Over 300 screenings at the 9th Summer Film Academy

Screenings, spectacles, concerts, exhibitions and a Gypsy Fiesta provided a wide variety of entertainment at this year’s Summer Film Academy.

Reviews of the latest Czech, Russian, and Hungarian films; retrospectives of Tony Gatlif, Julio Médem, Lone Scherfig, Elo Havetta, Evald Schorm, Witold Leszczyński and Andrzej Kostenka, François Truffaut and the late Piotr Łazarkiewicz – altogether over 300 events made up the programme of the 9th edition of the Summer Film Academy in Zwierzyniec.

“The Worst Film Cycle” was a great success; all tickets were sold. Films so bad that they are funny showed the difficult beginnings of horror films and science fiction. Jacek Rokosz increased the interest in this unique set by describing these productions to the viewers with a dollop of humour.

A special event at the Summer Film Academy was Gypsy Fiesta – dance workshops, samples of traditional Romany food, poems by Papusza, dances around the bonfire and Gypsy music. Twenty-five films concerning Romany culture were shown.

Although the Academy domain is film, this summer in Zwierzyniec there was also a stage for theatre. Festival participants had an opportunity to see the world pre-premiere of Trzy rozmowy z Panem Herbertem by Witold Kopeć, and Orlando by Agnieszka Baranowska – the latter a tale about Hela von Helutce, who dreams of finding a perfect love like in the Harlequins she reads, and Solo by Zbigniew Kowal – a contemporary poem about a man who suddenly breached the standards of socially acceptance.

Special compositions written by Rafał Rozmus wonderfully illustrated two silent films presented during Academy. The Last Command by Joseph von Sternberg presented the story of a Russian general forced to work as an extra in Hollywood films after the revolution. Mogiła nieznanego żołnierza by Ryszard Ordyński (1927) told the dramatic tale of a solder separated from his wife and daughter because of war. Both films, and above all the music, enchanted the viewers.

In the evenings, open-air concerts entertained participants. Viewers could hear Romany, Hungarian and Ukrainian music, and also the Polish group Dikanda, whose inspiration comes from oriental culture and Balkan folklore.

The Festival was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute (PISF), and is a recipient of the PISF Award in the category of National Film Event.


Translated by Monika Miziniak | Edited by Patricia Koza