Dir: Andrzej Munk, The Last Days of Summer (1958) Dir. Tadeusz Konwicki, Ashes and Diamonds (1958) Dir. Andrzej Wajda, Knights of the Black Cross (1960) Dir. Aleksander Ford, Night Train (1959) Dir. Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Innocent Sorcerers (1960) Dir. Andrzej Wadja, Knife in the Water (1961) Dir. Roman Polański, Mother Joan of the Angels (1961) Dir. Jerzy Kawalerowicz, The Saragossa Manuscript (1964) Wojciech J Has, Pharoah (1965) Dir. Jerzy Kawalerowicz, Jump (1965) Dir. Tadeusz Konwicki, Walkover (1965) Dir. Jerzy Skolimowski, The Illumination (1972) Dir. Krzysztof Zanussi, To Kill This Love (1972) Dir. Janusz Morgenstern, The Wedding (1972) Dir. Andrzej Wajda, The Hourglass Sanatorium (1973) Dir. Wojciech J Has, The Promised Land (1974) Dir. Andrzej Wadja, Camouflage (1976) Dir. Krzysztof Zanussi, Provincial Actors (1978) Dir. Agnieszka Holland, The Constant Factor (1980) Dir. Krzysztof Zanussi, Blind Chance (1981) Dir. Krzysztof Kieślowski, Man of Iron (1981) Dir. Andrzej Wajda, Austeria (1982) Dir. Jerzy Kawalerowicz, A Short Film About Killing (1987) Dir. Krzysztof Kieślowski.
Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema, takes place at Filmhouse Edinburgh and BFI Southbank throughout April and May as part of KINOTEKA, followed by a national tour at venues across the UK. In addition a host of events and special guest Q&As will explore the lasting influence and development of Polish Cinema including an introductory season talk, study day and a five-session series of illustrated lectures at BFI Southbank.
One of Europe’s most acclaimed cinematographers, Sławomir Idziak has worked extensively with featured directors Zanussi, Wajda, and Kieślowski as well as influential documentarian Wojciech Wiszniewski (the subject of this year’s KINOTEKA retrospective documentary programme). In a Bafta Masterclass at the BFI Southbank, Idziak will discuss his prestigious career both in Poland and finding success internationally; working with Ridley Scott ( Black Hawk Down), John Sayles (Men With Guns), Michael Winterbottom (I Want You) and Andrew Niccol (Gattaca) as well as having shot Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. In 2002 he was nominated for an Academy Award and BAFTA for his work on Black Hawk Down. His latest project, The Tale of Love and Darkness, directed by Natalie Portman, is due for release later this year.
New Polish Cinema / London Film Academy workshops
The ICA plays host to KINOTEKA’s New Polish Cinema strand (10-12 April) with a selection of both popular and critically successful contemporary Polish films from the last year. The UK premiere of festival special guest Krzysztof Zanussi’s Foreign Body, an uncompromising look at contemporary Poland and the struggles between capitalist reality and Catholicism, sin and sainthood, men and women will be followed by a Q&A with the director. The New Polish Cinema strand also includes the UK premiere of actor/writer/director Jerzy Stuhr’s latest film, Citizen. A dramatic comedy set over sixty years, Citizen tells the story of Jan Bratek who regretfully always finds himself at the heart of events from the modern history of Poland, from the 1950s through to the present day.
The latest film from KINOTEKA favourite, Wojciech Smarzowski (Traffic Department, The Dark House), The Mighty Angel, is in many ways Poland’s answer to The Lost Weekend and Leaving Las Vegas. An uncompromising, naturalistic tale of addiction and redemption, Robert Więckiewicz stars as a writer hospitalised for his alcoholism and the film follows him and the patients he meets during his treatment.
Considered to be one of the year’s most interesting directorial debuts, Krzysztof Skonieczny’s Hardkor Disko, hails the arrival of a fresh voice in Polish Cinema, his incendiary, psychological thriller wowed audiences when it premiered at last year’s Edinburgh Film Festival. When a young man arrives in the city and makes his way to the door of a successful middle-‐aged couple, his motives for being there are unclear. What quickly becomes apparent is that his overriding desire is to kill them. Compelling and disturbing, Hardkor Disko turns ordinary domestic situations into scenes of unnerving tension.
