Launch of the 50th Krakow FF
The 50th Krakow Film Festival opening ceremony was held on Monday night. That day at noon, the International Cultural Centre at Krakow’s Main Square was the site of the festival press conference and release of a special album publication, dedicated to the history of the Festival.
“It is my great honour to welcome you to the 50th Krakow Film Festival. It is also a personal anniversary for me, as I am welcoming you as director for the tenth time running,” said Krzysztof Gierat, director of the Krakow Film Festival, as he welcomed audiences to the gala opening of Poland’s oldest film event. “It’s hard to believe that this film festival is half a century old. Despite the changing political regimes, eras, even the change of the name and the introduction of a new competition and other various sections, the festival continues,” he added, inviting audiences to participate in the festival’s key shows, screenings, and jubilee events.
The first guest welcomed by Krzysztof Gierat was American avant-garde director Jonas Mekas, who will be presented with the “Dragon of Dragons” award for lifetime achievement tomorrow. The next speakers at the gala were: marshal of the Małopolskie voivodship, Marek Nawara, and mayor of Krakow, Jacek Majchrowski. “50 years is an achievement worth mentioning in the history of Krakow; smaller anniversaries aren’t all that significant,” quipped Majchrowski.
A short film was screened after his speech, presenting several key events in the history of the festival. This humorous picture was commented on from the stage by long-time participants of previous editions of the Krakow Film Festival: Piotr Mucharski of “Tygodnik Powszechny” and Member of Parliament Jacek Fedorowicz. Together with Krzysztof Gierat, they welcomed the participants of the festival’s first edition – then jury president Ryszard Karwicki, and award-winner Witold Giersz.
Before the screening of Dwa Rembranty w ogrodzie (Two Rembrandts in the Garden) by Jerzy Śladkowski, the festival director introduced the juries of all competition sections. Representatives of the Documentary Competition Jury (including jury president Marian Marzyński), Short Film Competition (including jury president Krzysztof Zanussi), Polish Competition Jury (including jury president Maciej Drygas), FICC Jury, and FIPRESCI Jury appeared on stage. Once again, the festival films will also be judged by a Student Jury.
The next speaker was one of two two-time KFF winners, and first winner of the international competition for Powrót statku in 1964 – Marian Marzyński. He talked about how, 27 years old at the time, he learned about the awards over the course of three days. “It was my first film. I didn’t even know I was a filmmaker; I only realized it after receiving this award […]. I hope you enjoy the films; I know this will be an incredibly difficult job, because judging by the first three films we saw, the best films have already been selected. And that’s never good news for the jury,” Marzyński said.
The 50th Krakow Film Festival runs from May 31 to June 6.
Further details of the festival programme are available at: www.kff.com.pl.
Translated by Karolina Kołtun