38th Gdynia Film Festival Launched
The creators of Papusza. Photo by Marcin Kułakowski, Polish Film Institute, PISF
The 38th Gdynia Film Festival, co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, opened last night. The event was launched by artistic director of the festival Michał Chaciński and mayor of Gdynia Wojciech Szczurek.
A Truly Diverse Cinema
“We have what promises to be a very interesting edition of the festival. Fourteen films in Main Competition; equally good films that will keep us on the edge of our seats until the last moments. Plus eleven films in the Panorama section. That’s a total of 25 new Polish films,” said Michał Chaciński. “Just look: something extraordinary happened in Polish cinema this year, and has been happening over the past several years. It is something that is becoming very apparent at this year’s edition of the festival. A mere 10-12 years ago, everyone in this very place would complain about the uniformity of Polish cinema. Now, when journalists before the festival ask me about the upcoming edition, or ask what subject will dominate the festival, I feel that the question is no longer valid. Our cinema today does not speak one language, nor does it focus on one subject. We don’t have tendencies or trends. We now have a film industry that, thanks to its production and post-production capabilities, thanks to its talented filmmakers, has enabled Polish cinema to finally become one that uses a multitude of voices to discuss a multitude of subjects. It cannot be summarized in a single sentence or paragraph. That is something to be proud of. We also know that Polish cinema is becoming increasingly better at connecting with film audiences; every year, the number of admissions to Polish films continues to rise. Let’s be proud of that.”
A New Music Theatre
“We have succeeded in making the completely revamped Music Theatre available for our festival guests. That is a source of our pride and joy, as it has been some time since we undertook the task of remodelling this theatre. Today we are able to enjoy the new possibilities it has to offer. I warmly welcome all of you. I now declare the 38th Gdynia Film Festival to be open,” said Wojciech Szczurek.
Members of the Main Competition jury include writer, playwright and screenwriter Janusz Głowacki (chairman of the jury), director and screenwriter Urszula Antoniak, actress Agata Buzek, playwright and screenwriter Christopher Hampton, director and screenwriter Agnieszka Holland, managing director of Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg Kirsten Niehuus, and cinematographer, editor and producer Arthur Reinhart. Jury members in the Young Cinema Competition for student films and short films include screenwriter and actor Cezary Harasimowicz (chairman of the jury), director screenwriter and cinematographer Rafael Lewandowski, director and screenwriter Adrian Panek, and academic lecturer, columnist and cultural manager Anna Wróblewska.
The festival’s opening film was Papusza, a Main Competition entry about Romani poet Bronisława Wajs, directed by Joanna Kos-Krauze and Krzysztof Krauze and co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.
“I would like to thank you for inviting this film to screen in competition. It was a very difficult project. So difficult, in fact, that one morning Joanna and I woke up feeling that it could never be made. This is why, standing here today, I would like to thank the Polish Film Institute. Without its support, this film would not exist,” said Krzysztof Krauze.
The 38th Gdynia Film Festival runs from September 9 through September 14. The festival is co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.
Translated by Karolina Kołtun