Championing new and emerging talent, KINOTEKA teams up once again with the London Film Academy to present a three-day lab-based workshop for scriptwriters working on their first feature. Ten selected writers wil have the opportunity to polish their pitch, development and editing skills during a series of lectures, case studies and masterclasses including Gavin Humphries, Olivier Kaempfer and Oscar®-winning director Paweł Pawlikowski.
Under the lens; Polish Documentary film in focus
KINOTEKA showcases the breadth of original, innovative documentary that has come out of Poland. Paweł Pawlikowski is primarily known in the UK for his critically acclaimed feature films; winning Best Foreign Language film at both the Oscars® and BAFTA for the sublime Ida which screened at KINOTEKA last year as well as previous BAFTA-winners Last Resort and My Summer of Love. He began his career in television making documentaries for the BBC, where his distinctive mixing of fact with elements of the personal and poetic challenged expectations of the television documentary format. Paweł Pawlikowski will present a special weekend of screenings at the ICA (18 & 19 April), including From Moscow to Petushki and Dostoevsky’s Travels. In 1862, the Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky travelled to Western Europe. In the early 1990s, his great grandson Dimitri makes the same journey, travelling from St Petersburg to Berlin and London to lecture about his great grandfather. Blending real and fictional events, Pawlikowski’s film reflects on one of the pivotal moments in modern history: the fall of the Berlin Wall; ruminating on the collapse of the Soviet Union and Russia's transition to capitalism. Pawlikowski will introduce the first double-bill on 18 May and give an onstage Q&A on 19 May following the double bill of Tripping with Zhirinovsky and Serbian Epics his multilayered film portrait of Radovan Karadžić, the Bosnian Serb leader later accused of ordering the Srebrenica massacre. Filmed at the height of the war in Sarajevo, the film aroused a storm of controversy when it was originally broadcast.
In a short career before his premature death at the age of thirty0four, influential documentarian Wojciech Wiszniewski (1946-1981) produced just twelve films in total, yet he is now considered to be one of the most outstanding personalities of his generation. Known for his cutting edge and pioneering approach, his work broke conventions by employing bold techniques of framing, distorting sound and an associative use of editing to orchestrate or create a reality. His legacy is explored in Wojciech Wiszniewski Rediscovered, a programme of six of his shorts at the ICA (12 April), introduced by renowned cinematographer Jacek Petrycki, a close friend of Wiszinewski, who has also colaborated with Krzysztof Kieślowski, Marcel Łoziński and Agnieszka Holland.
The documentary strand also celebrates the work of emerging Polish documentary filmmakers. Both Aneta Kopacz and Tomasz Śliwiński who studied at the Wajda Film School were Oscar® nominated in this year’s Best Documentary Short Film category. Aneta Kopacz’s Joanna is a tender portrait of a woman with terminal cancer and her attempts to prepare her young family for a world without her in it. Shot by Łukasz Żal, the talented young Polish cinematographer Oscar® nominated for Ida, Joanna is a story of strength in the face of adversity. Tomasz Śliwiński’s Our Curse, is a personal statement by the director and his wife, the parents of a baby boy born with a rare and incurable disease. The film forms part of their process of coming to terms with his diagnosis.
One of Europe’s most preeminent investigative journalists, Polish author Mariusz Szczygieł traveled to the Czech Republic to explore the surreal fictions and extraordinary reality of Czechoslovakia’s twentieth century history for his recent award-winning book Gottland. Based on meticulous research and hundreds of interviews, Szczygieł will discuss the source of inspiration for the moving and at times shocking true-life stories, preceding a special screening of Gottland’s cinematic adaptation at the Frontline Club (24 April). The resulting portmanteau film by five young Czech filmmakers interprets Szczygieł’s original stories each in different ways; including an account of the film star who was Goebbels’s mistress, a despotic founder of a shoe-making empire and a sculptor who lost his life creating the world’s biggest monument to Stalin. Gottland creates a kaleidoscopic portrait of a resilient people living through difficult and often bizarre times. This event is presented in partnership with the Czech Centre, London.
