5th "Sputnik" Film Festival

Andrey Konchalovskiy. Photo by Marcin Kułakowski, PISF

Andrey Konchalovskiy. Photo by Marcin Kułakowski, Polish Film Institute


November 19 brought the opening gala of the 5th “Sputnik Over Poland” Russian Film Festival at the Palace of Culture and Science in Warsaw. The event is co-financed by the Polish Film Institute.

Opening Gala Guests

The ceremony was hosted by actor Paweł Deląg. Guests at the gala included ambassador of the Russian Federation to Poland Alexander Alexeev, the President of the Russian Federation’s cultural advisor Yuri Laptev, and representative of the Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation Margarita Tersaakova. The festival is also attended by filmmakers, critics, actors, and producers from Russia. Russian director Adrey Konchalovskiy was a special guest at the opening gala.


The Polish side was represented by deputy mayor of Warsaw Włodzimierz Paszyński, marshall of the Mazowieckie voicodship Adam Struzik, former minister of foreign affairs Adam Rotfeld, and Representative of the General Director of the Polish Film Institute for Film Production Jacek Fuksiewicz. The audience also included members of the competition jury: director Krzysztof Zanussi (jury chairman), film critic Barbara Hollender, and director Marcin Wrona.


Jubilee Edition of the Festival


“I am glad to see the fifth anniversary of our “Sputnik Over Poland” festival. It is so named because it takes place in 42 cities around Poland. […] The festival was first held in Warsaw and was then called “Sputnik Over Warsaw”. This year, 107 cities applied for hosting the Russian Film Festival. Russian cinema is in great demand. We begin our adventure in Warsaw. We will visit the other cities by March 2012,” said festival director Małgorzata Szlagowska-Skulska.

Important Polish-Russian Initiative

Yuri Laptev read a letter from the President of the Russian Federation Dmitri Medvedev: “Your creative project […] is an important Polish-Russian initiative in the field of the humanities […]. A unique part of this year’s festival is the special screening commemorating the 50th anniversary of man’s first venture into outer space. I am convinced that this festival will help Polish citizens to learn about Russia, and will enrich personal contacts and creative cooperation between both nations,” wrote the President of the Russian Federation.

Poles’ and Russians’ Mutual Interests in Each Other

Piotr Skulski read a letter from President of Poland Bronisław Komorowski: “[…] Every year the festival attracts an ever-growing audience, in a growing number of Polish cities. This is a sign that Poles and Russians today are interested in one another; they want to talk to each other, and get to know each other better. […] This year’s edition of “Sputnik Over Poland”, film screenings and side events, meetings and discussions, will undoubtedly mark another important step in the development of Polish-Russian dialogue and in the process of strengthening the bonds between our nations […],” wrote the President of Poland.

“Friend of the Festival” Award for the Polish Film Institute

This year’s special “Sputnik” awards for friends of the festival went to the Polish Film Institute and to the Warsaw City Hall. Both institutions have been providing financial support to the festival since its first edition in 2007. “It brings us great satisfaction to sponsor a festival that is so expressive about promoting excellent Russian films. I wish you nothing but the greatest success,” said Jacek Fuksiewicz.

Andrey Konchalovskiy – Special Guest

A special guest of this year’s edition of the festival is Russian director Andrey Konchalovskiy. “I think that what Małgorzata is doing is quite unique. This helps create a unique bond between our countries. […] The festival is also important for one’s memory, because as the Internet develops, more and more things are stored in our computers, while less and less things are stored in our memory. […] Festivals enable us to remember culture,” said Konchalovskiy.

The Nutcracker in 3D – the Festival’s Opening Film

The opening film of the fifth edition of “Sputnik” was The Nutcracker in 3D, the latest picture from Andrey Konchalovskiy. Aimed at a family audience, this film was based on the ballet by the Russian composer Peter Tchaikovsky. In addition to Konchalovskiy’s latest work, festival audiences will also have an opportunity to enjoy nine other of his films, which will screen in a special retrospective section of the festival, dedicated to works by Konchalovskiy.

“Sputnik” Co-Financed by the Polish Film Institute

The fifth “Sputnik Over Poland” Russian Film Festival will run in Warsaw through November 27, 2011. The festival will then move on to visit other Polish cities, including Krakow, Wroclaw, Gdansk, Poznan, and Szczecin. The event is co-financed by the Polish Film Institute for the fifth time running.


A detailed programme of the festival is available on the festival’s website: www.sputnikfestiwal.pl (Polish and Russian only).


Paulina Bez


Translated by Karolina Kołtun