Success of Polish Shorts and Docs

The year 2012 marked several events of key importance for Polish documentary, short, and animated filmmaking. Statistics showed that admissions increased when compared to the previous year. From January to December 2012, Polish documentary, animated and short films had a total of over 1,350 screenings abroad.

Polish films screened in competition and out-of-competition sections of over 600 film festivals. But the biggest reason to celebrate is that our films received a total of 120 awards in 2012 alone.

Polish Animation at Film Festivals Around the World

In terms of genre, the ranks were certainly led by animated films. Five short animated films tallied a record of over 20 festival screenings each by the end of 2012. The most popular among these was by far Noise by Przemysław Adamski (produced by Munk Studio), which screened at 35 different film festivals. The runners-up are: Co się dzieje, gdy dzieci nie chcą jeść zupy (What Happens When Children Won’t Eat Soup), the graduation film by Paweł Prewencki produced at the Artistic University in Poznań, and Afternoon, the latest film by Izabela Plucińska. Both films screened at 22 international film festivals. Several other films also marked high festival admissions, including Game by Marcin Janiec (particularly popular at American film festivals), Był sobie król by Tytus Majerski and Papierowe pudełko (Paper Box) by Zbigniew Czapla. Polish animated films have received multiple awards at film festivals around the world. The films most often recognized were Danny Boy by Marek Skrobecki, Galeria by Robert Proch, and Noise by Przemysław Adamski.

Short Feature Films in Cannes and Locarno

Short feature films really stayed up to speed with animations last year. The most-often screened film of 2012 was Opowieści z chłodni (Frozen Stories) by Grzegorz Jaroszuk. The film screened at 48 international film festivals, winning a total of twelve awards. The runner-up was Piotr Złotorowicz and his film Ludzie normalni (Normal People) with a total of 40 festivals, Zniknięcie (Vanishing) by Bartosz Kruhlik (30 festivals), and Bez śniegu (Without Snow) by Magnus von Horn (20 festivals). All four films were produced by the National Film School in Łódź. Glasgow, directed by Piotr Subbotka and produced by the Polish Filmmakers Association’s Munk Studio and Wajda Studio within the framework of the 30 Minutes programme, screened at 19 festivals. Yet 2012 brought even more success for Polish filmmakers. In May, Portret z pamięci (Drawn from Memory) by Marcin Bortkiewicz screened in the Cannes festival’s prestigious Director’s Fortnight section. In August, Serce do walki (Battleheart) by Tomasz Matuszczak screened and received recognition at the Locarno film festival. Both of these films were produced by Munk Studio.

Increasing Number of Screenings of Polish Documentaries

In 2012, Polish documentary films screened at international film festivals over 530 times. Over 350 of these were competition screenings. Compared to 2011, the number of screenings grew by over 70, whereas the number of competition screenings increased by 80. Polish films were present at almost 250 different festivals around the world, including such prestigious events as IDFA in the Netherlands, DOK Leipzig in Germany, Visions du Réel in Switzerland, and Hot Docs in Canada.

Festival Record-Holders

The undisputed record-holder in terms of the number of festival screenings in 2012 is the documentary Co raz zostało zapisane (Written in Ink) by Martin Rath. Produced by the National Film School in Łódź, this film tallied almost 80 festival screenings. Other titles that can boast a high number of festival screenings include three productions of Wajda Studio: 3 dni wolności (Three Days of Freedom) by Łukasz Borowski, Decrescendo by Marta Minorowicz, and Paparazzi by Piotr Bernaś, as well as Argentyńska lekcja (Argentinian Lesson) by Wojciech Staroń, Kiedyś będziemy szczęśliwi (We Will Be Happy One Day) by Paweł Wysoczański, Papierowe pudełko (Paper Box) by Zbigniew Czapla, Powroty (Returns) by Krzysztof Kadłubowski, and two films from the National Film School in Łódź: Rozmowa (The Conversation) by Piotr Sułkowski and Wycieczka (The Trip) by Bartosz Kruhlik.

