University of Rochester

EVENT: Five Award-Winning Films Set for 2003 Polish Film Festival

October 22, 2003

Polish films praised by critics at international venues have been booked for the Nov. 9 to 13 Polish Film Festival at the Little Theatre. Sponsored by a grant from Rochester's Louis Skalny Foundation, the festival gives local audiences the chance to see films that are acclaimed abroad, but have not been distributed in the United States.

Now in its eighth year, the festival is organized by the Skalny Center for Polish and Central European Studies at the University of Rochester. "This is an important and unique cultural offering for the Rochester community," said Ewa Hauser, director of the Skalny Center. "We pick the newest productions of Polish cinema--some of them not yet released in Poland."

All are Polish-language films with English subtitles, and each will be shown for one day only at the Little Theatre, 240 East Ave. The festival will begin at 3:30 p.m. Sunday, Nov. 9, with the premiere screening of When the Sun Was God: An Ancient Tale (Stara basn 2003) directed by Jerzy Hoffman. The film is set in the 9th-century Poland and based on a famous novel about princes, warriors, and peasant revolts over the eternal combat between good and evil. A film for all ages, it will be repeated at 7:30 p.m.

Squint Your Eyes (Zmruz oczy 2001), a comedy directed and written by Andrzej Jakimowski, tells the story of a rebellious 10-year-old girl who runs away from her negligent parents and finds shelter with the caretaker of a deserted farm. The film will be shown at 7 p.m. Monday, Nov. 10.

Director Artur "Baron" Wiecek's An Angel in Krakow (Aniol w Krakowie 2002), follows an outrageous angel's life after he is sentenced to live on Earth and perform one act of kindness a day. He finds himself in Krakow where he is enchanted by the atmosphere and doesn't want to leave. It will be screened at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 11.

Set in the summer of 1967, Weiser (2001) centers on a fascinating, mysterious Jewish boy whose abrupt, baffling disappearance prompts grave concerns. Then more than 30 year later, a childhood friend returns to their hometown and the long-forgotten past. Directed by Wojciech Marczewski, Weiser will be shown at 7 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 12.

The festival will conclude with the screening of Eden (2002), a humorous animated film directed by artist and illustrator Andrzej Czeczot. An ironic fable for mature audiences, a simple shepherd roams through heaven, hell, and oceans inbetween to reach his contemporary paradise: New York City. Czeczot lived in New York for many years, and his illustrations have appeared in the New York Times, The New Yorker, and Wall Street Journal. Eden will be shown at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 13.

Tickets for the festival's opening film, When the Sun was God, are $12 for general admission, $9 for students with identification. All other films are $6.50; all tickets are available at the box office. For more information, contact the Skalny Center at (585) 275-9898 or

The Skalny Center supports research and teaching about the historical legacy and political and economics changes within Central Europe. Its public lecture series, film festival, and other activities offer the Rochester community opportunities to learn about Poland and its people.