2009 Polish Film Festival
The 2009 Polish Film Festival offered an inside look into the past, present and future of Polish cinema
Six new feature films, selected documentaries, and four short theme films which were directors' debuts under the Polish Filmmaker Association's "30 minutes" and "First Documentary" programs, presented a survey of new trends in Polish cinema. Two of the films, "Before Twilight" and "Too Soon to Die," showcase the best stars of after-the-war period of Polish cinema.
The festival opened on November 13 with a panel "New trends in Polish Cinema" (see short excerpt here), followed by a reception. More than 90 people attended the opening. Our special guests were: film director Jacek Bławut and his crew, movie star Małgorzata Kożuchowska, Sheila Skaff (Polish Cultural Institute, New York, NY), Małgorzata Szum, Counselor, Culture and Public Relations Attaché, Embassy of the Republic of Poland, and Dr. Barbara Klich-Kluczewska, Jagiellonian University, Kraków, Poland
Jacek Bławut, pictured here with Małgorzata Szum, is one of the best known Polish documentary filmmakers and, since 2003, a member of European Film Academy. He is also a cinematographer, screenwriter, and producer and has been working with film since being a 10-year old boy. As a director, he created many awarded documentaries– among others, ”The Warrior,” ”Abnormal,” ”Born Dead,” and ”The Crowned Rat”. As a cinematographer, he worked with Krzysztof Kieslowski, Marek Koterski, Feliks Falk, and others. He is a lecturer at film schools in Berlin, Hannover, Toruń, and the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing. ”Before Twilight” is his debut as fiction feature director.
Jacek Bławut is currently working on a new documentary, entitled “Virtual War.” The film is scheduled to be finished in the fall of 2010. The shootings are done in Poland, Russia, Germany, Czech Republic, Japan, and the USA.
Panel with Jacek Bławut followed the screening of "Before Twilight."
Another featured guest was Małgorzata Kożuchowska, who is one of the most famous Polish movie and theatre actresses. She was the special guest of the Festival, participated in the panel discussion on Nov. 13 and in the Q&A session after the screening of "Drowsiness" on Nov. 15. In 2005 she joined the National Theatre in Warsaw, where she played in productions staged by Grzegorz Jarzyna, Tadeusz Słobodzianek, Krzysztof Warlikowski, Jerzy Jarocki, and others. She played in films directed by, among others, Krzysztof Krauze, (Street Games), Juliusz Machulski (Kiler, Kiler-ów 2-óch, Superproduction), Feliks Falk (Collector), Piotr Wereśniak (Let’s Make a Grandson), Ryszard Zatorski (Why Not!), and Magdalena Piekorz (Drowsiness). She is also well known to the wide audience by her roles in many TV series.
See the interview with Małgorzata and Skalny Center director Randall Stone here.
We commemorated the 70th anniversary of the beginning of WWII by screening the film "Tomorrow we are going to the movies," and live interviews with WWII survivors who remember September 1, 1939, following the screening. The film depicts a story of three Warsaw high school graduates of the class of 1938, who enter their maturity when Poland faces the Nazi invasion.
The festival was co-sponsored by The Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies, The Polish Film Institute (PISF), The Polish Filmmakers Association, Polish Heritage Society of Rochester, and The Little Theatre Film Society Please see the logos of our sponsors below.