Plac zabaw (Playground), the feature debut by Bartosz M. Kowalski, co-financed by the Polish Film Institute, will screen in Main Competition at the 64th San Sebastian International Film Festival. The festival runs from September 16 through September 24, 2016.

The screening in San Sebastian will mark the film’s world premiere. Bartosz M. Kowalski’s feature debut will compete for the festival’s Golden Shell against 16 films by such acclaimed filmmakers as Baltasar Kormákur, Emmanuelle Bercot, and Ewan McGregor.

Plac zabaw (Playground)

The last day of school in a small Polish town. For twelve-year-old Gabrysia, this is the very last chance to tell her classmate that she is in love with him. She sets up a secret meeting and blackmails her love interest into showing up. But what was supposed to be an intimate conversation spins out of control and leads to an unexpected ending. The film addresses the issue of what lies behind crimes committed by children, and questions whether we are able to find an answer at all.

The Filmmakers

Plac zabaw (Playground) was co-written, directed and edited by Bartosz M. Kowalski. The film marks Kowalski’s feature debut. Written together with Stanisław Warwas, the script received the top prize in the 2014 Script Pro screenwriting competition. The film was lensed by Mateusz Skalski, who has previously collaborated with Bartosz Kowalski on his documentaries. The film’s production designer was Marek Warszewski, while Agata Culak was costume designer. The score was composed by Danish composer Kristian Eidnes Andersen, known for his collaboration with Lars von Trier.

Plac zabaw (Playground) stars first-time actors Michalina Świstuń (as Gabrysia), Nicolas Przygoda (as Szymon) and Przemysław Baliński (as Czarek). The film’s artistic supervisor was Wojciech Smarzowski.

Plac zabaw (Playground) was produced by Film it, in co-production with Studio Produkcyjne Orka, and was co-financed by the Polish Film Institute. Distribution in Poland is handled by Next Film, with a release date set for autumn 2016. The film will have its Polish festival premiere screening in Main Competition at the 41st Gdynia Film Festival. World sales are handled by Latido Films from Spain.

Adaptacja (Adaptation)

The festival’s International Film Students Meeting competition will screen Adaptacja (Adaptation), the graduation film by director Bartosz Kruhlik.

San Sebastian International Film Festival

Organised annually since 1953, the San Sebastian International Film Festival is one of Europe’s oldest film events.

This year’s edition of the San Sebastian IFF runs from September 16 through September 24.

Further details are available at: www.sansebastianfestival.com.

Kalina Cybulska

Translated by Karolina Kołtun