University of Rochester

EVENT: U.S. Debut of Polish Films Makes Festival a Unique Experience

October 31, 2005

The work of six Polish directors and a special showing of an American film with Polish roots will be featured at the 2005 Polish Film Festival from Nov. 13 to 18. Organized by the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies at the University of Rochester, this year's festival offers a range of fanciful, cynical, and tragic themes through the eyes of filmmakers.

All six films from Poland with English subtitles will be screened at the Little Theatre, 240 East Ave. For the finale, Polish-native Marian Marzynski will introduce a film on the life of his daughter, Anya: In and Out of Focus, at 8 p.m. Friday, Nov. 18, at the Dryden Theatre of the George Eastman House, 900 East Ave.

For the 10th year, the festival will give Rochester audiences the chance to see films not previously distributed in the United States. The festival begins at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 13, with two films: a short narrative titled Holiday (2004), followed by An Angel in Love (Zakochany Aniol, 2005).

Holiday, the winner for Best International Narrative Short at the 2005 Rome International Film Festival, tells the story of a 20-year-old, Pawel, who returns to Poland after a disappointing stint in America. His uncertain future is complicated by the impending draft that threatens to send him to Iraq. An Angel in Love continues the story of Giordano, who first appeared in another Polish film, An Angel in Kraków. He is learning to live happily on Earth, but his final conversion to manhood proves to be a much greater shock than expected.

Career of Nikos Dyzma (Kariera Nikosia Dyzmy, 2002) is a rags-to-riches story about a funeral home worker who finds his true calling as a populist politician, eventually becoming prime minister. The film will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Monday, Nov. 14.

The winner of the Berlin International Film Festival and Warsaw International Film Festival as well as several other awards, Edi (2002) will be shown at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 15. Edi, an educated man down on his luck, finds a job tutoring the teenage sister of two crime lords. Tragedy ensues when the sister find herself pregnant and accuses Edi of rape. The shocking ending and powerful performances elevate Edi's tale into an unexpectedly moving parable of self-sacrifice and redemption.

Following Edi will be Let's Make a Grandson (Zróbmy sobie Wnuka, 2003) at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 16. Marian Kosela owns a large farm in the city that developers are trying to buy. But Kosela is less worried about money and more concerned about his daughter and son, who do not want to farm the land.

The final film featured at the Little Theatre is Superproduction (Superprodukcja, 2003) at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 17. The comedy centers on film critic Janek Drzazga, who is famous for his uncompromising opinions and unkind rhetoric. His public views of what makes good movies prompt an offer from a shady businessman to write a script and direct a film as long as the businessman's girlfriend plays the lead role.

The director of Anya: In and Out of Focus, Marian Marzynski, will introduce his 2005 documentary on Nov. 18 at the Dryden Theatre. In the last 30 years, he has filmed all aspects of his daughter Anya's life. His film tries to portray the formation of a complex individual's identity over all these years.

Tickets are available directly at the theaters. They can be purchased from the Little Theatre box office for $7 evenings, $5 matinees (with discounts for Little Theatre Film Society members). At the Dryden Theatre, regular admission is $6, $5 for students with ID, $4 for George Eastman House members.

The festival is sponsored by a grant from Rochester's Louis Skalny Foundation with additional funding provided by the Experimental Television Center. The Experimental Television Center's Presentation Funds program is supported by the New York State Council on the Arts. An Angel in Love, Career of Nikos Dyzma, Edi, Let's Make a Grandson, and Superproduction were provided by MGE, Inc.

For more information, contact the Skalny Center at (585) 275-9898. A list of the films and show times is available at

Note to editors: Images from several of the films can be e-mailed to you. Please call (585) 275-4128 or send your requests to