50 Awards for Polish Documentary Films

Polish documentary films won over 50 awards in the past year, including the award for Best Mid-Length Documentary Film for Argentyńska lekcja (Argentinian Lesson) at the RIDM festival in Canada, East Silver awards for Best Short Documentary and Best Mid-Length Documentary for Wytnij-wklej (Copy/Paste) by Rafał Samusik and Kiedyś będziemy szczęśliwi (We Will Be Happy One Day) by Paweł Wysoczański respectively, and the Best Film award of the Astra Film Festival in Romania for Kołysanka z Phnom Penh (Phnom Penh Lullaby) by Paweł Kloc. Two Polish documentaries had also received IDFA award nominations: Rogalik by Paweł Ziemilski and Bad Boy – cela dla niebezpiecznych (Bad Boy. High Security Cell) by Janusz Mrozowski.


Among the films that received the most awards in 2012 are: Argentyńska lekcja (Argentinian Lesson) with a total of nine awards; Kiedyś będziemy szczęśliwi (We Will Be Happy One Day) with five awards; 3 dni wolności (Three Days of Freedom) by Łukasz Borowski, Deklaracja nieśmiertelności (Declaration of Immortality) by Marcin Koszałka (produced by TVP S.A.), Co raz zostało zapisane (Written in Ink) and Rozmowa (The Conversation) – each with four awards in 2012, and Tonia i jej dzieci (Tonia and Her Children) by Marcel Łoziński (produced by Studio Filmowe Kronika), which received three awards.

Polish Film Festivals in Kosovo and Mexico City

Thanks to the efforts of the Krakow Film Foundation, 2012 marked two large festivals dedicated to Polish documentary films. Two sections of the DOCS DF festival in Mexico City, ‘Masters from Krakow’ and ‘Young Talents’, featured a total of 30 documentaries by some of the masters of Polish documentary filmmaking, including Kazimierz Karabasz, Wojciech Wiszniewski, Marcel Łoziński, Paweł Łoziński and Krzysztof Kieślowskiego, as well as by young filmmakers who have already gained international acclaim, including Bartek Konopka, Marcin Koszałka, Tomasz Wolski, Adam Palenta, Paweł Kloc, and Marcin Janos Krawczyk. The latest edition of Dokufest, the only festival in Kosovo that showcases international documentary films, also featured a selection of recent Polish documentaries.

Polish Filmmakers at Industry Events

In 2012, Polish filmmakers also had significant exposure at various industry events. Thanks to the efforts of the Krakow Film Foundation, producers had an opportunity to seek funding for their projects and expand their professional networks at the sixth Polish stand of the Sunny Side of the Docs Documentary Film Market in La Rochelle. In cooperation with Film Kontakt Nord, nine producers participated in the Polish Co-Production Day and presented their projects at the prestigious Nordisk Forum in Oulu, Finland. As usual, the Krakow Film Foundation also prepared the Polish Docs film programmes at the Doc Shop documentary film market that accompanies the Hot Docs festival in Canada, at the Docs for Sale market at Amsterdam’s IDFA, at the Doc Market of the Thessaloniki Documentary Festival in Greece, at the Doc Outlook of the Visions du Réel in Switzerland, at the East Silver Doc Market in the Czech Republic, and at the DOK Market of the DOK Leipzig festival in Leipzig, Germany.

Activities Supported by the Polish Film Institute

Throughout 2012, Polish animations and short films screened at some of the world’s largest short film festivals. In February 2012, the Krakow Film Foundation organized the sixth Polish Shorts stand T the Clermont-Ferrand film market. As in previous years, the Krakow Film Foundation was also one of the partners of the European Connection pitching session, where Poland was represented by a project entitled Mleczny brat, co-produced by Wajda Studio and Munk Studio. The Short Film Corner in May, a side event of the Cannes International Film Festival, the world’s largest film event, featured a large number of Polish films, as well as the special Polish Shorts programme – a selection of 14 films made by the Krakow Film Foundation.

Film Markets and Pitching Sessions

June 2012 brought the MIFA animated film market, which is organized annually during one of the world’s key events for animated films in Annecy, France. This was the second time that the Krakow Film Foundation organized the national stand within the Polish Animations programme. This year, 15 Polish producers participated in Europe’s largest animated film market. In the meantime, Polish short films screened at a number of film festivals, including the Belgrade ISFF, the Go Short festival (Netherlands), Archipelago (Italy), Tabor IFF (Croatia), Aye Aye IFF (France), In the Palace (Bulgaria), and the Unlimited Shorts Film Festival (Germany). All of these events took place thanks to support from the Polish Film Institute.


The complete awards list as well as further details about the films are available at:,, and


Written by Marta Sikorska based on the press release


Translated by Karolina Kołtun