Art & Design – Posters, Performance Art and Transmedia Storytelling
BFI Southbank and Kinoteka are pleased to present selected works from the original The Andrzej Wajda’s Films In International Film Poster exhibition on loan from the archives of the Film Museum in Lódź, also tying in with the Martin Scorsese Presents: Masterpieces of Polish Cinema season (Wajda is the most represented director, with five films in the season). The Film Museum archive includes the largest collection of global poster art connected with Andrzej Wajda’s works including examples from Japan, Argentina, Germany and France. Illustrating a wide range of graphic styles, by Polish and foreign graphic artists, the posters show the diverse priorities of different cultures and the compelling nature of poster art.
An insight into the contemporary art world, Tate Modern will screen Performer by Łukasz Ronduda, a dynamic story full of punk energy based on the life of one of the most original contemporary Polish performance artists, Oskar Dawicki (here playing himself) followed by a Q&A with Ronduda and Dawicki (23 May). The main theme of Dawicki’s art is the search for an answer to the question of whether he exists at al . Dawicki’s works are connected on screen not only by time and space, but also by narrative, drama and emotion.
LA‐based poster designer Tomasz Opasiński has teamed up with KINOTEKA once again to produce the original poster artwork for this year’s festival, taking inspiration from Martin Scorsese’s iconic look and his Masterpieces of Polish Cinema season.
The Kissinger Twins (Dawid Marcinkowski and Kasia Kifert) are at the forefront of creating exciting new web-based, interactive cinematic narratives. In an ICA workshop (12 April) Dawid and Kasia will explain the idea of Cinematic Labyrinths and Transmedia Storytelling, taking the audience on a journey through their award-winning projects including The Network Is Watching; the online campaign for Channel 4’s Utopia, The Trip and Sufferrosa, the biggest independent interactive film to date.
The pioneer of Polish Electronica
Organised with the ICA, to tie in with the release of the documentary 15 Corners of the World, KINOTEKA showcases the work of Eugeniusz Rudnik, the former sound engineer at Polish Radio Experimental Studio, acknowledged as the father of Polish experimental and electronic music. The film, which received the Best Film Award at the Locarno Film Festival, interprets the sensual and emotional perceptions of Rudnik’s music into visual representations, for viewers to hear the music with their eyes.
Closing Night Gala – Anchors aweigh!
KINOTEKA and the Polish Cultural Institute in London continue their collaboration with Second Run DVD to release a third volume of their acclaimed Polish Cinema Classics series in May. The three-DVD set incorporates digital restorations of three of the finest Polish films of the 70s and 80s: Krzysztof Zanussi’s Camouflage, Wojciech Marczewski’s Shivers and Polish cult classic comedy, The Cruise.
To mark Second Run DVD’s Polish Cinema Classics release, KINOTEKA draws to a close with a special screening of Marek Piwowski’s The Cruise (1970) at the ICA (29 May). Regarded as Polish cinema’s first ‘cult’ film, The Cruise is also a satirical masterpiece. Shot in a quasi-documentary style, with a cast featuring mostly non-professional actors, the absurd plot parodies life in the (then) People’s Republic of Poland, reducing a weekend river cruise to a hilarious parody of the Communist system.
Taking inspiration from the film’s subject and its absurdist humour, festivities continue with A Cruise Down The Absurd, an authentic boat ride on the Thames, for a 70s themed laugh-out-loud interactive performance created by immersive UK theatre group Gideon Reeling, sister company of world-famous Punch Drunk. The Cruise Down The Absurd will relive the sounds of 70s, featuring a live performance from the world famous jazz outfit Obara International, led by saxophonist Maciej Obara, with their musical tribute to legendary Polish composer Krzysztof Komeda.