9th Edition of London’s "Kinoteka"

A gala screening of Essential Killing opened the “Kinoteka” Polish Film Festival last night in London. April 1 will bring the release of Skolimowski’s feature in theatres throughout the United Kingdom. The ninth edition of the “Kinoteka” film festival runs from March 24 through April 13 in five UK cities.

The programme of this year’s festival includes a selection of latest Polish films, a retrospective of classic comedies, a collection of acclaimed short films, and several art house experimental films.

This year’s special guests include Jerzy Skolimowski, Przemysław Wojcieszek, and Marcin Wrona.

The 9th “Kinoteka” Polish Film Festival is organized by the Polish Cultural Institute in London and supported by the Polish Film Institute and DFDS Seaways.


A selection of twelve best films of the last twelve months marks the lineup of the New Polish Cinema section of the festival. Przemysław Wojcieszek will present his picture Made in Poland, awarded in Gdynia and Wrocław (screenings: London – March 25; Belfast – March 31; Edinburgh – April 5). Made in Poland is a film adaptation of Wojcieszek’s play. Marcin Wrona, director of Chrzest (The Christening) will also appear in London (screenings: London – March 26; Exeter – March 27; Belfast – March 30). Another special guest will be Paweł Sala, director of Matka Teresa od kotów (Mother Teresa of Cats) (screenings: London – March 26; Exeter – March 31; Glasgow – April 7). The New Polish Cinema section will also include Marek Lechki’s Erratum, which will screen in London right before its Polish theatrical release (screenings: London – March 26; Belfast – March 29; Edinburgh – April 2). The “Kinoteka” lineup also features Dom zły (Dark House) by Wojciech Smarzowski (screening on March 31 at Prince Charles Cinema in London).


The festival will also host a presentation of the latest English-language publication on Polish cinema of the last 20 years entitled “Polish Cinema Now!”, edited by Mateusz Werner and published by John Libbey Publications, in cooperation with the Adam Mickiewicz Institute.


The “Kinoteka” team has also prepared a selection of films by the cult directing duo – Janusz and Andrzej Kondratiuk – to present to UK audiences. This will mark the first retrospective of the works of the Kondratiuk brothers in the United Kingdom. “Kinoteka” audiences will have the opportunity to see films such as Wniebowzięci and Dziewczyny do wzięcia (March 26 and 27 at Riverside Studios). There will be a Q&A session with Janusz Kondratiuk after the screening on Sunday, March 27. The festival will also feature preview screenings of the director’s latest film Milion dolarów (Mllion Dollars) (screening on April 5 at the Prince Charles Cinema). The film will be released in Poland a few days after its London screening.


This year’s “Kinoteka” programme also features short films by acclaimed young filmmakers. To mark the 10th anniversary of the establishment of the Andrzej Wajda Master School of Film Directing, there will be a selection of best features and documentaries by the school’s graduates (March 27 at Riverside Studios; March 31 and April 7 at the London Film Academy). Short films will also have two screenings at London’s Roxy Bar & Screen (March 31 and April 7). The first screening, organized in cooperation with Jan Naszewski of New Europe Film Sales, will include such acclaimed production as Animowana historia Polski (Animated History of Poland) by Tomasz Bagiński and Szafa Zbigniewa (Zbignew’s Cupboard) by Magdalena Osińska. In the following week, Roxy Bar & Screen will host an evening with the Polish Short Waves festival and the music duo of Michał Mierzwa and Piotr Bejnar. Admission to all London screenings of short films (with the exception of the March 31 screening at Riverside Studios) is free of charge.


A selection of short films will also screen in Belfast (March 27 at Queen’s Film Theatre). The lineup includes a number of acclaimed films, such as Danny Boy by Marek Skrobecki, Millhaven by Bartek Kulas, and Warszawa do wzięcia by Karolina Bielawska and Julia Ruszkiewicz.


To commemorate the new work of the KwieKulik duo, purchased by Tate Modern, “Kinoteka” prepared a special screening of Zofia Kulik and Przemysław Kwiek’s experimental film Działania z Dobromierzem (April 5). The collaboration of these two artists is considered to be one of the highlights of contemporary Polish art. After the screening, Zofia Kulik will discuss her art with curators Maxa Zoller, Stuart Comer (Tate Modern), and Łukasz Ronduda (Museum of Modern Art in Warsaw).


Like in previous years, “Kinoteka” will be accompanied by an exhibition of film posters. This year the organizers have decided to focus on the works of Franciszek Starowieyski (1930-2009). His unique, often surreal, works can be found in some of the world’s top art collections, including New York City’s Museum of Modern Art. An exhibition of Starowieyski’s works is accessible free of charge at the Riverside Studios between March 24 and April 10, and at the Barbican in London from April 7 to 13.

The festival’s closing gala will include a screening of one of Poland’s best films of the silent era – Mroczny człowiek, directed by Henryk Szaro. The screening will feature live music by the Polish electro-jazz group Pink Freud (April 13 at the Barbican). The film was considered lost during the Second World War, but in 1997 a print was found at the Royal Film Academy in Brussels and subsequently restored. Commissioned by the Polish Cultural Institute in London, Pink Freud composed a new soundtrack for the film and will perform it for the first time at the London screening.


This year’s edition of “Kinoteka” also features two gems from the pre-WWII era of Polish cinema: Ślubowanie by Henryk Szaro (screening on April 5 at the West London Synagogue) and Dybuk (The Dybbuk) by Michał Waszyński (screening on April 12 at the West London Synagogue), both from 1937. Both films are in Yiddish and portray two different interpretations of Szymon Anski’s play “The Dybbuk”.  The screenings are co-organized with the London-based Spiro Ark association. Admission to both screenings is free of charge.


Further details and a detailed programme of the festival available at: www.kinoteka.org.uk.


Press release