16th Kinoteka Polish Film Festival: London 7-29 March

Celebrating 100 years of Polish Independence through film.
KINOTEKA Polish Film Festival returns to London’s festival scene from 7 to 29 March to bring you what’s new in Polish film and culture, as well as some lesser known archival gems ripe for rediscovery. Hosted by some of London’s most prestigious cultural institutions, this year will celebrate the centenary of the emancipation of Poland, and include masterclasses, workshops and musical entertainment. The festival offers unique insights into Poland’s rich history and culture, with depictions of interwar Poland, biopics, women in cinema and a drama from the liberated Nazi concentration camps.

Opening Night Gala

KINOTEKA begins at the BFI Southbank, commemorating the life of Krzysztof Krauze and his partnership with wife/co-director, Joanna Kos-Krauze with a screening of Birds Are Singing in Kigali. The film studies the life of two women who escape the genocide in Rwanda and will be followed by a Q&A with director Joanna Kos-Krauze. The directors' previous films Papusza and My Nikifor will also be shown in the Festival.

New Polish Cinema

This year, New Polish Cinema presents ten new films, half of which are directed by women. Anna Jadowska’s Wild Roses depicts a mother’s loneliness and struggle to come to terms with her life. Kasia Adamik’s Amok follows the true story of a man who committed murder and then incriminated himself by writing a novel about it. The biopic of Polish sexologist Michalina Wisłocka, who wrote the bestselling The Art of Loving (the first published guide to sexual health in communist countries), will also feature.

#PL100 – 100 Years of Polish Independence

As part of this unique celebration, KINOTEKA has curated a programme including dramas, comedies and rare Polish silent films. Love Manoeuvres follows two people who seek to get out of their arranged marriage, and is double-billed with Is Lucyna A Girl? about a young woman who defies social norms to become an engineer. The celebration will also include an immersive 1920s style ballroom party, featuring special cocktails and a DJ.

Celebrating Jewish-Polish Cinema 

Over the last sixteen years, Jewish-Polish history has been part of KINOTEKA’s programme. This year, in partnership with the National Center for Jewish Film, KINOTEKA screens the 1937 Yiddish film, The Jester. This story of a wanderer who settles in a small village as a shoemaker will transport the audience to the world of interwar Southern Poland and a complicated love triangle. This year’s programme also includes screenings of The Reconcilation, Maciej Sobieszczański’s post-war drama set against the backdrop of the recently liberated Nazi concentration camps that were then used by the Communist party to imprison and eliminate traitors.

Masterclasses with two of Poland’s most revered creatives

Featuring two of Poland’s most prolific and inventive creatives, the masterclass will include a screening of one of Krzysztof Zanussi’s earliest films, The Structure of Crystal, followed by an In Conversation event with the multi-award-winning director. Audiences fascinated by Polish film poster design are in for a visual treat with Commissioned: The Art of the Polish Film Poster, an in depth look at the work of Andrzej Klimowski, one of the most acclaimed Polish poster artists. The Masterclass is aimed at new and emerging filmmakers looking to create poster artwork, including a one-off workshop with Klimowski himself.

Supper Club Cinema

All foodies will have a chance to enjoy the delectable banquet served up as part of Supper Club: film screening of Krzysztof Kieślowski’s classic The Double Life of Veronique. KINOTEKA joins forces with KinoVino and Sezonowik for a themed dinner created by Flavia Borawska, a rising star of Polish cuisine, on 23 March.

Theatre – Bruno Schulz’s The Comet at The Coronet, Print Rooms

The Coronet Print Rooms hosts the UK premiere of The Comet, from acclaimed Polish directors Teresa and Andrzej Welminski. Based on The Comet and Other Stories by Polish surrealist author Bruno Schulz, this new production brings Schulz’s mythical, absurdist tale to life with extraordinary humour and stagecraft and will be accompanied by the Quay Brothers' Street of Crocodiles, based on Schulz’s short story.

Closing Night Gala – Live score screening at the Barbican Centre

KINOTEKA closes with a special Closing Night Gala screening of a digitally restored Polish classic, Henryk Szaro’s The Call of the Sea (1927), an epic love story combining maritime cinema and romance, stars of the silent era as well as officers and gunmen of the Polish Navy and Air Force. Marking Piano Day 2018, a specially-commissioned live score by a five-piece ensemble led by pianist and composer Taz Modi, award-winning Matthew Bourne, Duncan Bellamy from Mercury-nominated Portico Quartet, and Chris Hargreaves and Simon Beddoe from Submotion Orchestra, accompanies the film.

For further information and full programme details, please visit the Festival website.

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